Charges dropped against sentosa nurses
The “Sentosa 10” were given “a clean bill of health” and found new employment in nursing homes and in a hospital after their criminal charges of conspiracy and patient endangerment were dropped, according to their lawyer James Druker.
The 10 nurses, hired while still in the Philippines to work in U.S. nursing homes managed by Sentosa Care, LLC, found working and living conditions different from what they’d been promised, according to the January 13 decision by the New York State Supreme Court’s appellate division. Their attorney at the time, Felix Vinluan, advised them that, under
the circumstances, they could legally resign. After the 10 nurses’ joint resignation, they and Vinluan were prosecuted (see “An American Dream Gone Wrong,” In the News, August 2007).
In January, the court determined that, contrary to Sentosa Care’s accusations, the nurses didn’t leave their posts in midshift or abandon their patients, who included children as well as adults.
“They’re so happy this cloud has been lifted off them,” said Druker, adding that some of the nurses had lost “terrific” job opportunities while the indictment stood open. Leonila Navarro-Mariazeta, president of the Philippine Nurses Association of New York, wrote in an e-mail to AJN that the charges may have discouraged other Filipino nurses from seeking U.S. positions. “However, the dismissal of the criminal case will revive their interest,” she said, “knowing that they can get justice here.”
Sentosa Care still has a civil case for breach of contract against the 10 nurses, says its attorney Howard Fensterman, who confirmed that the company isn’t facing charges for its treatment of the nurses. But Druker says the nurses plan to file counterclaims against Sentosa in civil court.
NLN reviews nursing data
The National league for Nursing’s annual Nursing Data Review, Academic Year casts a wide lens on all types of U.S. nursing programs (including the 1,000-plus programs offering diploma and associate nursing degrees) to determine rates of application, enrollment and graduation. Administered from March to September 2008 to obtain 2006 and 2007 data, the review also provides a comprehensive demographic profile of the current student population, documenting ethnic-racial identity, gender and age. Key findings include:
* 84 percent of U.S. nursing schools attempted to hire new faculty from 2007 to 2008. Of those, 79 percent found recruitment “difficult” and almost 1 in 3 schools found it “very difficult.” The two main difficulties cited were “not enough qualified candidates” (cited by 46 percent of schools), followed by inability to offer competitive salaries (cited by 38 percent).
* Despite increased capacity, an estimated 99,000 qualified applications — or almost 40 percent of qualified applications submitted to registered nurse programs — were rejected in 2006 and 2007. Selectivity rates (also known as “acceptance rates”) were extremely low, with 53 percent of registered nurse programs falling into the “highly selective” category — a designation earned by programs offering admission to fewer than half of their applicants.
VisaScreen® certificate holders who have not changed their status or obtained a permanent U.S. visa are required to renew their certificates within five years of the issue date. VisaScreen® renewal certificate applicants should begin the process six months before their current certificate expires. The renewal fee is $250 USD. The renewal application is available for download at http://www.cgfns.org/files/pdf/apps/VisaScreenReApp.pdf or applicants may apply online through CGFNS Connect.
The U.S. State Department April Visa Bulletin was released. It retrogresses the Philippines and all other countries” back to March 2003 and states that any further progression should not be expected in 2009. This means that the wait for visa processing is further delayed as cases filed in 2003 are just being processed. However, it does give hope for forward progress in October. See www.travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_4438.html
Managing your pool of applicants
If you as a health care recruiter, employer, or immigration attorney are currently sponsoring or tracking applicants who are undergoing the various services provided by CGFNS International for licensure or immigration purposes, remember that as long as the applicant has authorized release of their information to you using the Authorization to Release Information form www.cgfns.org/sections/apply/forms.shtml, you can enroll in the Online Multiple Report System through the form at www.cgfns.org/sections/apply/forms.shtml
and use it to track all of your candidates at once with only one username and password.