26 Mar So You Want to Become a Nurse Recognized in Other Countries
Hello, future international nurse! I am happy that you have set aside some time to read this article. I have written this especially for you, and for everyone who have nurses as relatives and friends. This is a little sneak-peak of the healthcare industry as a whole, in a nutshell.
Let me start by stating —
5 Facts About the Nursing Industry in the Philippines:
- The Philippines produce an average of 100,000 Nursing graduates each year.
- Annually, on the average, about 40% of the Nursing board-takers in the Philippines pass. In 2010, there were a total of 178,000 board exam takers; 40 percent of that is about 71,200 passers.
- Different foreign manpower experts projected that the global demand for nurses was estimated to be “about 1 million by 2020.” This triggered a demand for Nursing course in the Philippines.
- In 2014, there are 491Nursing schools in the Philippines with an average of 200 Nursing students enrolled per school every year.
- The Philippines have 17 practicing nurses for every 10,000 population – way below the ideal figure which is at least 80 practicing nurses for every 10,000 population (80,000 for our 100 million population).
The World’s Need for Care
Image via wikimedia.org
While Philippines is one of the countries that export healthcare services (particularly nursing services), the world still needs a lot of caring. Nursing shortages is a current reality experienced in many settings worldwide. Discover more of that world as you discover different continents and countries in need of professional nurses.
The United States has a very large population of registered nurses—almost 3 million in 2012, and about half a million more than estimated a decade ago. The problem is not supply—it’s demand. Growing healthcare needs outstrip capacity—especially for skilled and specialized nurses who know how to work in highly complex and technologically driven healthcare systems. By 2020, the United States may have one million openings for nurses according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Meanwhile, Europe’s aging populations mean aging nurses, aging nursing educators, and more elderly people who need nursing care. By 2030, 25% of the European population will be over the age of 65.
According to the European Union, Europe may be facing a shortage of one million health care workers by 2020. Next to the United States, the United Kingdom has the largest chronic shortage of nurses.
China, despite its own growing healthcare needs, is providing a supply of nurses to fill the global void. The most recent statistics show that China has approximately two million registered nurses — up 52% from 2005, according to the Chinese Ministry of Health. Yet, with a growing elderly population, nurses will have plenty of work in China itself.
English-speaking Caribbean nations have advanced nursing programs and a large nurse-to-practitioner ratio. Again, high wages and better working conditions lure nurses to the United States and Europe. What is initially “merely” a brain drain of nurses quickly turns into an exodus, leaving those countries without a supply.
Globally, the picture is gloomiest for parts of Africa – as well as India. In 2010, a World Health Organization report revealed that India needed 2.4 million more nurses. In sub-Saharan Africa, the shortages are enormous and data are difficult to come by.
Internationally Capable Nurses
It is surprising that the world is still in need of a lot of nurses, given that we produce so many already. But the world is not in need of just a nurse. What the world needs is a nurse who is sure of what s/he is doing. Someone who has clad of experience up his/her sleeves. Someone who can care for people of different culture. A nurse who will be able to understand and connect to others that no other nurse can. No ordinary nurse will do.
To be this nurse, you need to become a globally-recognized nurse. You can be a respected nurse here in the Philippines, sure, but your experience here is different than when you have achieved the proper credentials you will need for other countries. Don’t you want to become a nurse in the Philippines that would be allowed to practice your craft in the United States, in Europe, in China, in Australia, or in any other country you’d want to give care for?
Being globally-recognized is a lot of hard work. The results are earned. For starters, those who wish to pursue international nursing registration in another country would have to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, current registration with an overseas regulatory authority, 2 years post-registration nursing practice, and a good command of the English language (may be measured by having an IELTS score of 7 in all bands), among others. Needless to say, one of the biggest investments in becoming aglobally-recognized nurse is having a good education – education that you won’t be able to get through short-term, certificate courses that are being offered to become a caregiver.
Okay, I get it, future nurse of the world. Studying is really expensive and not everyone can afford it. Let’s take a look at the return of your investment in your years of education. For nurses who have 1-5 years of experience, one would be able to earn a low of (equivalent in peso) 130,000 per month up to 175,000 per month in other countries. Senior nurses’ salary range between P184,000 to P303,000 a month. Does that salary compensate whatever you have invested prior to working as a professional nurse in another country? If your answer is not a resounding yes, then you can redo your Math.
