Philippines (NursingSalary.org) – “There is a shortage of nurses in US” – this is an irrefutable fact. However, the shortage is not because enough students are not enrolling for nursing courses or for that matter, budgetary constraints are not a problem too. The problem is that only a small percentage of nursing students are willing to take up career as a ‘full time’ nurse because there are hundreds of other opportunities where the same qualified nurses’ better pay and working conditions.
It’s like the US is experiencing brain drain from its own country and to fulfill the ‘shortage’, the Department of Health are looking for foreign countries to send their qualified and registered nurses. Philippines are one of the countries that send their qualified nurses to US. The US gives special visa for Pinoy nurses but since the visa is not restricted to only Philippine nurses, other “foreign” applicants are eligible to apply and the problem lies therein.
Being a Catholic country with fluent English speaking population, Philippine nurses have no problem blending with the US population and the quality of nurses Philippines provide is at par with international standards. Some people argue that the training, language, ethics and personal hygiene of nurses from other foreign countries, except Philippines, find it difficult to adjust to the new working conditions in US. They were easily offended and lacked basic nursing training to handle patients.
The foreign nurses interacted with patients differently and they were somewhat lackadaisical is patient care. Once they land in US and settle, they demand more accommodation and other facilities from hospitals and when the hospitals refuse, it is easy to slap them with discrimination charges.
The biggest problem with Philippine nurses these days lies with getting job visa. Most of the other foreign nurses do not renew their visas after they expire and stay back in the country as illegal immigrants. When US authorities get wind of it, they upgrade their visa conditions and make job visa availability stricter. All these actions gravely impact the career prospects of Philippine nurses. What is the use of studying for a degree, clearing all the exams and not getting a suitable professional opportunity!
The whole healthcare system is a melee of confusion. To gain employment, some hospitals and private healthcare agencies feign experience because they know that US has certain criteria’s for hiring nurses, and ‘experience’ certainly tops the list. For few hundred dollars, private and public hospitals are ready to sell fake employment records to new graduates and then they use the fake documentation to gain entrance in US. In all the confusion, a genuinely qualified Philippine nurses’ career opportunity gets sidelined to the corner!