Nurses are WINNERS not WHINERS

One thing I’ve learned during my class on the fundamentals of nursing and professional adjustment is that nurses are often characterized as flexible and adaptive. But Filipino nurses often exceed those characteristics which makes us world-famous and internationally competitive. However, due to the current trends involving the nursing profession, most of our colleagues often forget why we are called to give light on Nightingale’s lamp.

Reality Check

One issue which was recently addressed by the government is our skewed volunteer system. Nursing volunteerism in our country started out even before our first nursing curriculum was formulated. As I see it, our volunteer system should have been retained & not completely abolished because it safely allows recent board passers to prepare for the bigger responsibilities posed by the nursing profession. It has also been a norm before that some hospital agencies offer 6 months training/volunteerism and based on your performance, they will decide if they are going to hire you or not. The issue should have only been localized to hospitals who are directly involved with volunteer exploitation (e.g. Hospitals who collects fees for unnecessary training modules). Now that our volunteer system has been scrapped out, what will our budding nurses do as they wait for employment opportunities? “Reality Check“, no hospital agency hires nurses without training experiences. Aside from that, the just commenced RN Heals program prioritized hiring of nurses who had volunteer experience. Although we would like to think that it is beneficial to abolish the volunteer system, volunteering has been proven advantageous as a stepping stone in seeking higher employment opportunities. I bet our BON, Deans, Clinical Instructors, Chief Nurses, Nurse Supervisors and Staff Nurses were once just a volunteer. So I say YES TO VOLUNTEERISM.

Nag-Board Exam ka eh. Tapos ngayon aayaw-ayaw ka!

Others nurses are very vocal on how they regret taking up nursing. For Pillitteri’s sake, you’ve just wasted your life reading Brunner & Suddarth. By the time you knew you were a candidate for the capping & pinning ceremony, you should have embraced Nursing and told yourself, “this is going to be my life”. If you think what I just said was nonsense, I bet you didn’t took up nursing because of its calling.

And for those who are complaining how their parents yanked them about taking up nursing, let me tell you a story.

“I had a classmate before who said he never aspired to become a nurse. Although he wanted to become an engineer, his parents persuaded him to enroll into the BSN program otherwise he will have to support himself for his college education. Most of us might find themselves in the same shoes before. Anyhow, instead of becoming rebellious from his parent’s demand, he took it as a challenge making himself better each day until we graduated. He emerged as one of our batch cum laude and he now works as a government nurse in the middle east.”

Moral of the story? MOVE ON! Do not regress on your dreams of becoming an accountant, architect or fashion designer because the more you think about it, the more you are convincing yourself not to go on with your nursing life. If you think your parents acted out selfishly by not letting you pick your own career, just think how lucky you were to finish up college. Think about it. Not all kids can go to college.


If you think that nursing is the easiest way to get rich, you are wrong! As long as you see it that way, you won’t be able to see small opportunities that may come along. One thing I have observed since nursing became a fad years ago is that people lived to their assumptions that after passing the board exam, you can already work and go abroad. This isn’t the 1990’s anymore and trends are always changing.

As for those who are currently unemployed (like me), there are things we can do to be productive. Since nursing is a continuous learning process, you can go back to school anytime you want. This also applies for our colleagues who have chosen to join the BPO industry. Enroll for graduate studies and pursue MSN or MAN and proceed to post-graduate studies like PhD or EdD, etc. There are schools out there who offers classroom, modular and even online classes. You can also sign up and join government agencies like PMA, PNP, BFP, and even the Philippine Coast Guard. But it would be better if you have already passed the civil service exam being offered by the Civil Service Commission. And if you are that type of nurse who can establish linkages without a sweat, why not try out your luck with medical or pharmaceutical marketing. Pharmaceutical companies loves to hire talkative people. Aside from that, we nurses are also qualified to participate in researches. Look up for companies  or organizations who are looking for research assistants and who knows, that could be the start of your career as a Nurse researcher. (And nurse researchers are well compensated.) However, if you are just like me patiently waiting for something big to happen, keep calm and don’t forget to pray.

If you really are that positive, the opportunities are endless! Godspeed!

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  • I think Volunteerism isn’t the problem – the problem is the fact that hospitals make it a requirement. Ideally, it shouldn’t be. Even PNA president Theresita Barcelo stated in a press conference last January 2011 that it should not be a requirement. While, yes, it DOES give you an edge because of applied clinical experience — it should NOT be a requirement for a entry-level position as a Nurse.

    It only gives you a piece of paper stating you’ve volunteered for this and that; but there’s no guarantee the hospitals you’re interested in would consider that as actual experience.

    Of course, this is speaking in an ideal world; I personally think that volunteerism should be done whole-heartedly; without expectations or even intentions besides merely wanting to help.

    The irony in our situation as new RNs is that while the government is TRYING (or as it seems, because their efforts seem nothing more than short-term solutions) to solve the problem, it’s creating a double-edged sword effect.

    There are very limited opportunities for beginner nurses now because the Philippine Government still permit hospitals to require 6 months of experience for an ENTRY LEVEL POSITION as Nurse I. Personally, I think that’s a bullshit reqirement – especially if most hospitals here and abroad don’t even count volunteerism as actual working experience.

    The government is doing an incomplete solution to a problem that has plagued our profession for decades – and THAT I believe is the main problem.

    TL;DR: Volunteerism isn’t bad; the culture that makes us THINK that it is a requirement is just bull.

    And My redundant post is redundant. 😛 Great article anyways.

  • anonymouus