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 Read more
Several concerned groups have been asking CHED to look closely into the review and control of nursing schools operating in the Philippines particularly those schools without proper training facilities and tie ups with local hospitals to train their graduates. This came after the oversupply issue on Filipino nurses raised concerns for more production.
CHED was quick to react that the commission cannot just close down a school just because it does not have connections with local hopsitals needed to train the future nurses. However, CHED realizes that indeed a lot of nursing schools have been performing below expectations and metrics set by the commission. CHED promised to act on these schools immediately.
In the meantime, thousands of board passers who studied from those ill-connected schools have no experience at all in the hospital environment making them inadmissible to foreign job opportunities. And for those lucky nurses who are able to get employment appears to have lack of experience in specialized fields like ICU, medical surgery, nicu, emergency, dialysis and cardiac care that are the most sought-after skills needed by foreign hospitals.
This problem will continue to grow if CHED will not act on it quickly.
COMMISSION on Higher Education (Ched) chairman Emmanuel Angeles denounced proposals imposing a ceiling on the number of college students that would like to take up nursing in an effort to put a halt on the oversupply of nurses in the Philippines.
CHED cited the that setting a limit to the number of enrollees to be accepted in the nursing schools all over the country will mean a violation of the basic human right to choose the education the students want to pursue.
About 470 nursing schools proliferate in the country with an annual enrolment of nearly 100,000. Only a handful of these schools are considered excellent by CHED with an annual passing rate of 90 percent. Last year, 64.909 nursing hopefuls took the board and eventually 31,000 of them passed.
CHED said that the only way they can limit the oversupply is to limit the nursing schools providing nursing courses. The most valid basis of barring a school from conducting nursing courses are lack of proper facility and incompetence of faculty members. However, we are yet to see these control measures being implemented in the school system.
1. Highly commercialized nursing schools – Students are still being advised to take on Nursing because they and their parents believed that becoming a nurse abroad is their ticket to escape poverty. Success stories of Pinoy nurses abroad are being flaunted everyday by nursing schools to attract more and more students to boost their earnings. And one way or another, someone from the family has direct link or relation to someone who is making big bucks abroad that only solidify the intent of the students to take on nursing.
The result – more and more high school graduates are now flooding these nursing schools as the preferred college course. Tens of thousands also end up taking the nursing board exams. The high board passing rate also encourage the students to take on the course.
2. Practical Nursing programs – Not many people know on the onset that Practical nurses end up to be the nursing assistants to registered nurses here and abroad. The proliferation of practical nursing programs from various nursing school institutions, which is a vocational course to begin with, has attracted even more students to easily jump into the nursing boom.
False advertising plays the part on the oversupply. Students are led to believe that Practical nursing course is their shortcut to going abroad than taking the full 4-year course. But recent reports showed that graduates of practical nursing are having a hard time finding jobs abroad contrary to what has been advertised when they are enrolling in those practical nursing schools.
This has raised concerns at PNA which warned students to be very careful taking on this course as it is not a guarantee that they will get working visas or immigrant status in the US for example.
Now with all unemployed nurses around, how will the government deal with this oversupply situation? This will definitely add to unemployment rate in the future if and when the government will not take action as early as now to curb the impact of this impending oversupply as well as the effect of deteriorating demand in the nursing profession here and abroad.