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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Plight of the New Philippine Nurses

You go through 2 years of general education, work your way to reach internship, spend another 2 years and 3 summers for internship, graduate, review for the board and pass it. That's heaven to most nursing students. But that's not it. After you get registered, you sit at a corner of the house and look for work or maybe spend hours, days, months or even years with the internet trying to get a job. While all the news around you says that nurses are needed in every corner of the world, those same countries ask for so much experience that the new nurses wouldn't naturally help. What's worse is that in your own country, noone wants to take you in either? What are we supposed to do?

Lately, I've read that Canada needs Filipino nurses. Why Filipinos? Because in all those countries that are knowledgeable in the English language, Filipinos are the cheapest labor force they can find. But somewhere in their requirements page they'd need a 1125-hour experience over the last 5 years(although for some provinces this not needed yet). For the US, most states need a 2 year experience. In Singapore, at least 1 year experience. I was told that in Dubai you just have to be a board passer. That is good news for those who would like to consider going there.

The bottomline is that it seems that the Philippines is really going to be drained of the experienced nurses if the same requirements will continue to be observed. I'm sure the government can intervene. Why not just ask those countries to hire the new nurses at a lower rate perhaps? They wouldn't really mind after all the salary should be commensurate to the experience that one has.

Another option is for nurses to be asked for different trainings which they should undergo over and above their diplomas and board ratings? These trainings that the nurses take should account for something right? It is an additional learning for them which makes them go up the ladder of the nursing career path.

I mean if someone needs you, shouldn't you have a say on the negotiation table? A contract is 2 sided - the employer's and the employee's.

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