Illegal Recruitment Responsible for Oversupply of Filipino Nurses

It seems that the statements of several developed countries, about 10 or so years ago, regarding the need for more nurses have greatly affected the attitudes of most families. With the promise of jobs for foreign nurses, a lot of countries who had large numbers of struggling families worked hard to have a nurse from the family, hoping to have them employed abroad and help them with their financial struggles.

After such statements were released, almost every Philippine Universities and colleges alike had to set up a nursing department, otherwise their institution would face the likelihood of closing down from being short in business. A vast number of recruitment agencies were created too, aiming to help out with jobs and visas for nurses who were enticed to a much brighter future.

But just about 10 years later, it seems that the picture has become quite different. Most major developed countries have been suffering economic troubles of their own, thus cutting back on importing foreign nurses and are prioritizing their own instead. The hopes for those outside US and UK who had taken up nurses and gained their licenses have fallen short of being realized.

But this has not made Filipinos lose hope however, as the production of nurses still went on in large numbers. Nowadays, we find Filipino families urging their children, more especially the daughters, to take up nursing in the hopes of landing a promising career in the other side of the world.

Last year, an approximated 100,000 of nurses were in schooling, a majority of them enticed by false promises of careers in other countries. Several recruitment agencies in the country are walking on the borderline of the law. These agencies even hire foreign nationals as their advisers to make it look more promising and realistic.

Apparently, these sprouting of numerous illegal recruitment agencies have been responsible for the oversupply of Filipino nurses in the country. Even though demand for nurses abroad have dwindled down, these agencies raise the hopes of the nurse and her family by promising them a secure job abroad and these agencies charge for a fat amount of fee that most families struggle with. Most recruitment agencies in the Philippines have reinvented themselves and have become education consultancies instead. Student visas are one way of luring more nurses to sign a contract with their agencies. Financial steps are then discussed along the way, but of course, the fee has to be paid initially, prior to the start of the persuasive, realistic discussions.

These illegal activities have not escaped the eyes of the government though, as Philippine vice-president Jejomar Binay has headed an investigation against such illegal recruitment agencies. According to Binay, this should serve as caution to all illegal recruiters and to those who plan to take advantage of overseas Filipino workers (OFW’s). Binay warns these agencies, saying their days are numbered.

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Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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