CHCC is left with 6 CW nurses

The Commonwealth Health Center is currently facing a shortage of nurses after 12 of their 18 specialized nurses with expired work permits as of June 30, 2017, returned to their home country as a result of their CNMI-Only work visas expiring.

Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. board chair Lauri Ogumoro said during last Thursday’s board meeting that CHCC is left with six out of the original CW nurses.

Ogumoro told the media that the six nurses that are still on island have received their receipts. The receipts are proof enough for the nurses to stay and await the approval of their CW visas.

According to Ogumoro, it has become their goal to work on preserving a certain amount of CW spots for CW nurses and specialists. The goal was to preserve at least 250 spots for hospital staff for Saipan Tinian, and Rota. Ogumoro said that upon talking with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regarding this, the response they received was that it would take a change in regulations and help from U.S Congress to revise the regulations.

According to Ogumoro, in her opinion, since the regulations were developed specifically for the Commonwealth, the regulations should be changed to benefit the Commonwealth.

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Kimberly A. Bautista Author

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