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As COVID-19 Highlights Healthcare Workforce Shortage, Mucarsel-Powell Introduces New Legislation To Expedite Nursing Certification For Qualified Foreign Trained Physicians

Press Release

Date: May 4, 2020
Location: Miami, FL

On Monday, May 4, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), former Associate Dean of Florida International University's (FIU) College of Health, introduced new legislation to expedite the process for foreign-trained physicians to become nurses and address the healthcare worker shortage in the U.S., which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. Mucarsel-Powell was joined by two graduates of FIU's Foreign Educated Physicians (FEP) Program and the Associate Dean at the FIU College of Nursing and Health Sciences at a press conference announcing the legislation.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted a lot of issues in our health care system, including how woefully unprepared and understaffed hospitals are for responding to a pandemic," said Mucarsel-Powell. "I frequently hear from constituents who were respected physicians in their home countries but are working non-health care jobs in the U.S. because the process to become certified here is often inaccessible. South Florida has a great pool of internationally-trained doctors and medical professionals who stand ready to serve during this time of crisis and fill the gap in our health care workforce. My much-needed bill would engage and empower this medically-educated group so they can assist in life-saving efforts during times of crisis like this."

The Bringing Additional Nurses to the Fight Act provides Institutions of Higher Education with the funding needed to create or expand Accelerated Option programs to provide those with prior background or coursework in medical fields with a 12 to 14-month path to a nursing credential.