In what country are you working as a Nurse right now?
I checked on my nursing school friends’ Facebook profile – they are practicing the profession in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Qatar, Emirates, Germany, Japan and so many other countries!
Filipino nurses are really, truly in-demand overseas or should I say, worldwide!
Well, that’s actually not surprising. I, myself, took nursing because my mother and relatives chose it for me. But don’t get me wrong, I love Nursing!
I had Bachelor of Science in Nursing primarily for what reason? Nursing is my ticket to earn a fortune overseas! Yes, in a foreign land and not in my home country. Sad reality, isn’t it?
Apart from Filipino nurses’ innate caring personality, hard-working nature, intelligence, competent skills and critical thinking ability, these nurses are determined to have a much greener opportunities. Who doesn’t?
But the question is: Where do they look for sustainable opportunities as a Registered Nurse?
and Filipino nurses always have this answer: Abroad.
Why is that so?
One reason is that, Filipino nurses don’t earn much from working as a Registered Nurse in the Philippines, particularly in a privately owned institution. There are hospitals whose salary for nurses range from 8,000 to 12,000 pesos a month (Approximately 170 to 230 USD). How can one budget this amount for his basic necessities? Everything’s going high year by year! Except, well, salary.
Another, the problem with nursing staff shortage adds to the burden of not just the nurse, but to the patients as well! Can you imagine a unit with 80 patients and 2 functioning staff nurses? That’s a 1:40 Nurse-Patient Ratio with approximately 12-minutes worth of nursing care to each patient in a shift. That is, if the nurse won’t have his meal, sit down, or even take the restroom for the whole 8-hour work!
Further, insufficient staff nurses would mean they are no nurse relievers. That is to say, nurses are left with no choice but to cover 2 shifts or 16 hours a day. Filipino nurses often experience this especially during rainy seasons in flood-prone areas. The nurse for the next shift can’t pass through the flooded streets, so you cover the next shift. (You probably can’t go home too because of the flood anyway!)
It is also notable that most of the Filipino nurses are driven to move away from home due to the prevalent practice of hiring on a Contract of Service basis. It is a type of employment for 2 years, a year, or even 6 months. Additionally, it provides no security of tenure and a no work, no pay scheme with no employee benefits and hazard pay!
These are just a handful of the so many reasons why Filipino nurses choose to practice nursing abroad.