More and more Filipino nurses are still unemployed in the Philippines

Oversupply?  Oversubscribed?  Over to the Max?  Is the country’s nursing profession on the brink of collapse?

The Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) reported earlier this month that there are now close to 200,000 jobless nurses in the country and this number is expected to rise further with the measly budget allocated for public hospitals next year.

Because of lesser and lesser opportunities abroad, the Filipino nurse is forced to wait for the right timing to even get a job locally.

“This is depressing.”  Said one of the nurses who recently passed the 2010 Nursing Licensure Exams.  “We have toiled in school and during the review and now what?”.  Yet still, there are still parents who are pushing their kids to go to the nursing profession.

PNA executive director Maristela Abenojar said that there are 37,679 nurses who passed the licensure examination last July and these board passers will compete for jobs with an estimated 160,000 unemployed nurses in the country.

Due to the continuing rise in the number of jobless nurses, Abenojar said many nurses are forced to work and receive only “certificate of volunteerism” and “training experience” as payment.

While the number of unemployed nurses on the rise, Abenojar said an average of 8,000 to 10,000 health professionals leave the country to work overseas.  However, this does not mean that those who are leaving are actually going to get a nursing job.  Most end up in different lines of work that are not related to nursing.

“What aggravates this situation is that the proposed health budget for 2011 has allotted a decreased budget for public hospitals and subsidy for indigents,” Abenojar said.

The government needs to act soonest on this issue.  And it should start with the academe who are making much money on the profession without care if their students will end up jobless.  There should be something that we can do to avert this situation.  And we have to do it quickly otherwise we may end up with tons of nursing professional loitering the streets begging for work.

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