Nursing News from overseas.
Because of the current competitive healthcare job market worldwide, more and more nursing students and current professionals are pursuing after their bachelors’ degrees with master’s programs for nursing to become more attractive to prospective employers. The strategy of course is that after they completed these courses of study, these nursing professionals can become qualified for high-paying positions.
Now improved bachelor’s nursing program and curriculum at top schools in the world are being created to help students and working registered nurses (RNs) obtain skills that are required by managerial roles at hospitals and primary care offices. Some top schools in the US, for example, even launched this course of study through distance learning programs and online campus in order to help enrollees further their education without having to quit their jobs. This will get them their nursing degrees online.
Those who wish to take on more responsibilities in health-related work environments may also want to consider enrolling in a master’s program in nursing administration. These degrees are often available to students via online education and as accelerated programs.
Nursing is still considered as one of the fastest-growing job markets for any occupation in the US given the rising age of retirees who require a lot these healthcare services next to Japan. In fact, within the next eight years, US government analysts shows that the employment of these professionals will increase by 22%, and this industry will create an estimated 581,500 new jobs nationwide. The Japanese government also has similar pressures from its aging population and will require more nurses within the next 5 years.
Will this be good for the Filipino nurses seeking jobs? Of course, if we realize this today that other countries are making their nurses more competitive not just a bachelors degree in nursing but a masters on the side, then we should also prepare our nurses here in Manila. Updating our curriculum to address the competitive landscape abroad is the first step.
And I believe that the more management nurses we train and export to various part of the globe, the more chances of Pinoy nurses to work overseas as the world healthcare industry will realize we are capable professionals in this field.
This year 2009, Japan will recruit Filipino nurses and caregivers for training and employment under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA). This was disclosed by Labor Secretary Marianito D. Roque in a recently announced statement.
As reported in this blog last year, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Japan International Corp. of Welfare Services (JICWELS) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) providing for the recruitment of Filipino nurses and caregivers to Japan under the Framework for the Movement of Natural Persons of JPEPA, which came into force Dec.11 last year.
There have been strong oppositions to JPEPA by some local groups including the Philippine Nurses Association as they believed that this agreement between the Philippines and Japan is disadvantageous to Filipino nurses. Other sectors that are against JPEPA are afraid that this agreement can become the “template” to exploit other Filipino professionals in exchange for good economic relations with Japan.
In defense, Mr. Roque said the MoU provides for the roles and responsibilities of the two parties and the working conditions for the nurses and caregivers that would ensure their welfare and protection. He said the hiring program would initially recruit 200 nurses and 300 caregivers whom the POEA would endorse to JICWELS.
Mr. Roque said the Pinoy nurses and caregivers will have a fully transparent employment contract and that they will receive the same salaries as that of Japanese counterparts based on similar tasks and qualifications.
Part of the agreement is to train the Filipino nurses primarily on language prior to actual deployment to Japanese hospitals working under the supervision of a Japanese “kangoshi” who will conduct familiarization activities on culture and the Japanese system. While under training, the candidates will receive allowance of not less than ¥40,000 or more than P21,000 per month. Airfare to Japan will be shouldered by employers or the Japanese government.
Registered nurses with at least three years experience are qualified to apply for training and employment in Japan. Qualified Filipino nurses and candidates can apply with the POEA or through the agency’s Web site www.eregister.poea.gov.ph.
Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement or JPEPA has been ratified by the Senate last week in spite of the many opposition and disgusto about it since it started in the lower house plenary. JPEPA boasts to help the ailing economic relationship with Japan heal its wounds.
Senators approving the treaty believed JPEPA needs to be ratified, otherwise, Japanese foreign direct investment and earnings from Philippine exports to Japan may go to other Southeast Asian countries where Japan has economic partnership agreements.
But why is there a lot of opposition to this so-called economic treaty?
Concerned groups and oppositors have expressed their concerns on the treaty even before this came to the Senate for debate. The contention is that it is unconstitutional since it violates the protectionist provisions in the Constitution. And the group that will be affected are Filipino nurses who wants to work in Japan.
The detractors believed that this same treaty will also become a “template” for other developed countries to exploit our OFWs particularly Pinoy nurses in exchange for economic and trade exchanges. And you know that we reported earlier that even the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) supports the call to junk the JPEPA during the legislative deliberation.
The impact is debilitating for most of our ordinary countrymen seeking healthcare-related jobs in Japan. For nurses, they will first work and get paid as trainees while preparing for the nursing licensure exam in the Japanese language. If they fail to pass the exam within a three-year period, they will have to return to the Philippines.
The treaty compromises Filipino nurses’ labor standards, job security, migrant and labor rights, benefits and wages, and other protection for healthcare workers and caregivers. Many believe that the trade agreement’s provision on labor services would compromise Filipino health workers and put them in a very vulnerable position.
16 Philippine senators voted in favor of the Treaty which is described to be as “onerous trade agreement.” Only four senators voted against the JPEPA.