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Filipino nurses seeking US jobs down by 7%

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino nurses who took the United States’ NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) for the first time have gone down seven percent from 5,076 during the first quarter of 2007 to 4,686 during the same period this year. The data came from Catanduanes Representative Joseph Santiago, who said that for the whole of 2007, a record total of 21,499 Filipinos took the NCLEX for the first time, excluding repeaters. He noted that this was up 6,328 or 42 percent compared to the 15,171 Filipinos that took the NCLEX for the first time in 2006. In a statement, Santiago said the 2007 figures translate to a daily average of some 60 Filipino nurses seeking to practice in the US. The congressman advocates the closing down of substandard Philippine nursing schools. He also supports the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) directive that compels every independent Philippine nursing licensure examination review center to promptly affiliate with an accredited college, or face closure. He said the move would ensure the scholastic accountability of review centers and check the spread of deficient ones, including fly-by-night operators. Santiago previously bared a list of the best and worst Philippine nursing colleges, based on the historical performance of their graduates in the local licensure examination. He said he wanted to discourage parents from sending their children to the low-grade schools. “Many young Filipinos aspire to become nurse practitioners because of the lure of lucrative overseas employment. We must protect this hope and dream by seeing to it that flunkey schools and reviewers are shut down,” he said. Nursing has become the preferred course of a growing number of college enrollees. The CHEd’s Office of Policy, Planning, Research and Information sees almost half a million or 497,000 students taking up the nursing course in the school year 2008-2009. Next to nursing, the second most favored course is hotel and restaurant management, with some 134,600 projected students; followed by computer science, with 100,700 expected students; criminology, 96,900; information technology, 95,300; accountancy, 89,500; business management, 82,800; elementary education, 67,000; English education, 52,300; and electronics and communications engineering, 48,200. — INQUIRER.net http://www.inquirer.net/specialfeatures/nursingmatters/view.php?db=1&article=20080426-132889

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