The Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) does not support a proposal to legislate a Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) course in the Philippines simply because it will not only threaten the oversupplierd nursing profession here in the country but also the market abroad, according to Dr. Leah Primitiva Samaco-Paquiz, PNA president.
In her speech as a guest speaker in a University recently, she said that legitimizing the LPN course in the country would make it compete with the Bachelor’s degree of the Nursing course, thereby posing a threat to the entire nursing profession.
She believed that this is demoralizing the nursing profession and would limit job opportunities of Filipino nurses. Paquiz also stressed that nursing practice should never be cut short like what the institutions offering LPN course are doing.
Being the president, Paquiz is fighting for the dignity of nurses. She even pushed for the salary increase of nurses especially those employed in the government. She cited that Republic Act 9173 or the Nursing Act of 2002 dictates that nurses employed by the government deserves a Salary Grade 15 which is equivalent to a monthly pay of P16,000.
Does Practical Nursing Really Has Badly Affected Supply and Demand for Filipino/Pinoy Nurses Locally and Abroad?
There is a question now if the proliferation of Practical Nursing Courses has badly affected the current supply and demand of nurses in the Philippines and its impact to the impression of potential employers abroad.
Even before, the Philppine Nursing Association (PNA) had reportedly opposed the institutionalization of Practical (PN) in the country and its insertion by the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) through a 4-level ladderization of the nursing curriculum. PN is just one of those four levels. The other three are for certified nursing aides (CNA), applied science in nursing (ASN-RN) and registered nursing (RN).
The PNA, an umbrella organization of various nursing groups in the country, earlier said that PN schools only contribute to the dilemma of job availability for registered nurses. The organization said that there is no local demand or specific job positions in the Philippine health care delivery system for Practical Nurses.
Despite this, it did not stop PN schools accredited by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) from pushing for the ladderization of PN and ASN-RN.
Gregory Tyrone Howard, president of the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses in America said Filipino PN graduates could qualify in the US if schools introduce a US-approved PN course.
But this doesn’t solve the issue if the Practical Nursing course is the culprit behind the dwindling job demand for our Registered Nurses. The government should look into this report and see where they need to really control or limit the Practical Nursing courses from even further affecting the Nursing profession in general.
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.