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ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses

Global Brain Drain

Published April 10, 2008 8:55 AM by Erin James
It might be trite but true, the demand for nurses in the U.S. is growing. And recruiters continue to reach across continents for their new hires.

This might help U.S. facilities. But what is it doing to the countries from which they hail?

A news article in the Philippines' Sun Star Baguilo reports nurses on average stay about 2-3 years at a hospital on their homeland before seeking more lucrative careers oversees.

New nurses staying on board for 1-2 years after school is common in the states. But there is an interesting twist to this particular story.

Filipino physicians are now enrolling in nursing courses, according to the article. At the hospital where this occurs, an administrator reports the lack of physicians is not felt.

That might be because the country has an "oversupply of nurses." An article posted on Global Nation provides a headline most U.S. nurses can only dream of - "Oversupply of Nurses Plagues RP"

But too much or too little of one thing cannot be good.

According to University of the Philippines College of Nursing Dean Dr. Josefina Tuazon, due to the numerous nursing graduates this year at 67,728, hospitals turn to volunteer nurses - cheaper because they are unpaid - to accommodate the new grads.

Without a local demand, new grads go unemployed. And when they do get those 2-3 years in somewhere, many seek high-paying jobs in the states, Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration deployed a total of 13,525 licensed nurses around the world in 2006.


Yes, its true the Philippines has over supply of RNs, but the problem there are only few job opportunites for them especially in the hospital. So most of the nurses works as a volunteer or private duty even though they dont get paid just to have an experience. On the other hand, once these nurses are employed in the hospital they dont stay long they just get a 2 - 3 years experience and off they go to any parts of the world. We can't blame the Filipino nurses from seeking greener pastures abroad with the economic crisis that the country is facing. They want to give a better future for their families even if it takes to be away form their loved ones for so many years, amidst the loneliness and homesickness that they are experiencing in place of the money that they make to improve the quality of lives of their families.

Joel Clemente, BSN, RN, MAN

Joel Clemente, Geriatics/LTC - RN, Heritage Hall West May 3, 2008 10:58 PM
Agawam MA

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