PRC sees more jobless nurses

By Mayen Jaymalin, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 26 2011 08:30 AM | Updated as of Dec 26 2011 06:05 PM

MANILA, Philippines - More nurses will be unemployed next year, the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) said yesterday.

Marco Sto. Tomas, of the PRC’s Board of Nursing (BON), said the current number of 230,000 jobless and underemployed nurses nationwide is rising.

“Although enrollment in nursing courses is going down, there are still many in the pipeline, considering that 68,000 graduates just took the licensure examination this month,” he said.

Many registered nurses are now willing to work for free or even pay hospitals so they could work and gain the necessary experience to qualify them for employment abroad, he added.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz has ordered the PRC, an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment to coordinate with other concerned government agencies and look into the condition of unemployed Filipino nurses.

The DOLE is also looking into coming out with new rules to regulate the “hiring” of nurse volunteers in hospitals and other medical facilities nationwide, she added.

No regulation exists to stop or penalize government and private hospitals from using the services of licensed nurses for free, Baldoz said.

Sto. Tomas said the PRC is now pushing for the implementation of the so-called Hastening Options for Productivity and Employment (HOPE) for Filipino nurses, he added.

“The program aims to promote entrepreneurship putting up their own business for Filipinos nurses who are now having difficulty finding employment,” he said.

The PRC and other concerned government agencies are exerting efforts to improve the lives of nurses, including the unemployed, he added.