When she came to Houston, Texas, from Mexico four-and-a-half years ago, Martha Martinez was working in a laundry and getting by with limited knowledge of English, never imagining that she was just like hundreds of other foreign-trained nurses who had strong nursing skills and experience but lacked the tools to get a license to practice in the U.S.

Then she heard about a meeting for immigrant nurses at the Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital in Houston, and she was thrilled to find that she was not alone.

Months later, with the support of her newfound friends in the Nurses Helping Nurses program, Martinez cleared the hurdles to become a licensed RN in Texas. Now she has a job in a family practitioner’s office and is helping other Spanish-speaking immigrant nurses follow the same path toward returning to the profession they had practiced at home.

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