Of all the countries in Africa, Nigeria sees the most immigrating to the US. There are roughly 400,000 Nigerians and their family members in the US, and of those numbers, approximately 6,000 work in nursing.
Among all of the well-qualified professionals in Nigeria, many make the decision to immigrate to the US, because after earning their degrees, they find that they either can’t find work, or they do not earn enough to cover their living expenses. What these Nigerian professionals want is to find a career that not only helps them cover their day-to-day needs, but also provides the opportunity to continue their education. As a result, the Nigerians who choose to come to the US find these opportunities in the IT and health care industries.
Most among the Nigerian immigrants pursue nursing. Why nursing? There is a high demand in the US for health care workers, especially nurses. In addition, many were already nurses in Nigeria. These applicants may even win positions over those who were doctors back in Nigeria.
Another draw is the reasonably high pay. Nursing salaries range anywhere from $46,000 to over $96,000 per year and the median is around $67,000 per year. Of course, these salaries vary depending on the level of education and the state that you practice.
Nursing provides a field in which people can fall back, make a comfortable living, and still have opportunities to further their education. People who come to the US from Nigeria may have also wanted to study nursing all along. It is easier and less competitive to get into nursing schools in the US due to the high cost of education here. Some immigrants are more willing to pay the high cost than American students to pursue a degree with the availability of school loans.
Finally, the potential scheduling flexibility is a very attractive to workers. With the opportunity to work PRN, pursue more than one job, travel, or work extra shifts, there are potentially a lot of options for building one’s career path as a nurse.
If you are a current Nigerian nurse working in the US, let us know your story and why you chose to become a nurse in the comment section below!