Filipino nurses job-hunting in America up 23%

Community News & Features May 25, 2018 at 3:45 pm

Among foreign-educated nurses, Filipinos still most persistent job seekers in the US

A total of 7,791 Filipino nurses hoping to practice their profession in America took the US licensure examination for the first time in 2017, ACTS-OFW Rep. Aniceto ‘John’ Bertiz said on Saturday.

The figure is up 23 percent versus the 6,322 Philippine-educated nurses that took America’s eligibility test, or the NCLEX, for the first time in 2016, according to Bertiz.

Citing newly released statistics from the US National Council of State Boards of Nursing Inc. (NCSBN), Bertiz said a total of 1,305 Indians, 820 Puerto Ricans, 749 South Koreans and 586 Jamaicans also took the NCLEX for the first time in 2017.

Bertiz said Nigerians and Cubans also compete with Filipinos in the US nursing labor market.

“Without question, among foreign-educated nurses, Filipinos remain the most persistent job hunters in America,” Bertiz said.

“Compared to other countries, many Filipino nurses still prefer the US because, apart from the superior hourly pay, they also find it easier to work and live there, considering our cultural affinity with America,” Bertiz said.

The median pay of registered nurses in America was $70,000 per annum, or $33.65 per hour in 2017, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Since 1995, Bertiz said a total of 176,801 Filipino nurses have taken the NCLEX for the first time, without counting repeaters.

The NCLEX refers to the NCSBN’s National Council Licensure Examination, and the number of foreigners taking the eligibility test for the first time is regarded a strong indicator as to how many of them are trying to obtain gainful employment in America.

Nurses in America work in hospitals, physician’s offices, home healthcare services, and nursing care facilities, while others work in outpatient clinics and schools, or serve in the military, the BLS said.

Overall, the BLS said job opportunities for nurses in America are expected to be good because of employment growth and the need to replace workers who retire over the coming decade.

“However, the supply of new nurses entering the labor market has increased in recent years. This increase has resulted in competition for jobs in some areas of the country. Employers also may prefer candidates who have some related work experience or certification in a specialty area,” the BLS said.