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Filipino Nurses might not get U.S. employment until 2020

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If we are going to believe what the latest statistics and a member of the Philippine Congress have to say, Filipino nurses have a reason why they should let their “American dreams” take a back seat for now.

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 would have retired. According to National Council of State Boards of Nursing, America produced close to a million nurses from 2006 to 2011.“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.

Although there’s a chance that employment for foreign-trained nurses  might improve come 2014 (when a large percentage of America will get a  medical insurance coverage), there’s no doubt that the sudden nursing glut is enough to reverse the phenomenon of ‘nursing shortage’ which started almost a decade ago.

Rep. Ty, on the other hand, has pointed out the role that government regulators have played in making the current nursing oversupply possible.

“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.

Ty’s Special Program for the Employment of Nurses in Urban and Rural Services (NURSE) would mobilize a total of 10,000 practitioners every year.