The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary approved a bill (H.R. 1933) on June 23, 2011, to help hospitals in inner-city neighborhoods and rural areas that have difficulty in attracting nurses. Specifically, the bill would reauthorize for an additional three years the H-1C temporary visa program that allows foreign nurses to come to the U.S. to work in health professional shortage areas. The bill was reported favorably to the House floor by voice vote.

The prior H-1C program allowed 500 foreign nurses per year to work in the United States. H.R. 1933 would reduce that number to 300 per year. The bill would benefit about 14 hospitals around the country.

The committee’s announcement is available here.