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Philippines: Exporting nurses to the world

The most popular college degree in the Philippines today is nursing. More than 100,000 Filipino nurses have left the country to seek better opportunities. According to the Department of Health, 85 percent of the country’s total number of licensed nurses are to be found in the hospitals of other countries.

One reason why the Philippines is a top supplier of nurses in the world is that it produces skilled nursing graduates who can speak good English.

Manila Times gives a comprehensive background on nursing education in the country.

Ang Blog ni Sayote Queen explains her reasons why she wants to be a nurse. The blogger represents the typical Filipino teenager who aspires for other career but ends up studying nursing in the end.

An OFW Living in Hong Kong believes that money is not the sole reason why Filipino nurses want to work abroad.

The term ‘second-courser’ refers to professionals, including doctors who go back to school again to study nursing. My Life as a Nursing Student chronicles his activities as a second-courser.

Bulatlat features the nursing scandal which recently grabbed national attention: the reported leakage in the nursing board examinations, the resignation en masse of the country’s nursing board and the alleged complicity of the Commission on Higher Education to lower the standards for accrediting new nursing schools.

Government officials clarified that “no glaring leakage” occurred in the nursing examination.

18 comments

  • Sadly, the nursing profession in the Philippines is currently mired with a cheating controversy.

  • What does this mean for nursing students in the US? Can they expect to have trouble finding jobs in the future or expect to earn less money in the future?

  • “no glaring leakage” Still it was leakage.

  • With the recent ban of foreign nurses by the UK, the US and Canada, remain as the two main destinations of our nurses. With a shortage of nurses that would stretch up to 2015(US) and 2011 (Canada), according to reports, expect more labour migrants to these two countries. Let me share this.

    Nurses

    As to Dave’s question about US nurses, there’s plenty of room as shown above. The US is expecting a shortage up to 2015, imagine how long that is. US nurses will be absorbed first before hiring foreigners.

  • Joanna dela Rosa

    Undoubtedly, the issue of “cheating” raises the
    question of ethics and morality. To quote the Dalai
    Lama: “Our every action has a universal dimension, a
    potential impact on others’ happiness, ethics are
    necessary as a means to ensure that we do not harm
    others. Secondly, it tells us that genuine happiness
    consists in those spiritual qualities of love,
    compassion, patience, tolerance and forgiveness and so
    on. For it is these which provide both for our
    happiness and others’ happiness.”

    At this point, we seek to right a wrong. But the
    question is, at what cost? Do we punish those who
    “crossed their t’s” and “dotted their i’s,” those who
    prevailed with hard work, just so that those who did
    commit this egregious crime can be punished? Of
    course it is unconscionable—in both measures. The
    problem is—whatever decisions and judgments are
    made—not everyone will be happy.

    We have many scenarios to consider: In retaking the
    nursing exam, those who did not pass will get a second
    chance, but at the same time, it’s not fair to those
    who did pass and studied for it religiously. And of
    those who do retake the exam, undeniably, there are a
    few who might not be so successful a second time
    around. Then what do we do? We’re back to where we
    started.

    But there’s not even a question of “retaking” the
    exam. Those who passed have already been announced.
    It is beyond unethical to authorize the release of
    their results and then take it back, simply because of
    more uncertainty and more confusion. It’s simply
    unacceptable.

    Let them take their oath and serve to be what they can
    be to society. Allow them to give back in service in
    good conscience—to make a better life for themselves
    and save a life or two down the road.

    The Dalai Lama has a point. Our actions are
    contingent on the choices others make—the person
    sitting next to you, the strangers on the bus, and
    down to the judges who sit behind a bench deciding
    your fate. Life can be a bitch.

    At our current state, we already have those who would
    be unhappy. You passed the exam or not—the cards have
    been dealt, but your fate hasn’t been sealed. The
    bottom line is: there may have been cheaters (and
    their actions are not at all inexcusable), but
    everyone took the exact same exam. If you wanted
    success (having cheated or not), that motivation alone
    would have propelled you through it. My sympathies
    and, of course, my “tsk tsk” to those who bamboozled
    their way into nursing. It’s not a good starting
    point, is it, especially if you take the oath to serve
    humanity?

    But as all else in life, I do believe in karma. It
    might not be tomorrow, 10 years later, or even in this
    lifetime or yours, but karma does pay its respects.
    There has been enough harm and confabulation, it’s
    time to rise up and accept the choices, no matter how
    shameless. There is a time for change, for
    reorganization, for restructuring, and to re-instill
    values and morality. Good intentions are never left
    unpaid. It’s time to end the continuous charade of
    bad mojo.

