DON’T look now, but the United States of America (USA) still remains as the favorite destination of Filipino nurses due to superior pay offered by American hospitals and other medical institutions.
In fact, reports said many Philippine-educated nurses already gainfully employed in the oil-rich Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are relocating to America.
“Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that Pinoy nurses in American hospitals receive an average monthly pay of US $6,292 or P327,870,” said House Deputy Minority Leader Aniceto Bertiz III.
During the first three months of the year, a total of 2,890 Filipino nurses, hoping to practice their profession in America, took the US licensure examination for the first time.
Passing the examination, called NCLEX, is the final step in the US nurse licensure process.
Aside from the 2,890 Filipino nurses, there were 361 Indians, 310 Puerto Ricans, 228 South Koreans and 181 Nigerians, who took the NCLEX for the first time from January to March 2019.
During the same three-month period in 2018, only 1,988 Filipino nurses took the NCLEX. We share the view of Bertiz that the rising number of Filipinos taking the NLCEX “is a good indicator” that our “Nightingales” still prefer to work in the US.
Like other Third World nations, the Philippines is teeming with jobless and underemployed nurses, forcing many of these professionals to work as domestic helpers, caregivers and nursing aides overseas.
It is certainly disgusting that even an ordinary construction worker receives a higher pay than a registered nurse in this impoverished but natural resources-rich Southeast Asian nation of English-speaking people.
That’s why a good number of male nurses prefer to work as carpenters and electricians in the countryside, where there’s widespread joblessness and underemployment.
“Talagang nakakaawa ang ating mga nurse,” lamented a former Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), who worked for many years as a Saudi government-employed nurse.