Monday, November 2, 2009

Government may soon impose a ceiling on the number of college students taking up nursing to curb the prevailing oversupply of nurses in the country.

Labor Undersecretary Carmelito Pineda said concerned government agencies have discussed the possibility of setting a limit on the number of nursing schools and nursing students nationwide.
“The Commission on Higher Education was asked to look into a possible limit because we really have an oversupply of nurses at this time,” Pineda said.

Pineda said representatives of different government agencies and education institutions met recently to look at possible measures to resolve the growing number of unemployed nurses in the country.

“During the discussions, we have learned that a high 20 percent of the 400 schools offering nursing courses nationwide have zero passing rate in the licensure examination,” Pineda said.
Pineda added that a moratorium in the setting up of new nursing schools was imposed in 2004, yet the figure continues to increase and has reached a total of 450 nursing institutions as of last year.
Pineda said that government data showed that the number of nursing students also went up sharply from 30,000 in year 2000 to 450,000 in 2007.

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) reported that about 400,000 licensed Filipino nurses have not been hired despite the high demand for health workers abroad.

The local recruitment industry, however, claimed that they are having difficulty filling up the job orders from various countries due to lack of qualified Filipino nurses.
“We really have an oversupply, but most of them are inexperienced that they cannot qualify to work abroad,” Pineda pointed out.

Pineda said the government is negotiating with foreign countries to forge bilateral labor agreements with the Philippines, which would require the host countries to provide appropriate training for Filipino nurses they would hire, to resolve the lack of experienced nurses.

He said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is also providing capital for Filipino nurses who are interested in putting up an “entrepreneurial nursing” group.

“Under the scheme, nurses will form a group and provide home care services for sick residents in Metro Manila while DOLE will provide the necessary capital,” Pineda explained.

He said entrepreneurial nursing aims to provide local employment to the 400,000 unemployed nurses in the country. Read the original article here

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