3,673 Pinoy nurses seek US jobs in 2012

THE number of Philippine-educated nurses seeking US jobs has plunged to a 12-year low.

“Only 3,673 Filipino nurses indicated their desire to seek employment in America in 2012 by taking the US licensure examination for the first time,” said LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty, who has been pushing for a new jobs plan for the Philippines’ growing number of idle nurses.

“Last year, we had the fewest number of Filipino nurses taking the NCLEX since 2000,” Ty said.

NCLEX refers to the (National Council) Licensure Examination administered by the US National Council of State Boards of Nursing Inc. (USNCSBN).

The number of Filipino nurses taking the NCLEX for the first time, excluding repeaters, is considered a reliable indicator as to how many of them are trying to practice their profession in America.

Ty is author of House Bill 4582, which seeks to establish the Special Program for the Employment of Nurses in Urban and Rural Services (NURSE).

It proposes to mobilize at least 10,000 nurses every year for deployment to poor and undeserved communities. They would each serve a six-month tour of duty, and get a monthly stipend not lower than P24,887.

Last week, the Professional Regulation Commission announced that another batch of 16,908 graduates passed the Philippines’ licensure examination for registered nurse in December, adding to the jobless practitioners.

Citing USNCSBN statistics, Ty said that among foreign-educated nurses, Filipinos are still the most aggressive seekers of potential US employment.

In 2012, he said a total of 974 Indians, 605 Canadians, 426 South Koreans, and 398 Puerto Ricans also took the NCLEX for the first time.

Here are the historical annual numbers of Filipino nurses who took the NCLEX for the first time: 3,335 (2000); 4,456 (2001); 7,079 (2002); 9,414 (2003); 9,384 (2004); 9,181 (2005); 15,171 (2006); 21,499 (2007); 20,746 (2008); 15,382 (2009); 9,789 (2010); and 5,630 (2011).

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