Archive for the ‘board exam’ Category

A large Florence Nightingale lamp lights up for a nursing board topnotcher

February 20, 2009

“Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, It requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.” — Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)

Overwhelming happiness must be what nursing board exam first placer Jovie Ann Decoyna feels. The farmer’s daughter whose mother works as an OFW in Taiwan basks in the glow of honor after the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) released the result of the November licensure test yesterday.

Proud and admiring classmates from Baguio Central University came to gift the young professional with an extra-large Florence Nightingale lamp, a symbol of care and abiding commitment that nurses worldwide are known for. (Photo Credit: Andy Zapata/ Philstar)=0=


The NARS program & the 39,455 who passed the nurses board exam

February 20, 2009

The Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) announces that 39, 455 successfully hurdled the nursing board examination given last November 2008.

The successful examinees represent 44.5 percent of the total 88,649 who took the test. According to the PRC, Jovie Ann Alawas Decoyna of the Baguio Central University topped the examination with a grade of 89 percent.

With a high rate of joblessness among nurses due to a slump in job recruitment abroad, the addition of licensed nurses in the workforce creates more pressure to create jobs for the new professionals.

The government introduced a “stop-gap measure” versus unemployment by creating the Nurses Assigned in Rural Service (NARS) program which aims to send at least 5 nurses to each of the 1,000 poorest towns in the country. Applicants in the program will be paid a monthly salary of P8,000. Labor Secretary Marianito Roque invites interested nurses to file their applications at the nearest DOLE regional office or submit it online at where application forms may also be downloaded.—GMATVNews (02/20/09, Tan, KJ)

With an estimated joblessness of more than 400,000, it is unlikely that the 5,000 NARS positions will have a dent in easing up the lack of local employment opportunities needed by by the licensed nurses.(Photo Credit: Lucindlunacy) =0=


Job Outlook 2009: Nurses in USA still in demand, but not in the Philippines

February 4, 2009

Unemployment is rampant as the economic meltdown continues in America. The joblessness in the world’s largest economy is in all time high and still rising. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) January 20, 2009 issue reports the discouraging job loss of 2.6 million last year. Yet, in spite of the alarming unemployment sweeping America today, healthcare sticks out as among the few bright spots in work opportunities. The US healthcare sector posted gains of 419,000 jobs, mostly for nurses in 2008.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the trend is expected to continue till 2016 as Americans grow older and need more medical services. Last year, registered nurses posted 168,000 job placements to cope with the nationwide shortage. The availability of health care jobs including those in home care and nursing homes proves that employment in this sector is relatively recession-proof. Expansion of work opportunities is expected in less intensive training courses like pharmacy and medical assistantships.

This could have been welcoming news for Filipino nurses who seek work opportunities abroad. But with current US visa restrictions and slowing of recruitment of foreign applicants, the need for local healthcare workers in USA doesn’t translate into more foreign nurses getting jobs at this time. There is an emerging nativist US sentiments sparked by the economic downturn which further dampens the interest in hiring nurses from abroad.

There are about 88,750 nurses who took the Philippine board exam in November last year. The 50% (more or less) who will pass and get licensed will add to the nurse unemployment problem which is currently estimated to number about 400,000. The high joblessness rate in the country opens more opportunities for exploitation among these professionals and the government seems inutile in solving it. (Photo Credit: AllwaysNY; Uberdoog)=0=

RELATED BLOGS: “As nursing jobs become scarce, 88,750 brace for the next board examination” Posted by mesiamd at 11/12/2008; “Job prospects for nurses decline” Posted by mesiamd at 6/02/2008

As nursing jobs become scarce, 88,750 brace for the next board examination

November 11, 2008

The nursing profession is often equated with tender loving care (TLC,) a trademark of compassionate service. In the Philippines those who are sick have reasons to be happy for they have more than the nurses they need. There is a surplus of nurses competing to take care of patients.

Nurses are desperate to grab employment in the nation’s crowded healthcare system. Four hundred thousand (400,000) are reported to be jobless; a wave of newly licensed professionals will join them after the next board exams. With the highest number of examinees in history, a total of 88,750 nurses will sit for the Philippine Regulations Commission (PRC)-administered licensure test on November 29 and 30, 2008.

Carmencita Abaquin and Marco Sto. Tomas of the Board of Nursing are happy about the advances in testing computerization. Having recovered from the cheating scandal in the June 2006 test, the exam administrators insist that the well-guarded computers will do the job. They promise that the conduct of the forthcoming licensure will be “leakage free.” Those who configure the computers aren’t expected to rig the reault. They assume the machines and testing materials are tamper-proof.

