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Monday, May 11, 2009

Filipino nurses still welcome to work in NZ

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First Posted 13:32:00 05/07/2009

Filed Under: Nursing matters, Overseas Employment, Migration

MANILA, Philippines—Filipino nurses are still welcome in New Zealand, executives of the New Zealand Nursing Council told the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Association of Deans of Philippine Colleges of Nursing.

The DFA, which met with the Council’s chief executive Carolyn Reed and registration manager Andrea McCance, on Thursday said the assurance was made following some media reports that New Zealand is questioning the competence of Filipino nurses.

In a statement, the DFA said the executives also expressed regret about the report, which Reed said were based on remarks made by those not connected with either the Council or the New Zealand government.

Council officials, who also met separately with officials of the Professional Regulation Commission and the Commission on Higher Education, said Filipino nurse candidates to their country are able to hurdle the prescribed bridging program.

They also cited the “very low” failure rate in the required competency assessment program.

McCance said her office has been trying to simplify the process for qualified foreign nurses to work in New Zealand. Among the steps they have taken are: provide more complete information on its website and allow staggered completion of required International English Language Testing System, which may also be taken here in the Philippines.

Council officials also said the issuance of residency visas is beyond the scope of their work. They said a foreign nurse registered with the Council should present such registration in support of a separate proper residency status application with New Zealand immigration authorities.

They said the Council also encourages direct applications rather than coursing registration through recruitment agencies.

The DFA encouraged the Philippine Nurses Association and the Association of Deans of Philippine Colleges of Nursing to have school registrars identify and match subjects with foreign government requirements on the applicant’s transcript of records.

The department said this would facilitate the evaluation of individuals who will practice nursing in New Zealand.

Those who met with the New Zealand officials were DFA Asian and Pacific Affairs director J. Susana Paez and Office of the Undersecretary for International Economic Relations director Eric Gerardo Tamayo, as well as Dr. Teresita Barcelo, president of the Philippine Colleges of Nursing.

Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Bienvenido Tejano suggested the visit in response to the Council’s expression of desire to undertake consultations with their Filipino counterparts.

Filipinos comprise the second largest number of foreign nurses in New Zealand, with about 200 nurses registered every year.

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