Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Welcome Back Center?
A Welcome Back Center is an international healthcare workers assistance center. It serves as an information and resource center for people who have received their formal education and training in a health field outside of the U.S., who live in the center’s respective state/area, and who would like to enter the healthcare sector in the U.S.
What services are offered by Welcome Back Centers?
Welcome Back Centers provide orientation, counseling, and support to foreign-trained health workers. They assist participants in developing a career pathway plan that builds on their education, experience, and skills. In addition to receiving support in obtaining appropriate professional credentials and licenses for their profession, participants are also assisted in exploring relevant educational programs, job and volunteer opportunities, and alternative career options.
Am I eligible for these services?
All foreign-trained health professionals currently living in a center’s respective state or geographic area are eligible for the program. Persons living outside the U.S. are not eligible for the program.
How much do the services cost?
The services are free of charge. Welcome Back is a non-profit organization.
Do I need a work permit to be a participant?
All foreign-trained health professionals are welcome to participate in a Welcome Back Center. The staff will share any information available about work permits or employer-based sponsorships. However, they have no influence or means for procuring these for participants. The centers have a list of agencies that offer advice and services related to immigration status issues.
Does a Welcome Back Center offer educational scholarships?
No. The centers do not receive funding to provide educational scholarships. However, educational case managers help link participants to appropriate community college and university programs, as well as financial aid offices.
Does a Welcome Back Center offer professional licenses?
No. Each participant will have to follow existing licensing procedures for their respective profession. The centers provide orientation about existing licensing procedures for all health professions.
Does a Welcome Back Center offer job placement services?
No. A center does not directly find jobs for participants. However, a job announcement binder is available with job opportunities offered by health care employers and other agencies in the area served by a center.
If my English language skills are a challenge for me, will an interpreter be available to assist me at a Welcome Back Center?
The staff members communicate in several languages. In addition, they will do their best to provide interpreter assistance and/or resources on an individual case-by-case basis.
As an eligible participant, what is the first step in the process?
There is an initial interview by a staff member at a center. After this interview, an appointment is set up for you to meet with an educational case manager, who will discuss your educational and professional experience. The educational case manager provides information and guidance about licensing requirements, credential validation agencies, health-related educational programs, and English language courses. He or she also helps you develop a career pathway plan with the goal of practicing your profession in the U.S. or finding an alternative career in health care.
When I meet with the educational case manager, what do I need to bring with me?
You will need to bring copies of your diploma(s) and transcripts, as well as copies of any certificates or licenses you have. If you have a professional resume with your work experience in health care, bring that to your appointment, too.
Will a Welcome Back Center put me in touch with other health professionals going through the same process?
Yes. Welcome Back Centers offer workshops and other group activities such as licensing exam study groups and general information meetings to serve as peer networking and support group opportunities by profession.