October 2, 2023

Nursing graduates who have yet to pass the licensure examination could work as nursing assistants, the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) said.

PRC Commissioner Jose Cueto, Jr. said hiring non-board passers is part of the earlier pronouncement of Health Sec. Teodoro Herbosa.

“On the way to taking or re-taking the licensure examinations, that may be a good strategy,” Cueto said in a television interview.

They will be under the supervision and responsibility of registered and licensed nurses and their tasks, including the limitations of their practice, will be defined.

However, Cueto admitted hiring of nursing assistants would not replace the seasoned nurses leaving to seek better pay abroad.

Nurses who are experienced in the emergency room, operating room, recovery room, and intensive care unit are often recruited in other countries.

Department of Health data as of 2021 show that about 50 percent of 600,000 nurses with active licenses are migrant nurses.

Currently, the DOH offers a salary grade 15 (P33,000 to P35,000) for nurses.

Common destinations for nurses such as the United States, the United Kingdom and the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand are offering high salaries and more benefits with which the DOH cannot compete, Cueto said.

But the government could tap the remaining 50 percent of licensed nurses in the country and entice them to work in the hospitals as a way of serving the country.

According to the PRC registry, these nurses have unspecified practice or have gone to other occupations instead of working in the 110,000 private hospitals or 42,000 public hospitals. – PNA