New Georgia Board of Nursing Policy May affect Immigrant Nurses’ Careers

New Georgia Board of Nursing Policy May affect Immigrant Nurses’ Careers

New Georgia Board of Nursing Policy May affect Immigrant Nurses’ CareersAfter January 1st 2012 any Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practicing Nurse (LPN) in Georgia who wants to renew their license will have to go through vigorous verification process which will include proof of legal residency in the United States.

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The law to be implemented states that; “(Amendments to O.C.G.A. 50-36-1) Effective January 1, 2012, after December 31, 2011, Georgia law will require all applicants for licensure, and all those applying for renewal of an existing license, to submit secure and verifiable documentation with their application”.

According to Jane Musyoka a Kenyan RN in Atlanta who brought this issue to our attention so that we can sensitize the community, the implementation could put immigrant nurses’ jobs at risk.  Jane added that “If there were any complications in the renewal process then this would delay the license and hence cause loss of jobs or income”

Every nurse in Georgia is required to renew their license every couple of years and cannot hold a job unless their licenses is current. The verification process if it is to emulate the ‘E-verify’ then it could be married by errors seen in the federal verification program that has affected even those who are born here.

The nursing board’s website recommends that nurses to consider filing their renewal application on or before December 31, 2011 as this will expedite their renewal and avoid being caught in the web of the new policy.

“If you know you have problems, it is better you renew your license before the beginning of the year or start to think of relocation plan” Nancy Wangeci an RN working in Clayton County Georgia told KEN on the phone.

Georgia has tightened their immigration policies, passing very restrictive laws to curb illegal immigrants.  This comes at the heels of the neighboring state Alabama passing laws that have been considered anti-immigrant hence creating a mass exit of the Latino community. The civil society has raised the alarm that the law is being used to bully the immigrants or anyone who does not look Caucasian.

By Wilson Wanguhu





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