Nursing job crisis in the Philippines

As early as 1987, the Philippine Nurses Association or PNA, had declared a nursing job crisis in the Philippines, estimating that 30 to 40 percent of the nursing applicants do not get a job. One cause of this scarcity of nursing jobs is that there are too many nursing graduates and that hospitals in the Philippines aren’t able to hire all of them. It is also because most agencies require a minimum of 2 years hospital experience, but fresh grads, even grads 2 to 3 years can’t land jobs either.

A possible solution to this problem is that Philippine hospitals should reach out to hospitals abroad to work together. Perhaps if hospitals can do some type of work exchange system. For example send nurse educators, share technology or new practices with hospitals from the Philippines and in return, nurses working at local hospitals can send a number of nurses to work temporarily in the US. If planned correctly, both facilities will benefit. US hospitals can get strong staff and the Philippine hospitals counterparts receive technology/practices as well. This program will also open up a wide range of nursing job opportunities to Filipinos.

There are so many nurses who are actually volunteering simply to get experience but unfortunately some of them are being abused. This is really bad, after hurdling years of study, spending so much time and effort on duty, spending sleepless nights, and then reviewing for and taking the board, they have to work as professional volunteers in hospitals. To make matters worse, they have to pay the hospital just to have experience. The system is really abusive! Many nurses would really go through these sacrifices not only for jobs in the Philippines but their main goal is to work abroad where the salary is better.

The government and concerned agencies should look into the issue and take necessary steps to eliminate this crisis of nursing jobs.

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