17 April 2012

Pinoy Nurses Told Not To Expect US Hiring Till 2020

Filipino nurses may have difficulty entering the US labor market until 2020, a member of the Philippine Congress said.
“The shortage of nurses in America ended in 2010. Right now, they have ample supply of US-educated nurses,” said Rep. Arnel Ty, of the sectoral party LPG-MA, or Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers' Association.
Citing statistics from America's National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Ty said America produced close to a million nurses from 2006 to 2011.
At best, Ty said America's demand for Filipino and other foreign nurses might start to recover only eight years from now, or by 2020, when a generation of US practitioners retires.

American hospitals first encountered a shortage of nurses in 1998. However, the gap has been filled by the large increase in the number of American nurses, plus a deluge of foreign-educated practitioners.
Citing a New England Journal of Medicine report, Ty said said there is 'some chance' that US hospitals might step up hiring of foreign nurses when more Americans obtain medical insurance coverage under an expanded US healthcare law that takes effect in 2014.
Due to the huge oversupply of nurses in the Philippines, both higher education and professional regulators have been urging high school graduates to shun nursing.
But Ty criticized regulators for their late response to labor market conditions.
“They should be more aggressive in researching and projecting future labor market conditions, both here and abroad, to help guide young Filipinos as to potential career paths,” he said.
“Regulators are just reacting to what is already happening, such as the apparent glut of nursing graduates. Their late advisories would be more valuable once these are predictive and instructive, rather than merely reactive,” Ty said.
From 1995 to 2011, a total of 145,081 Filipino nurses sought to practice their profession in America by taking the US licensure exam, or NCLEX, for the first time (excluding repeaters).
 However, from 2006 to 2011 alone, a total of 938,552 US nursing graduates also took the NCLEX for the first time.
Ty has been pushing for new legislation that would establish a special local jobs plan for idle Filipino nurses, now estimated at more than 300,000.
As proposed by Ty in House Bill 4582, the plan would be an expanded version of the Nurses Assigned in Rural Service, the short-lived Philippine government project that enlisted nurses to improve healthcare in poverty-stricken towns.




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