When I graduated from Secondary school way back 2004, my top-on-the-list college course was NURSING. It was like a craze before that whenever you are a Nursing student, there is a huge anticipation that you have a promising career.
Of course, you will not work in the Philippines. You have to seek a greener pasture where “brain drain” is conventional like US, UK, Canada, Australia, and other part of the world—where dollar compensates the skills and worst, nostalgia.
In my case, I felt so bad because even from the start of enrollment. The College of Nursing does no longer entertain applicants because there is no more available slots. What? I was really surprised. The course looks like a celebrity before, or simply a fad.
Consequently, I enrolled to a different degree that I, honestly, don’t like. But still, I never lose hope.
In that school year, I was able to witnessed Nursing students with weighty books on both hands, dark-bulge eye bags, most of them are skinny. And without being offensive, there are some who even looks like a patient instead of a nurse.
But I feel their determination, courage, and perseverance. Just to give a better life for their loved ones, they will do everything they can to beat poverty.
Years after, Philippines is almost producing 100,000 of registered a year, with almost 200,000 examinees annually (exam scheduled twice a year). And to pass the local licensure is a stepping stone, next target: surpassing the abroad Nursing exam. Include in the exam lists are: TOEFL ,IELTS ,CGFNS, federal board exam in the US, etc (some countries even require more exams). Note, they are expensive exam and you have to be in a review center to have a great chance of passing the test—and again another expenditure.
It is just frustrating that nowadays, hundreds of Filipino nurses ended working in a call center, in a local hospital (where I would say, they are exploited due to very low wages), or even worse, some of them ended up unemployed.
After spending too much financially in the college, which a government employee can’t afford to send their kid to nursing school, they ended like a bum. To do the math, each semester cost like PHp 30-50K for the tuition fee, plus volumes of books, on-the-job training fee, etc., while the average monthly income here range from PHp 20k – PHp 40K. Such a tremendous investment from the parents’ side.
Hopeless when some foreign countries like US and other prospect employer freeze their outsourcing of Filipino nurses due to overproduction. Some states doesn’t hire offshore nurses, they prefer the nearby medical practitioner. There are some, however, who are still employing Filipino nurses but you have to pass their standard through exams that is stiffer and more difficult than taking physician’s licensure exam.
Well, I know nursing opportunity abroad will still open its border for Filipino nurses who have the passion in their medical field. It may take a while, but never lose hope. You have proven a lot academically and professionally.
One thing I can say, I highly salute to all nurses here in the country for showing competitiveness, dedication towards their duties, and being optimistic for global market.
God bless you for all your endeavors!
For other current news about Filipino nurses, you can click this link: http://www.filipinonursesnews.com/