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Top Nursing Job Opportunities in the U.S. for Indian Immigrants

6 minute read

By Hayley Harrison

The American Nurses Association1 warns that the U.S. will face a nursing shortage over the next 10 years due to an increased demand for nurses and an acceleration in retirements among existing nurses. This expected shortage may mean opportunities for Indian immigrants with the proper education and experience to find nursing jobs in the U.S. Prospective and current nurses in India can consider these top nursing jobs.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) provide basic care for patients in hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities. For Indian immigrants without a nursing background, LPN jobs may be ideal because they usually require only one year of training. Usually, Prospective LPNs must also pass the National Council of State Boards (NCSBN) Practical Nursing Exam (NCLEX-PN)2 licensing exam to obtain a license. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)3 reports that the number of LPN jobs in the U.S. will grow by 9% through 2030, with more than 60,000 job openings expected in the field. LPNs earned an average of $51,850 per year4 as of May 2021, according to BLS.

Critical Care Nurse

Indian immigrants who wish to work in a fast-paced, challenging environment and make a dramatic difference in patients’ lives may enjoy critical care nursing. Critical care nurses provide ongoing monitoring and care for people in intensive care units, post-surgical care departments and emergency rooms. To enter the field, prospective critical care nurses must become registered nurses (RNs) by completing a two-year associate or four-year bachelor’s degree programme and passing the NCSBN’s NCLEX-RN exam.5 Payscale reports that the average annual salary for critical care nurses was $77,9936 as of July 2022.


Nurse Case Manager

Indian immigrants who have some nursing experience and prefer supporting the work of medical providers rather than delivering direct patient care can consider nurse case manager jobs. These professionals oversee the delivery of healthcare services for patients with complex medical conditions. They coordinate care between the team of physicians, nurses and therapists treating patients and communicate directly with patients’ loved ones. An RN license and a master’s degree in nursing are usually necessary for employment. Payscale states that nurse case managers earned an average of $75,744 per year.7

Certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN)

A certified dialysis nurse (CDN) career could be a good choice for Indian immigrants looking for in-demand nursing jobs. CDNs administer life-sustaining dialysis treatments to individuals with kidney disease. With the National Kidney Foundation reporting that more than 550,000 Americans underwent dialysis in 2018 alone and that one in three Americans is at risk for developing kidney disease, the need for nurses in this speciality is clear. To gain CDN certification from the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC), nurses must hold an RN license and have 2,000 hours of experience working with dialysis patients. ZipRecruiter reports that CDNs earn an average of $77,020 per year as of August 2022.

Cardiovascular Nurse

Indian nurses who enjoy counselling patients as much as they do delivering direct care may enjoy cardiovascular nursing careers. Cardiovascular or cardiac nurses provide life-sustaining monitoring and assistance for people who have suffered heart attacks and strokes and also help those with heart disease make positive lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of serious health complications. Demand for nurses in the speciality is high because heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and impacts more than 20.1 million Americans.8 Normally, a few years of experience and a valid RN license are necessary to work in the field, which pays an average of $186,823 per year.9

Oncology Nurse

Indian immigrants who choose to work as oncology nurses can make a meaningful difference in the lives of people battling cancer. In 2022, 1.9 million people10 received a cancer diagnosis in the U.S, and nearly 40% of Americans11 will develop cancer during their lives. These statistics indicate the need for oncology nurses who can oversee and coordinate care for cancer patients. Oncology nurses normally need an RN license to work in the field. Nurses in the speciality earned an average of $95,939 per year.12

Public Health Nurse

For Indian nurses who wish to work in settings outside of healthcare, a career as a public health nurse may be a good fit. Public health nurses work for government agencies, performing tasks such as contact tracing, developing healthcare policy and educating the public about healthy habits and disease prevention. Increased concern about infectious disease transmission may mean that U.S. state and local governments will need more public health nurses. Entry into the field usually requires an RN license and certification through the National Board of Public Health Examiners.13 BLS reports that government agencies are the highest-paying employers of RNs, with median annual wages of $85,970.14

Nurse Manager

Indian immigrants with several years of nursing experience may qualify for nurse manager jobs. Nurse managers supervise nurses and other medical professionals in hospitals, long-term care facilities and clinics and ensure every team member follows policies, procedures and best practices for patient care. Typically, an RN license and previous work supervising or training nurses are necessary for employment. Having a graduate-level degree in nursing may also be beneficial. The average salary for nursing managers was $89,668,15 according to Payscale.

Nurse Practitioner

Indian nurses who hold or are willing to pursue graduate-level degrees in nursing can consider working as nurse practitioners (NPs). NPs provide direct patient care by ordering tests, diagnosing symptoms and developing treatment plans. In many states, they even write prescriptions for patients. Prospective NPs must usually have an RN license and a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing. In addition, they must pass a certification exam in their chosen speciality. Due to their high level of education and ability to work independently, NPs typically earn more than RNs. BLS reports that the average annual salary for NPs is $118,040.16

Nurse Anaesthetist

Nurse anaesthetist is another lucrative job opportunity for prospective nurses in the U.S. These medical professionals work in physicians’ offices, hospitals and outpatient care centres, administering anaesthesia and monitoring patients before, during and after medical procedures. Employment in the field requires a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing and certification through the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists17 (NBCRNA). According to BLS, nurse anaesthetists earn an average annual salary of $202,470,18 making the speciality one of the top-paying options for Indian immigrants.

Nurse Midwife

Indian immigrants passionate about women’s health may find nurse midwife jobs rewarding. Nurse midwives deliver pregnancy counselling for women who wish to become pregnant and prenatal care for those who are. They also support women during childbirth and deliver babies in hospitals and home settings. Entry into the field requires a graduate-level nursing degree and certification through the American Midwifery Certification Board19 (AMCB). BLS states that the average annual salary for nurses in the field is $114,210.20 The bureau also predicts that the demand for nurse midwives, nurse anaesthetists and nurse practitioners will increase by 45% through 2030.21 This growth rate is much faster than many other occupations in the U.S.

Employment-based Visas for Nurses

Most Indian immigrants who wish to come to the U.S. to work as nurses permanently will need to apply for an EB-3 Third Preference Immigration Visa. The programme is open to skilled workers with training and at least two years of experience in their fields and professionals who hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Processing times for EB-3 Visas are lengthy, so nurses may wish to apply for an H-1B Visa to work in the U.S temporarily while they wait. Indian nurses with advanced graduate level degrees may qualify for an EB-2 Second Preference Immigration Visa. This programme is more selective and usually has a shorter waiting period.

Hayley Harrison


Hayley Harrison is a freelance writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After receiving a degree in the History of Art and Architecture from the University of Pittsburgh, she changed gears and pursued a career in banking. In 2002, she began producing financial literacy articles, and eventually moved to writing full-time on a variety of subjects, including health, food, travel and career planning.