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Internationally-Trained Nurses

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UCSD- Global Initiatives

8800 Grossmont College Dr.
Bldg. 38B, Room 342D
El Cajon, CA 92020
By Appointment Only



To build a bridge between the pool of internationally trained health workers living in California and the need for linguistically and culturally competent health services in underserved communities.


Welcome Back is a statewide initiative offering counseling and educational programs to internationally trained health professionals. This includes assistance in obtaining appropriate licenses, credentials, orientation and job placement to work in the US health care system, and development of US-specific leadership, management and advocacy skills among immigrant health professionals.
As California becomes the most diverse state in the Nation, the Welcome Back Centers are very excited with the opportunity to work with its immigrant communities and build on their many assets.
One of the challenges currently facing the health sector is the lack of culturally and linguistically diverse health professionals. This is especially true for the "safety net", community based and public health clinics and health services agencies who are often times the sole providers of health services for immigrant communities. It is well known that important aspects of care, such as treatment adherence and patient satisfaction improve significantly when we narrow the cultural and linguistic gap between the health services providers and their patients and clients. This is true for all health professionals: social workers, nurses, dentists, doctors, nutritionists, pharmacists, psychologists, etc.
This is the fundamental premise behind the Welcome Back Initiative: becoming a part of the solution. By assisting internationally trained health professionals in the process of re-entering the health workforce, we will be infusing the health system with a cadre of culturally and linguistically diverse workers that will allow the health sector to provide better services.

What exactly is Welcome Back?

It is a statewide initiative funded by The California Endowment to assist internationally trained health professionals living in California. San Francisco and San Diego received funding to establish a center in their respective counties. Sadly The San Francisco Welcome Back Center has closed its doors on Monday, November 3, 2014 and The San Diego Welcome Back Center is currently been funded by The California Wellness Foundation.

What Services will Welcome Back Centers provide?

Our centers will provide orientation, counseling and support to internationally trained health care workers. The centers will assist each individual in developing a career path plan that builds on their skills, experience and education. In addition to orientation and support in obtaining the appropriate professional credentials and licenses for their profession, participants will be presented with other options or alternatives to consider. These options may include, choosing a different health occupation offered through a Community College or State University or focusing their skills and experience in the areas of health care management, research, advocacy or policy.

What else will Welcome Back Centers provide?

An important aspect of the Welcome Back Initiative is the evaluation component. The actual number of internationally trained health care professionals living in California is not known. The Welcome Back Initiative seeks to learn the number of these health professionals in California, what their professions are and what have been the barriers that professionals have experienced in trying to practice their profession or enter the health care delivery sector. The Welcome Back Initiative seeks to engage internationally trained health professionals in identifying solutions and making policy recommendations that address the barriers they have experienced. An example of a solution could be the development of "fast track" programs within colleges and universities that realistically credit professionals education and experience, is of short term duration and affordable, and leads to a license to practice the profession. The active involvement of participants in developing possible solutions and policy recommendations is key for the success of the initiative.

DISCLAIMER: The Welcome Back Program does not have the capacity to respond to inquiries outside of the United States.