    I challenge everyone to take a step back and finally
    aim to give a positive impact. It’s time to move
    forward and see how far these nurses can go.

  • Min

    What does this mean for nursing students in the US? Can they expect to have trouble finding jobs in the future or expect to earn less money in the future?

    As to Daves question and then this answer, As to Dave’s question about US nurses, there’s plenty of room as shown above. The US is expecting a shortage up to 2015, imagine how long that is. US nurses will be absorbed first before hiring foreigners.

    Dave I can tell you as an American Nurse, educated by an American 4 Year university, it is very hard to get a nursing job. The jobs just arent out there for a graduate RN from America. They say that there is, but ask any nursing school graduate, they just dont exist. US hospitals recruit foreign nurses much cheaper than American nurses. The hospitals will only take you with experiece, which is impossible to get if no one will hire you. The entire nursing staff in an American hospital is not even American. It is truly an embarrassment to our country. The nursing “shortage” is a numbers game, hospitals and government people who benefit financially from create. GIVE AMERICAN NURSES JOBS!!

  • Rainman

    Dave I can tell you as an American Nurse, educated by an American 4 Year university, it is very hard to get a nursing job. The jobs just arent out there for a graduate RN from America. They say that there is, but ask any nursing school graduate, they just dont exist. US hospitals recruit foreign nurses much cheaper than American nurses. The hospitals will only take you with experiece, which is impossible to get if no one will hire you. The entire nursing staff in an American hospital is not even American. It is truly an embarrassment to our country. The nursing “shortage” is a numbers game, hospitals and government people who benefit financially from create. GIVE AMERICAN NURSES JOBS!!

    It actually bothered me when i read the response to Daves question. I actually entered a contact with a big hospital in the midwest and they spend thousand of dollars (exams,licensing fees,immigration etc) just to get me there, is it really because foreigners receive lesser pay? in my own understanding the government will allow the company to hire foreigner nurses if there are no takers for that job in given period of time,kindly correct me if im wrong.thank you

  • student123

    That is correct as far as I know Rainman, thank you for clarifying that. My cousin is a nurse that recently graduated in the Philippines. She is currently desperate for a job there and cannot find one that will even pay back her tuition let alone allow her to provide for herself or give back to her family which is expected. We are hoping that she will get hired by an American hospital so that we might be able to see her for the first time in 11 years. Whoevever wrote a response to Dave, please realize you are not the only one trying to get a job, and honestly be glad you are a nursing student in America even if it is difficult to get a job, even if you don’t get one right away you would undoubtedly still have other opportunities to make money, unlike my cousin.

  • John EMT

    I don’t know which part of United States is Rainman coming from claiming it is difficult to get a job as U.S Nursing grad (RN). I applied for Airforce reserve the same time my sister applied for a job as a new RN grad. Guess what? Her entire batch of 2005 ASN RN in El Camino College in southern California got a job immediately, while the U.S Airforce reserve was still processing my papers.

    Here in UCLA Harbor Hospital do not sponsor any foreign nurses and every newbee starts as an RN I. VA hospitals do not sponsor any foreign nurses at all unless they obtain work permit from somewhere else. The U.S Army will take any RN grad here in the U.S even if you are overage, they will get a waiver. You don’t even have do the entire bootcamp like others, they will hook you up for easier version of “bootcamp”. You get a rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

    Saint Mary Hospital in Long Beach CA. pays all newbee RN’s the same regardless your a from foreign country or here. About 50% of all U.S nursing students do not continue the program for various reasons including it “sucks”, it “stinks”, etc..
    I myself will start the RN program this year, because I am so use to with things that “sucks” and “stinks”. Its just a matter of how much I want it. Peace out—-

    Maybe Rainman needs to relocate in the west or the east, where they will almost beg you and give you bonus for just earning an RN……ASN or BSN.

  • Nurse husband

    This message is for Iloilo city boy stereotyping the Philippine nurses because of an isolated incident of cheating. My wife graduated in University of Philippines(tough to get in) and when she starts working in U.S everybody is impress how she execute her duties.

    Now she is Nurse Anesthetist who is just about as good or sometimes better than the Anaesthesiologist (since they generally do the same except supervising). Iloilo city boy needs to try out nursing schools like XAvier, Mindanao University, UP and other top schools. See if Iloilo City boy can survive the first semester, you know what? where not even sure if he can pass the entrance.

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