“American Dream” for Filipino Nurses: Is it over?

Photo credit: http://nursingcrib.com
Photo credit: http://nursingcrib.com

With the American market for foreign-educated nurses still in the shackles of retrogression, the dream of thousands of Filipino nurses to work in the “land of milk and honey” is now taking a back seat. As a proof, LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty said Sunday that the number of Philippine-educated nurses who sought employment in the United States plunged by 42 percent to just 5,630 in 2011 from 9,789 in 2010. With this statistics alone, we can safely assume that  for our discouraged Filipino nurses, the “American Dream” has been losing its former sparkle these past few years. 

According to  America’s National Council of State Boards of Nursing,  5,630 Filipinos who took the NCLEX for the first time in 2011 was roughly equal to only one-fourth of the 21,499 of them who took the US licensure exam at the height of the nursing boom in 2007. “In 2011, we had the fewest number of Filipino nurses taking the NCLEX (for the first time) since 2001, when only 4,456 took the exam,” Ty said. But what is the main culpable factor behind this continuing decline of interest to take NCLEX?

Perhaps the persistent rise of unemployment rate of Filipino nurses in the Philippines is the one to blame. Of course, you will not be able to work overseas if you lack the required years of training and clinical experience – – important things that our country is still struggling to provide to the thousands of nurses vying for the few plantilla positions available in our local hospitals. For instance, the Professional Regulation Commission estimates the number of jobless Filipino nurses to hit 298,000 this year, to include the 68,000 who took the local licensure exam in December.

But the main catalyst of this phenomenon is the present condition of nursing employment in the United States. Rep. Arnel Ty added, “US demand for foreign nurses is slowing down, with hospitals and nursing homes there still staggering from subsidy cutbacks. America is also producing more nurses. In 2011 alone, a total of 172,041 US-educated nurses took the NCLEX for the first time.” It turns out that aside from  local nurses, a Filipino nurse can also meet additional competition in the U.S. as well. Maybe this might be the best time to stop sensationalizing the news about America’s significant lack of nursing professionals because in reality, nursing glut can put more harm than good to a country’s economy.

 Now that the American Dream is taking a break, it is incumbent for the Philippine government to create feasible solutions that will  get the most out of its rich supply of nursing professionals. Aside from the RNHEALS Program, Ty also said that a bill which will create an extension of DOLE’s NARS Program in 2009, is already making its way to the Congress. The bill, according to him,  seeks to install a Special Program for the Employment of Nurses in Urban and Rural Services (NURSE).



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  • vertigo

    totoo yan. isa din akong pinoy nurse na nasa NY state ngun. nag take ako ng NCLEX RN last year ( October). pumasa naman ako. pero ang hirap mag apply dito kse karamihan na hinahanap dapt may minimum 2 yrs experience. eh wla ako experience kse kaka grad ko lng din last year..mas marami naghahanap LPN o kya CNA. minsan iniisip ko, kaya hindi nila ako pinapaboran ( mga employers) kse educated ako outside the US at mas priority nila mga US citizen.

    • jose

      priority naman po talaga ang lahi nila, even in saudi arabia it’s slowly happening.

      the american / canadian dream is far from over. kailangan alam mo pupuntahan mo para makamit yun.

      ang ibang wais nag saudi muna to get their track record, nakakaipon pa at staff nurse talaga na may chance umangat ang career dahil sa opportunities and lax regulation. after (x) years pupunta ng U.s. or Canada para magwork at green card na din. pag nakamit ang US passport either magstay nalang doon at magpetition ng kamag-anak or bumabalik sa gitnang silangan at ibang level ang compensation ng western passport kaysa sa asian passport.

      unahan lang magpayaman yan, no need to reason out with the ‘foreign educated logic’ no more. importante you can provide for your family back home.

      • emelieurs

        Magtyaga ka lang mag apply… Hindi naman cla races eh lalo na yong big cities. Mas gusto pa nga nila yong asian kasi noted na tayo na masipag. Yong kakilala ko na kagagraduate lang natanggap naman kahit may edad na cya. Marami rin cyang inaaplyan na hindi cya natanggap pero not for the reason na races cla. . . Talaga lang cguro hindi para sayo yun. Mag apply ka sa Nursing Home marami ang nangangailangan ng RN kahit walang experience kasi alam daw nila ang gagawin. . . lilipat ka nalang sa iba kung may experience kana. . .

    • Maya


  • indayfashionista

    Totoo na marami nang mga puti kumukuha nang nursing. Dito sa hospital na tinatrabahu-an ko, they are offering scholarship to bridge CNA to RN, LPN to RN, also RN to BSN- FREE!!!! Pati yung local government school dito nang hire ng clinical instructor dahil kulang ng C.I.’s at saka long waiting list ang cursong nursing (dahil kulang ng C.I.). Marami silang programs to produce more nurses. But honestly, we still feel kulang parin ang nurses dito, if i go to our hospitals website, maraming open RN positions. I guess depende sa location. Nasa Florida kasi ako(where older people retire plus ang population dito nag mu-multiply x2 during winter dahil sa mga snowbirds) pero kung nasa California ka, NY, NJ, siguro, its a different story.

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  • Bugsy

    Try New Zealand…andaming opportunity dito but the main problem is how to get here…you must have funds to be able to take the CAP but after that bridging course, all is worth it. I’ve been here for two years already and I must say that I have found paradise here…just continue dreaming fellow nurses coz opportunity knocked on my door when i least expected it.

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  • Seventhdust

    New Zealand!

  • rivendell

    Yes, the American Dream for Pinoy nurses is definitely over and will never return again.

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