The Biggest Mistake of my Life was taking up Nursing

I’m one of the Filipinos who’s been forced to take up nursing. It’s unfortunate that I listened. I was too young to stand up to my parents back then. Now, it’s become the biggest regret of my life.


Let’s set reality now. There are NO jobs for nurses. When the supply overflows the demand, the value of the supply literally goes down. Way down.

The Philippines alone produces more than 200,000 nurses each year. And there are less than 2,000 new jobs each year. Not to mention nurses from other countries like India, Cambodia, Singapore, etc. The U.S. alone produces 85,000 of their own nurses – how can we compete with that?

It’s too bad I was born in a traditional Filipino community. I love my parents — don’t get me wrong. I know all they had was pure good intentions when they forced me to be a nurse. They had dreams of me working abroad. They didn’t want me to spend the rest of my life stuck here in the Philippines. Ironically, that’s what they did. Now I’m stuck here, literally.

They didn’t take into account the statistics five years ago. 2005 to 2006 there were already dwindling jobs for nurses (and that was before the recession!). The supply already overfilled the demand. All the nursing agencies here were recruiting REAL LIVE DOCTORS to work in the U.S. as nurses instead of “us” ordinary ones.

How can we compete with that? Sure, the doctors already have good lives. Why would they want to suffer the backbreaking labor of working abroad as an ordinary nurse, whereas they could live an easy life as doctors here?

Because they have kids. Unless their kids turn out to be ambitious study freaks like them, they won’t have much future in the Philippines. They grab the opportunity to migrate abroad and provide a better future for their kids.


Five years ago, my two aunts, and three doctor family friends, along with hundreds of other doctors migrated to the U.S. to work as nurses. Before that, the nursing agencies have only been recruiting doctors specifically. The hospitals weren’t hiring anymore.

Why would they hire more nurses when there’s already an influx of nurses overflowing the world?

The solution? The agencies came up with a crafty proposal. They would literally find real live physicians with years of experience to work as ordinary nurses. And take ordinary nurses’ pay grade. So if you have a nurse working at NICU who had been a pediatrician for the last 20 years (my aunt); that would be hitting two birds with one stone.

That nurse/pediatrician would literally give out free diagnosis and do medical checkups with a nurse’s pay grade (although they won’t admit this because it’s illegal and you got to have a license to practice medicine).

In conclusion, I should have just followed my dreams in the first place. What happened to old fashioned “following their dreams?” I should have been a cook. I always dreamed of having my own restaurant.

Good thing I’m doing that now. For the last two years, (like everybody else) I was doing everything I could do to survive. I worked at call centers, taught English to Koreans. In the meantime, I saved. I saved enough money to put myself to a culinary school this next semester.


Dreams still do come true. Follow your heart. Just because we made mistakes and took a different profession that we didn’t really want in the first place — and wasted years in the process – it’s not too late to turn back and start over again.

This time, we know. This time, we know what we really want. I’m putting myself to culinary school; I’ll update you in five years to see how it went. Will I have my own restaurant five years from now? Or will I be cooking in one of the top restaurants in the city?

In five years, I’ll let you know.

For constant update on my progress, read my blog. Will I make it or not? Will I get my own restaurant someday? read my other articles here.

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About Ambria 4 Articles
A nursing graduate. Works at a call center and teaches English to Koreans during weekends. Hey, we do anything we can to survive, right? I'm putting myself to culinary school. I want to have my own restaurant someday. Wish me luck! If you liked my writing, read some more on my blog. Thanks!