Because of the severe staffing shortage facing Wisconsin nursing facilities, representatives from 14 WAHSA organizations recently met in Milwaukee to listen to several representatives on the recruitment of registered nurses from The Philippines. The problem: The only viable solution to recruit foreign nurses as permanent resident aliens appears to be under the EB-3 or employment-based third preference category. And according to officials from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the current processing time for an EB-3 is 360 days. With recruitment and time to prepare a petition factored in, the actual timeframe to bring a foreign nurse to the United States is 14-16 months. That timeframe simply does not meet the staffing needs of a number of WAHSA members.
The Wisconsin Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (WAHSA) is a statewide membership organization of not-for-profit corporations principally serving elderly and disabled persons. Membership is comprised of 190 religious, fraternal, private and governmental organizations which own, operate and/or sponsor 194 not-for-profit nursing homes, 71 community-based residential facilities, 39 residential care apartment complexes, 100 independent living facilities, and 446 community service programs which provide services ranging from Alzheimer's support, child day care, hospice and home care to Meals on Wheels. For more information, please contact the WAHSA staff at (608) 255-7060: John Sauer, Executive Director; Tom Ramsey, Director of Government Relations; or Brian Schoeneck, Financial Services Director.