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Thursday, July 17, 2008

(UPDATE 2) Demand for RP nurses overseas slowing down

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Katherine Evangelista Kristine L. Alave Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines -- Filipinos aspiring to jump on the nursing bandwagon should think twice because the once burgeoning demand overseas has begun to wane, according to the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA).

“Many licensed nurses are now underemployed or unemployed as a result of changes of policy in destination-countries, the current situation of oversupply, and quality problems, among other things,” the PNA president, Dr. Leah Samaco-Paquiz, said in a press conference yesterday at the PNA headquarters in Manila.

The past few years have seen an exodus of Filipino nurses abroad to care for the aging baby-boomer population in the United States and the United Kingdom in exchange for higher pay and the possibility of gaining immigrant status.

Because of the great demand for Filipino nurses, colleges and universities have added nursing courses to their curricula to cash in on the wave.

According to Paquiz and other PNA officials, however, nursing is not a lucrative profession anymore and students who think they can use it as a passport to greener pastures abroad are seriously mistaken.

“Go into nursing for the right reasons. If you are thinking of going into nursing to be able to go abroad or because your family is pressuring you, then it is not the time,” said Josefina Tuazon, dean of the University of the Philippines’ College of Nursing.

“This is not a good time unless you go to a school that takes care of its graduates,” Tuazon said.

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