by Chris Musillo

New York State is the first state in the US to require a Bachelors of Science in Nursing for all nurses. The BSN must be obtained within 10 years of practice, starting with nurses first licensed in New York in Summer 2019. All currently-licensed New York State nurses are grandfathered into the current licensing systems and do not have to obtain BSNs.


This new educational requirement may allow foreign nurses who apply for nursing licenses in the US to apply for the H-1B visa. The H-1B is normally of limited value to foreign nurses because the USCIS often denies H-1B RN petitions. However, with the new BSN requirement, the USCIS may approve H-1B petitions filed on behalf of foreign-educated nurses. It remains to be seen how the USCIS updates its policy in light of the updated New York State licensing requirement.

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