Shrinking US demand swells jobless Filipino nurses
The demand for Filipino nurses in the United States and other key labor markets is falling, thus swelling the ranks of jobless Filipino nurses, the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) said Tuesday.
“In the past two years alone, with domestic demand not increasing and global demand decreasing, many nurses are now waiting to be employed,” said Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) President Leah Primitiva Samaco-Paquiz, in a press conference Tuesday at the PNA office in Malate, Manila.
“There is already a decrease in demand for nurses, and that's the trend for now. Mahirap po ngayong makahanap ng trabaho kahit qualified ka. Matagal. (It's hard to find a job now, even if you're qualified. It takes a long time.),” said Dr. Fely Marlyn Lorenzo of the National Institutes of Health, a research institute of the University of the Philippines Manila.
Lorenzo said the nursing job market slowdown began in 2006 when the demand for Philippine nurses plateaued due to a shrinking US market for nurses and a change in policy of the United Kingdom on hiring of foreign nurses.
Since the domestic market for nurses is oversaturated, nursing pools of qualified nurses in major Philippine hospitals are as high as 1,500, and employment waiting time ranges from six to 12 months.
The PNA explained that the high unemployment and underemployment of Filipino nurses is due not only to lower demand but also overproduction of nurses by Philippine nursing schools.
The nursing licensure examinations produced 37,030 nurses in 2006 and 31,275 nurses in 2007. In 2007, there were about 65,000 newly-registered nurses.
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