>> Coming from the Philippines, India and the Caribbean, immigrants now account for 15% of the registered nurses in the United States. A startling increase as the national debate swirls around overseas workers filling American jobs. The influx comes from a dire shortage of nurses at home.>> This isn't international nurses coming and taking West Virginians jobs or American jobs at all.
We just don't have enough nurses to fill the slots by doing it conventionally.>> As the head of nursing, Doug Mitchell is responsible for recruiting and retaining nurses at JW Ruby Memorial Hospital.>> We approved 30 slots for nurses who are from abroad to be able to come here to Morgantown via a third party, so they do a full three year commitment here.
And once they're done with that three year, that 36 month commitment, then they are transferred from the third party to us. And that's been extremely successful.>> You filled all those 30 spots?>> Yeah, absolutely, matter of fact, we've hired a few more just because of our need.
>> Carlo Salonga moved with her family from the Philippines to Morgantown, West Virginia. When you heard you're coming to West Virginia, why did you tink West Virginia medical center was gonna be able to?>>
idea, totally no idea. I had to get on the internet do my research.
>> The majority of international nurses come from the Philippines followed by Mexico, Haiti, Jamaica, and Nigeria. And, they are mainly employed in the five states seen here. While the nursing charities present an urgent crisis for hospitals in the US, for immigrants like Salonga, it is a life changing opportunity.
>> If they plan to take me in, I'd be glad to stay on. But opportunity for nurses will always the there, so I will always be a nurse>> According to government estimates, the United States will need about 1.2 million more registered nurses by 2022. A major driver is the aging of the baby boomer generation.
20% of Americans will be senior citizens by 2050.