A lawmaker is pushing for a special local jobs plan for the growing number of unemployed Filipino nurses, estimated by the Department of Health at more than 200,000.
In House Bill 4582, LPG Marketers Association Rep. Arnel Ty proposed the creation of a jobs plan would be expanded version of the Nurses Assigned in Rural Service (NARS).
Ty noted that only about 3,000 Filipino nurses sought employment in the United States in the first semester of 2011, down by nearly half of the number recorded in the same period in 2010.
In the first semester of 2010, a total of 5,553 Filipino nurses attempted to enter into the nursing labor market in the US, Ty added.
“We can no longer count on the US labor market for jobs," he said, noting that on the supply side, America has been internally generating a large number of nurses.
In 2010 alone, US colleges produced a total of 167,597 nursing graduates, according to him
As to the demand side, on the other hand, American hospitals and nursing homes “continue to reel from subsidy cutbacks" at the federal, state, and municipal levels, Ty added.
He cited statistics from the US National Council of State Boards of Nursing that a total of 2,984 Filipinos took the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX) in January to June period.
NARS is the short-lived government’s project that enlisted nurses to improve health care in the 1,000 poorest towns in 2009.
The bill seeks to install a special program for the employment of nurses in urban and rural services, hoping to mobilize a total of 10,000 practitioners every year.
Nurses would each serve a six-month tour of duty and get a monthly stipend not lower than the amount commensurate to salary grade 15 — the stating pay for public nurses as mandated by a 2002 law.
To qualify, nurses must not be over 35 years old and must have a valid license. — VVP, GMA News