Saturday, June 30, 2007

Plight of Filipino war vets gets boost

Let me just make a short shoutout for Filipino war veterans. My grandfather was a veteran of the second world war and when I was growing up, we used to hunt down news together about anything related to war vets' affairs. My grandfather passed away a couple of years ago, but I'm still here hunting down news. He would have liked this particular story that came out in the Inquirer today:

The United States Senate veterans committee on Thursday approved a bill that would provide a special set of benefits for Filipino World War II veterans as well as others who had fought under the US flag.

Philippine Ambassador to Washington Willy Gaa said in a statement released by the Department of Foreign Affairs that Senate Bill No. 1315, or the Omnibus Benefits Bill, was approved in a special hearing conducted by the committee at the Dirksen Building on Capitol Hill.

The report continued:
The US Senate version of the bill provides for a minimum annual pension of $3,600 for a Filipino World War II veteran living alone and without dependents. The amount varies if he is married, with dependents or the beneficiary is a veteran’s widow.

The bill also increases the life insurance benefits of all disabled veterans and improves the benefits of soldiers with severe burns or traumatic injuries -- like those suffered by servicemen who served in Iraq.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Results of June 2007 nursing exam out in August

Marco Sto. Tomas, a commissioner on the Board of Nursing of the Professional Regulatory Commission, told the Inquirer today that results of the June 2007 nursing board exam will probably come out between Aug. 15 to Aug. 31.

Around 78,000 nursing graduates took this year's exam on June 11-12, including 13,000 examinees who passed the leakage-marred June 2006 nursing boards but had to re-take Tests 3 and 5, where questions were allegedly leaked to examinees. The re-take was recommended by the U.S. Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) which made it mandatory for June 2006 passers who want to be issued Visascreen certificates, a requirement for U.S. immigration applications.

Earlier, the Department of Labor and Employment said it would release the exam results of the re-takers ahead of the rest of the nursing examinees.

Because of the volume of examinees this June, the PRC has given itself at least a month more than the usual target release-date for the nursing exam results. For the December 2006 board exams, where 40,147 graduates took the test, the results were released in a little over a month.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Immigration reform dead; retrogression may come sooner after all

The proposed immigration reform bill is essentially dead, at least for now. Last Thursday's 46-53 vote in the U.S. Senate sent the bill back to the shelves to be re-opened probably not until its biggest supporter, President George Bush, leaves his office next year after the US Presidential elections.

Meanwhile, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, announced that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may revise the July visa bulletin and change the status for employment-based visa preferences. The Hammond Law Group, which is a member of the organization, says the government agency might retrogress most if not all of the employment-based visa categories with the revision.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, June 29, 2007

//News//End of the line for immigration reform in the US?

BBC reports that Wednesday's vote to continue and not limit debates on immigration reform could mean the end of the line for the controversial bill.

Even President George Bush couldn't convince fellow Republicans who voted against finalizing the bill, according to the Washington Post.

The Associated Press observed that all the presidential candidates from the Democratic party voted to limit the debate and push the bill forward. In the Republican cast of presidentiables, only Sen. John McCain of Arizona voted to keep the measure alive. Sen. Sam Brownback initially hinted to vote in favor of advancing the bill, but switched his vote at the least minute when he saw the bill was already going down.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

//News// U.S. immigration bill revived

U.S. senators on Tuesday voted 64-35 to revive the immigration reform bill, that would grant legal status to 12 million illegal immigrants in the country.

Several amendments to the bill are scheduled to be discussed and voted on this week by senators, who early this month thumbed down the bill. President George Bush mustered all his influence just to convince legislators to get the bill back for debates. Bush wants immigration reform to be his legacy as he steps down from office next year.

A final vote is set on Friday before Congress takes a break for the July 4 holiday.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

//How To// Fingerprinting requirement for nursing licensure

A common question we encounter is about the processing of the fingerprinting requirement for nursing licensure in the U.S. Different states have their own security check requirements but common to all of them is fingerprinting.

To learn about the specific security requirements in the state where you're applying for a license, just go to that state's Board of Nursing Web site. You can get a list of links and contact information of each state BON from the NCSBN Web site or you can simply google "(state) board of nursing" and you'll find the appropriate link.

There are three ways to get hold of the fingerprint cards: 1) You can ask a relative in the U.S. to go to the BON office; 2)You can go to the local U.S. Embassy and request for the card; 3)And last, you can write the BON to send you the fingerprint cards.

Usually you'll find instructions on how to request for the fingerprint card on the registration application packet. In California, for example, you can request cards online. Just fill out the form on their Web site to request a fingerprint card. You can ask as many as 10 cards but you probably won't need that many. In Illinois, you can email the board liason (FPR.PRFGROUP09(at) and request the card to be sent to your address. Expect to wait AT LEAST 2 weeks for the fingerprint cards to arrive.

Once you have the cards, fill out the requested information. You'll find the instructions on how to fill out the card in the application packet or application form for nursing registration. Next, follow these steps:

1) Go to the Carriedo office of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). If you don't know how to get there, go to Quiapo Church (hard to miss), stand in the middle of Plaza Miranda, say a little prayer first but don't close your eyes to avoid being robbed, and walk towards the left of the church (that's the left side if you're facing the church). Once you reach the place where old ladies sell candles, follow the street to your left (I think you'll see KFC somewhere there) and after you pass the first intersection, ask where the NBI office is. They'll point you to a building to the right, which is more like a mall, where you'll find the NBI Clearance Center on the third floor. Go early and avoid going on Mondays and Fridays because that's when most people go.

