FEWER PINOY NURSES SEEK WORK IN U.S.

MANILA, FEBRUARY 9, 2010 (STAR) By Sheila Crisostomo  - For the last three years, the number of registered Filipino nurses taking the US National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) has been declining, indicating that fewer Filipino nurses are seeking work in the United States, a labor organization said. Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) secretary-general Ernesto Herrera said only 15,382 took the US licensure exam for nurses in 2009, compared to 20,764 in 2008. In 2007, 21,299 Filipino nurses took the NCLEX.
The former senator said there is a need to “build up the competitiveness of Filipino nurses in foreign labor markets.” One way is to shut down the 152 nursing schools previously classified by the Commission on Higher Education as “substandard.”
Herrera also proposed that nursing schools publish their passing rates in the annual licensure exam “so that buyers of nursing education may be guided accordingly.”
He said the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) should also provide free second-language training to nurses seeking employment in non-English-speaking countries.
Herrera also said that many nursing students do not get proper clinical training in hospitals because there are too many of them.
“Hospitals can no longer accommodate all our nursing students in emergency rooms, operating rooms and delivery rooms. There are just too many of them waiting in line to observe procedures,” he said.
“The capabilities of all state-owned hospitals, whether run by the Department of Health or by local governments, to provide superior clinical training to junior and senior nursing students (must be strengthened),” he added.

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