Stay or go
Despite reports of the Philippines being overpopulated with unemployed nursing graduates; many are still enticed to take up a course in nursing with hopes of earning a high compensation abroad and being able to provide for their family with a better future. The interest for a more lucrative compensation among local medical practitioners became more evident when time came that even local doctors considered taking courses in nursing for job abroad.

In July 2011, 37, 513 among 78, 135 students have passed the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) board exams for nurses. Unfortunately, these thousands of new board passers have to strive against the 200,000 other nursing graduates who are currently unemployed.

While he agrees that “there are so many” of them today, top notcher to the PRC exams, Jomel Garcia Lapides, said in a recent interview with the Inquirer that a different perspective is all it takes to turn an overcrowded nurse population into the country’s asset. He also suggested for the government to pay more attention on how to make the nursing profession in the country more appealing to the graduates.

Content in practicing his profession in his own country, Lapides said that the rural areas and public hospitals are some parts of the Philippines where nurses are badly needed because patients could barely afford to pay their medical bills.

Believing that board exams were made to weed out the best from the rest, Lapides, who is an alumna of the University of the Philippines, also questioned why board passers still have to pay hospitals for training fee when “they are qualified and are serving their duty.”

Citing how expensive it is for one to be a full-pledged nurse in the Philippines, most Filipinos have set their minds in migrating to America after they graduate assuming that it still needs the same amount of foreign nurses it did five years ago. Unfortunately, the demands of nurses dwindled when the gap was eventually filled. This caused local Registered Nurses (RNs) to shift their focus in applying to other countries that are still in need of foreign nurses like Canada and Saudi Arabia.


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