Every year hundreds of thousands of nurses are trained in the Philippines, despite the fact that most of them have no hope of finding a nursing job at home or abroad.
There are already many hundreds of thousands of unemployed nursing graduates in the Philippines and many more working in call centres.
Tragically most have no hope of escaping the Philippines because they cannot get vital nursing experience following graduation. Without clinical practice they are unemployable as qualified nurses.
To make matters worse, many hospitals actually charge nurses to work on their wards in order to gain on the job experience!
The problems for these young nursing graduates started many years ago when almost every other parent pushed their child into nursing, which they thought would provide them with a passport to paradise.
This strategy may have worked ten years ago when there was a boom in overseas nurse recruitment by western countries.
But the days of mass recruitment by NHS hospitals in the UK or US nurse job recruiters have long gone.
Many dream of landing a nurse job in Canada, the Middle East or the US, but without post graduation clinical experience they are trapped.
As in other professions, such as law, a nursing degree without clinical experience is of little use to a hopeful nurse.
Most drop out of nursing and take jobs as medical reps or join the booming Philippine call centre industry.
Despite the difficulties some still wish to pursue an career in nursing overseas. One solution is to go abroad to upgrade their degrees to enable them to practice as a nurse in the west.
Some UK universities offer 1 year masters or top-up nursing degrees to nurse graduates from countries like the Philippines and India.
Student adviser Joanna Garlitos said the 1 year top-up or masters has proved popular with students holding nursing degrees which are not acceptable to the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council).
‘The top-up degree option saves years of study and over £20,000 in fees.’ She said.
‘A student with an overseas nursing degree can obtain a full UK degree by taking the final year only of a 3 year course.’
Whilst the UK study option may not be ideal for everyone, it does provide one way out of Philippine nursing trap.
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