As the coronavirus pandemic threatens to strain nursing staffs at hospitals across the United States, Melanie N. Beckham knows where to find reinforcements. But first, the Trump administration needs to give its approval.

Beckham, president of Vintage Health Resources in Germantown, Tennessee, specializes in helping hospitals throughout the Southeast hire nurses from the Philippines, a country with a large population of English speakers and a long history of sending health care workers abroad.

Of the several hundred Philippine recruits now in Vintage's application process, more than 100 nurses have passed the licensing and language exams. They have completed background checks and are ready to head to the U.S. Yet they are stuck because they can't get their visas processed.