I am a Filipina nurse working in Hamilton (a city in the north island not hit by the earthquake- thank God). Myself and the rest of the Filipino community feel upset about the tragedy in Christchurch, and it hits close to home as some of us know the people involved and are also Filipino nurses who came here with hopes of a better life.
I don’t know exactly how to impart my thoughts, but I feel that the media should be involved in exposing the english for nursing registration scams that a lot of our nurses are falling prey on. Yes, it is sickening to know that these scams are around, and that it may well be fellow Filipinos looking for a quick buck who are behind them… and yes, they have to be exposed.
Those Filipino nurses studying english in the fallen CTV bldg would have not been there in the first place have these scams not been around. I have heard personal stories from nurses who have failed to pass their IELTS who come here to study english to take IELTS in hopes of getting a registration, a job offer, and an approval from immigration to stay.
They have been promised that as they have contacts with a local NZ recruitment agency and “by operating as a temporary employment agency, is able to employ you in part time work while you are studying, as well as in full time work as a registered nurse once you have met the Nursing Council of New Zealand requirements. Employment is usually in aged care facilities.”
the statement gives the nurses in the Philippines who only want to give their family a better future despite having to leave their love ones behind (and probably having to loan a huge amount of money) that meeting the Nursing Council requirements is a fast-track.
I have to say this is not so… I believe that some agencies also try to attract their preys by saying that they can work part-time. part-time means 20hrs a week if you can find it (mahirap maghanap ng jobs here now-even locals are having problems)… and 20hrs a week of minimum wage. 12nzd/hr equates to about 240nzd/week before taxes. Yes, that may be about what a nurse would earn in Philippines a month for 20hrs worth of work. But they never really show the real numbers. 5000-9000nzd for the tuition, an unfurnished room to rent in NZ on a average is 150nzd/week, lunch at the cafeteria is 6-15nzd/meal, what about other expenses? plus most of the jobs they offer are back breaking care-giver work in a resthome.
And then at the end, they fail the IELTS anyway, and have to go back home. or pass the IELTS and have no funds to process their papers, much more to take the nursing bridging course program (another 5000nzd for the course). I still don’t get my head around how the scammers talked these knowledgeable professionals into spending over half a million pesos to go overseas to prepare for an exam that will cost 5,000-10,000pesos in the Philippines
I have met Filipinas who are doing the course now, and even with the 20hrs/week, they have to depend on charity from fellow Filipinos for shelter (as noted rent is 150nzd/wk on average) so they can save even a little bit to pay back the loans they have taken in Philippines so they can come over. They by the way, are on their way back to Philippines soon as they know the real deal now. :/
I have asked them if they have complained in the agencies website to warn the others, and they said that the websites of the agencies they have been through are usually unavailable by the time they realize that they have been fooled, so they don’t really know who to complain to.
In the few years that I have worked here, I have met so many nurses who are here as care-givers even… these are nurses who have far more experience and knowledge than myself multiplied by 3. They came to study to become care-givers and then work as one only because they did not meet the IELTS criteria… they came hoping to earn enough to pay the loan they took in PH and take the IELTS so they can process be nurses too. Most of them have been here working for years now, and still have not managed to make it as registered nurses. Worse, I have known of Filipino care-givers whose work visa and permit were refused to be renewed by the immigration because of the shortage of jobs in NZ and they are prioritizing the locals vacancy-wise and they had no choice but to go back home.
My point is, it is not as easy as what the scammers make it. Besides, for an NZ local, they don’t even need to finish any schooling or even formal training to become care-givers here (which is a pain really, not to mention unsafe). The next paragraph may be boring to you, but i’ll let you in on the process we took to get a job as nurses.
I, and my fellow Filipino nurses at work, had taken our IELTS in the Philippines.
And even having done so there, had taken us a good few months to get things sorted with the Nursing Council of NZ to take the nurse bridging program (also known as Competency Assessment Program for Foreign Nurses or CAP).
To take the CAP you have to be able to enroll in a NZ nursing school that offers the 6-8week course, and that spells more money. After the CAP, and you get your registration (and contrary to what some people in Philippines think, if you are a graduate of CAP – no, you don’t need to take the NZ nurses exam).
The registration will take approximately 4 weeks. If you don’t meet their criteria, i.e. number of nursing hours worked, you may not even be given registration after all you troubles.
Post-registration, you still need to find a job offer to have the NZ immigration give u a work visa and permit to stay and work legally (and honestly, even NZ local graduates are hard pressed to find jobs in NZ now). and processing the work permit will take time too. Our batch came over to study CAP on September 2007, and most of us only got to start work on January of 2008. That’s months of spending pesos in NZ, most of us had to take a loan from families who are also overseas.
-NZQA (these are the people who assess your academic qualifications in NZ)
-Nursing Council approval to take CAP
-registration with Nursing Council
-job hunting to get a job offer so you can apply to work visa/permit
-processing paperwork with NZ immigration and actually working as a nurse and getting the nurse rate (which is twice that of a caregiver)… it’s a long process.
It is not as quick and easy as some of the agency scammers make it. There are a lot of forums online where u can find conversations about the scams.
Myself and my Filipino nurse friends here hope that you will EXPOSE this so we can prevent more Filipino nurses victimized into taking what I now call “a very long and hope-depreciating vacation that most of them can’t afford”.
Personally, I am infuriated because our fellow countrymen who perished in Christchurch who are in that language school would NOT have been there in the first place have they not been scammed. They are Filipino
nurses who, if given the right information and pointed to the right avenues, would have been working in the hospitals right now helping out those that are injured by the quake…instead of being part of the rubble being unearthed.
I believe that I speak for most of Filipinos in NZ when I write that, we feel for the loved ones of those who were directly affected by the earthquake, especially those who are in the Philippines. If you have contacts to their families, please let them know that the Filipinos here are organizing what resources they have spare to help in whichever way we all could, and that we are praying for them too.
For those in want of a job in NZ or anywhere in the world, we implore you to go through the foreign country’s government agencies or even the foreign country’s school advisors as usually give advise for free
online. At least, read the experiences of others who have gone through it and not be swayed by promises of easy process etc. Lastly, RESEARCH— if you find that it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
© 2011, Filipino Nurses. All rights reserved. DISCLAIMER: The accuracy of all articles contained in this website are the responsibility of their respective authors. All articles are for informational purposes only and are NOT intended to replace the advice of a doctor. The owner of this site disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on these information. If you have any health-related questions, please consult your physician. If you feel ill, please seek medical attention immediately.