Bringing the Philippine Healthcare to New Zealand
After seeing that salary, I’m sure a lot of you are still reading up to this point are already asking yourselves, “How and where do I start?” The good news is, Filipino skilled nurses, backed up with good education, training, and experience, already have the upper hand in this department as they are favorites for employment abroad. In fact, one of the countries that offer a vast opportunity for Nursing graduates is New Zealand. Nursing and healthcare is in New Zealand’s list of skills that the country would need on a long term basis (as indicated in NZ’s Long Term Skill Shortage List).
Why New Zealand?
New Zealand offers a lot of unique opportunities for registered nurses to practice in a diverse range of nursing practice areas, in a variety of settings. Nurses have various roles in New Zealand such as nurse educator, nurse manager, nurse practitioner, nurse researcher, enrolled nurse; registered nurse for aged care, child and family health, community health, critical care and emergency, developmental disability, disability rehabilitation, medical practice, medical, mental health, pediatrics, perioperative, surgical, veterinary nurse, mothercraft nurse, and a lot more. If you are the type of nurse who is seeking to improve professionally, trying to sharpen whatever skills you have acquired through hospital trainings, or someone who is really seeking an experience abroad to become a globally-recognized nurse, then New Zealand experience can give you that.
UCOL’S New Initiative for Nurses in 2015: Better and Bolder Graduate Diploma Programme
One of first steps that nurses can take to make it to the New Zealand healthcare system is to study and gain experience undera5-in-1 graduate diploma programme of one of the most prestigious schools in New Zealand, UCOL (University College of Learning).
What is the 5-in-1 program?
- Having the opportunity to study and train for a Graduate Diploma in Nursing in New Zealand is already an opportunity that is too good to pass up. Not everyone is being given the opportunity to study one qualification. But the thing is, it does not stop there. UCOL is giving you, future New Zealand nurse, an opportunity to finish a Short Course Competence for Registered Nurses (which is usually being offered as a separate course that also comes with a separate price) for FREE! You will be jointly enrolled in both of these programmes and complete them both at the same time in a span of nine months.It’s like a combo meal, a buy-1-get-1-FREE kind of a deal!
- If a 2-in-1 combo is not yet enough to entice you to this programme being offered by UCOL, then here’s another deal. The programme also covers Mental Health and includes a Mental Health clinic placement, where students can already gain experience and apply whatever they are learning throughout the course at once. As a result, upon your successful completion of the Graduate Diploma, you will already be able to meet the requirements for registration of the New Zealand Nursing Council without questions of conditions placed on your nursing practice! This is not the case for everyone who wants to become a registered nurse in New Zealand who has been met with conditions on their registration, excluding them from working in Mental Health. So what good news!
- UCOL is offering each of the Graduate Diploma students an option of paid employment for up to 20 days (up to 120 hours) during the 9-month program. Students can have the chance to be Lecturer Assistants within Nurse Education Team at UCOL. Not only will you be able to get additional pay while studying, you’d also gain more experience and will be able to learn more through interaction and references that will be provided by UCOL!
- Within the 9-month program, you will also gain up to 500 hours of real-life industry experience through clinical placements, industry visits, and nursing simulation. You will also have the opportunity to accompany the clinical lecturers as they visit the industry players and meet the right people a.k.a. future employers who will be able to help you make your dreams come true. This programme offer just keeps getting better and better.
- A Nursing class in the Philippines may consist of 30, even 40 students per class. In UCOL, each student has a designated personal tutor whom you will be able to bug with questions and will be working closely for the span of 9 months.
All of these course inclusions, of course, all lead to one thing: New Zealand registration and employment. UCOL has a 100% employment rate – all graduates doing excellent jobs within the New Zealand workforce upon graduation – without the Nursing Council even questioning the conditions of their nursing practice (which they have already been obtained while studying). This highlights the advantage of having the mental health content and clinical placement as part of the Graduate Diploma. Be ahead of the nursing game and on top of the career ladder in no time!
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[2-3] TeresitaBarcelo, national president of the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) (http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/213475/news/specialreports/oversupply-of-nurses-forces-them-to-pay-to-work-for-free)
 Soneshine, Tara. Nurses Urgently Needed: Another Critical Global Shortage. October 19, 2014