10,302 Filipino nurses take test to work in US

February 05, 2019

A TOTAL of 10,302 Filipino nurses hoping to practice their profession in America took the U.S. licensure examination for the first time in 2018, the party-list group ACTS-OFW said yesterday.

“The number is up by 32 percent versus the 7,791 Philippine-educated nurses who took America’s eligibility test or the NCLEX for the first time in 2017, without counting repeaters,” said ACTS-OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III.

A total of 1,232 Indians, 1,017 Puerto Ricans, 783 South Koreans and 601 Nigerians also took the NCLEX for the first time in 2018, Bertiz said.

The NCLEX for registered nurse (RN) or for practical nurse (PN) is the licensure test administered by the U.S. National Council of State Boards of Nursing Inc. (NCSBN).

The NCLEX examination fee is $200 (P10,500) payable to the Pearson VUE testing center in Makati City if taken in the Philippines.

Since the NCLEX is usually the final step in the U.S. nurse licensure process, the number of Filipinos taking the test for the first time is considered a good indicator as to how many of them are trying to enter the profession in America.

Citing newly-released NCSBN statistics, Bertiz said Jamaicans, Canadians and Cubans also compete with Filipinos in America’s nursing labor market.

“There’s no question many Filipino nurses looking for greener pasture overseas prefer to work and live in America, mainly due to the superior hourly pay, plus our attachment to the Western culture,” Bertiz said.

ACTS-OFW expects the demand for Filipino nurses in America to steadily increase in the years ahead.

“America’s nursing workforce is growing old, and they are not producing new nurses fast enough, mainly because they lack teaching staff. In fact, U.S. schools are turning away many would-be nursing students due to the shortage of qualified instructors,” Bertiz said.