Overview & Job Duties

The TN visa regulations allow a professional to enter the U.S. to render pre-arranged professional services as a Registered Nurse (RN).  Typically, a RN coordinates patient care, educates patients and the public about various health conditions, and provides advice and emotional support to patients and their family members. Keep in mind, a nurses’ duties and titles often depend on where they work and the patients they work with. For example, an oncology nurse may work with cancer patients or a geriatric nurse may work with the elderly. According to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), additional job duties may include: assessing patients’ conditions; recording patients’ medical histories and symptoms; observing patients and recording the observations; administering medicines and treatments; setting up plans for patient care or contributing information to existing plans; consulting and collaborating with doctors and other healthcare professionals; operating and monitoring medical equipment; helping perform diagnostic tests and analyzing results; teaching patients and their families how to manage illnesses or injuries; and explaining what to do at home following treatment.

Requirements

To qualify for TN status as a Registered Nurse, an applicant must possess one of the following:

  • State/provincial license; or
  • Licenciatura degree.

In addition, individuals applying for TN status as a Registered Nurse must also obtain a Health Care Worker (Visa Screen) certificate from a USCIS-approved credentialing organization. The certification verifies that the foreign national has met the minimum requirements for training, licensure, and English proficiency in his or her field. Please note: nurses have an alternative certification process. A foreign nurse may present a certified statement from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools or an approved equivalent independent credentialing organization verifying that the foreign nurse: (1) has a valid and unrestricted license in the State of intended employment; (2) has a foreign license that is authentic and unencumbered; (3) passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX); and (4) graduated from certain English language nursing programs.

Common Issues

The TN visa is used by hospitals in the U.S. to fill critical and specialized nursing positions. Recently, however, registered nurses applying under this category have started facing additional scrutiny. More specifically, stricter interpretations by U.S. Customs and Border Protection has resulted in advanced practice nurses and advanced clinical nurse practitioners no longer meeting the eligibility criteria of the RN category. These individuals are being denied admission and told that they must now apply for an H-1B visa.

For more information on the visa options available to foreign RNs, please visit our website.