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Unemployed nurses can be employed by gov't, says PNA

For the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA), the country's healthcare system can absorb unemployed licensed nurses if the government will only open "plantilla" for them in government hospitals and in barangay health centers.

PNA president Dr. Leah Paquiz said that while there is an oversupply of licensed nurses in the country, many government hospitals are understaffed, while majority of barangay health centers are being manned only by barangay health workers.

"I think we have enough room for our nurses if we can only come out with 'Nurses to the Barrio or Nurses to Barangay' program. There are many barangay health centers, especially in far-flung areas, that have not been served by a nurse," he told The STAR.

This program is similar to the Department of Health's "Doctors to the Barrio" program launched in the 90s wherein it dispatched doctors, who were mostly newly graduates, to communities without doctors.

Paquiz also noted that many private hospitals are still in needed of nurses but they do not fill up the vacancies. Instead, they tap the nursing students to do the nurses' jobs as part of their on-the-job training.

-- Shiela Crisostomo(Philstar News Service,

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