Yet, there’s a big problem that looms behind the effort to prevent cheating. Nurses are badly in need of work. Job recruitment has been slow. They can’t volunteer in hospitals because there is almost no vacancy even if many hands are willing to work for free. Having spent time, talent and treasure to become professionals, the nurses don’t have jobs mainly because of government indifference and neglect.

Four hundred thousand (400,000) unemployed young nurses translate into a disgusting waste of labor capital. The staggering number is a monumental setback to those who offer their career for the country’s most popular profession. In financial terms, this is a blow to the campaign to send workers abroad for more dollars intended to boost the local economy. The government seems disengaged, proudly slow to react to the problem.

As in the past, the blame and anger spread in all fronts, but nothing effective to correct the labor crisis has been done. The government’s labor allocation policy has failed. Unable to protect the nursing profession, Philippine lawmakers, labor planners, school administrators, and licensure officials haven’t acted to the satisfaction of the public.

Counted among the country’s reliable cash cows, the poor silent nurses are mercilessly brushed aside now that there’s little need for them inside and outside the country. The docile professionals, unable to vent their frustration, pathetically wait for the day when they’ll be able to find work. Sadly, the day isn’t coming anytime soon—for there’s hardly anyone to help them. Together with the unemployed, a fraction of the 88,750 board examinees is about to rush for jobs that aren’t there. (Photo Credits: glenmcbethlaw; uberdoog; allwaysNY) =0=

Employment Prospects For Nurses Further Dim As 27,765 Pass Licensure Test

July 24, 2008

Nursing, the Philippines’ over-represented and most popular profession has recently added 27,765 to its roster of board examination passers when the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) released the names of successful examinees on July 25, 2005.

The number represents 43% of a total of 64,459 examinees who took the June, 2008 licensure test. The new nurses are expected to further clog the bottle-neck in foreign (OFW) and domestic employment which is experiencing a slump in job recruitment.

Hiring is expected to tighten owing to oversupply and lack of demand. The government needs a rational strategy to solve the growing joblessness among licensed nurses and those who fail to pass the board exam in the country.=0=

Job Prospects for Filipino Nurses Decline

June 1, 2008

The law of supply and demand has caught up with the nurses again. As the 65,000 board exam takers fend off anxiety brought by the test given in June 1 & 2, 2008, a gloomy cloud hovers over their job outlook. Employment is reportedly down. And there’s a bottleneck which impedes hiring of nurses at home. Against the rosy job predictions of the past, there’s slowing in work recruitment. The chart shows fewer jobs are available abroad, hopefully just a transient trend that will go away.

In 1999, there were 27,000 student nurses in various schools nationwide. The number ballooned to 453,896 in the next 7 years—an incredible increase, in response to the bright prospects of a nursing career, in spite of the ban against opening of more schools, for fear of diploma mills.

The expense of pursuing the four-year course isn’t cheap. It’s about 300,000 pesos. The amount doesn’t include the bells and whistles of nursing: pocket-moneys, reviews, licensure tests, language proficiency exams, NCLEX, CGFNS certifications, and visa screens which could easily double the price of the country’s most popular course. Would-be nurses spend generously for the requirements, mostly to prepare for jobs abroad. Yet, in spite of the prohibitive cost, the Commission of Higher Education (mindful of the deteriorating quality of education) wants to extend the nursing curriculum for another year.

It’s the promise of green bucks and the lure to live overseas which drive many Filipinos into the profession. They’re motivated to work and immigrate in alien places, dreaming of situations different from what they have at home. Encouraged by the government, a huge number of them join the country’s army of willing workers who are relied upon, by their dollars, to shore up the nation’s economy.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) the government agency which oversees the assignment of workers abroad isn’t happy with the southward retreat of jobs. Though probably the numbers are inaccurate since a good number of nurses sneak outside the country outside POEA’s purview, the agency’s data have nonetheless revealed a compelling picture:

The POEA data show a decline in deployment of new hires. From a high of 13, 822, deployed new hires in 2001, deployment decreased to 8,528 in 2006. Significant drops in deployment of new hires happened in the following receiving countries— Saudi Arabia: from 5,626 in 2004 to 2,886 in 2006; United Kingdom: from 800 in 2004 to 139 in 2006; US from 373 in 2004 to 133 in 2006; Kuwait: from 408 in 2004 to 191 in 2006; Qatar from 318 in 2004 to 38 in 2006.” (06/01/08, Romero, P.)

Passing the boards is a requisite for local employment. If about half of the number of test examinees (32,500) passes the licensure test, many of them would find it hard to land a job. There are those who’re way ahead in the pile waiting for vacancies even in non-nursing jobs such as in call centers, medical transcription and computer technology. They’re likely to default on the time-table to be productive and miss the opportunity to assist their loved ones who are heavily invested in their future. ==0==