2) Pay P20 at the entrance gate. Don't skip this part. I've tried that and got through, but when I was at the processing area already, they asked for the receipt. Of course, I couldn't show any so I had to go back down to pay the fee.

3) Go to the 6th floor (Room 604) and just say you're processing a fingerprint card for the US. Fill out the log book and you'll be given a piece of paper.

4) Go one floor down to the fingerprinting area and ask for the person that handles fingerprint cards for the US. Although you'll see many tables there taking fingerprints, there's only about one or two assigned agents authorized to process the US-bound fingerprint cards.

*** There's some sort of a money-making scheme at the NBI where they sell you paper tissue to wipe off the ink on your fingers after your prints have been taken. They WON'T TELL YOU FIRSTHAND that they're selling you something, but they'll just ask for P5.00. Naturally you'll be left wondering what the payment's for, until you're handed the wet wipes.

5) After you're prints are taken and recorded on the cards, you're done. There's a Jollibee and a KFC store near the Quiapo Church if you get hungry from your NBI adventure. (Make sure you send some Chickenjoy over here to us, ok?).

Send the completed fingerprint cards according to the instructions on the state board application packet. As earlier mentioned, each state will have different requirement and instructions. In California, just send the card back to the state BON. The cost of fingerprint processing ($32) is already included in the total fees you pay them.

For Illinois, however, they require a third-party service provider to process your cards first. We've previously dealt with the Integrated Biometric Technology and they're a reputable company. Send the card to:

Integrated Biometric Technology
formerly Identix Identification Services)
1650 Wabash Ave Suite D
Springfield, IL 62704

IBT charges $54 for processing fingerprint cards, so get a bank draft from a bank where you have an account and enclose it together with the fingerprint card. Also, enclose a note asking IBT to send a confirmation receipt to Continental Testing Services once your cards are done.

If you have questions for IBT and to check for current processing fees, send an e-mail to Dianna Smith (d.smith(at)

When sending documents to the U.S., you can either choose the EMS service at the postal office or Fedex. When sending a bank draft, we suggest using a courier service like Fedex for security reasons.

*** TIP: Whenever possible, send your requirements with another person (a friend or a classmate) if you're both applying to the same state. The costs will come out cheaper because you can split the charges. Fedex charges around P1,400 for each mail you send out.

That completes your fingerprinting processing. If we can't stop you from sending us a chickenjoy meal, we'll gladly tell you where to send it. Har har har.

Good luck!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Well-loved Filipina nurse

There's a story that appears in the Enquirer today about a hospital in Cincinnati that treats wounded American soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan. What is interesting about this clinic for wounded soldiers, being run by the Cincinnati VA Medical Center, is that all the staff members have either worked in a military hospital in the past or have relatives in the military.

What's more interesting for us Filipinos is that one of the featured nurses in the story is a Filipina nurse who used to serve as an Army nurse here in the country and she's obviously well-loved both by her co-workers and patients.

Based on the article, Emma Bunag-Boehm is regarded by her co-workers as the clinic's "house mother". Even if I haven't met here, I know exactly what that's like. In the Philippines, there's always a nanay-nanayan (pseudo moms) anywhere we go, regardless if we're in our place of work, in school dorms, at church, or just about anywhere. You put Filipino women in one place long enough, and their maternal instincts always come out and everyone around them benefits. And I bet that's exactly what it's like for Ms Bunag-Boehm and the people around her.

"Dozens of patients have formed strong bonds with Bunag-Boehm. The walls of her office are covered with mementos they have brought her; and she keeps a 'Wall of Honor' in the hallway with photographs of many of them," the Enquirer article read.

View the rest of the story here.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

//News// 30 Brunei nurses, midwives visit Philippines

A contingent of 30 nurses and midwives from Brunei have arrived in the country to visit local hospitals as part of an educational trip organized by the RIPAS Hospital in Brunei.

The healthcare workers will visit several local health institutions, including the Philippine General Hospital and the Makati Medical Center, as part of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit Continuous Nursing Education (SICU CNE) Program. The group will be in the country until June 30.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

//Tips// Nurse volunteer program in East Ave Medical Center

The East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City offers a nurse volunteer program that runs for at least a month. Orientation is held every 2nd and 4th Monday of each month.

To inquire about the program, look for Ms. Helen Lagumen every Wednesday from 9am to 11am. Oddly enough, you won't get answers from other people in the nursing training office if you ask them about the volunteer. You have to look only for Ms. Lagumen on Wednesdays.

The requirements include: Resume with ID photo, PRC card, and you must fill out an application form.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Bugs in Windows Live Writer

I followed a link to Windows Live Writer from Blogger Buzz today. It Seems that the software had serious bugs that crippled user computers when the application was running. There were actually two bugs uncovered in the software: one had something to do with the installation of the program itself, while the second problem caused computers to crash when the application was being run.

Although I had seen the link days before today, I never got intrigued enough to follow it. I only got tempted to click on it today because I was looking for new ways to make posting to the Filipino Nursing Herald much easier than going through Blogger's log in page. Good thing I didn't chase the link much sooner. A fix has already been released to correct the problem in the Windows Live Writer application.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

//News// 47: Average age of U.S. nurses

The California Job Journal reports that the average nurse in the U.S. is 47 years old and in California the average age is 51 years old for operating room nurses, who are in such demand in the state.

To try and fill the gap, one facility, the Sequoia Hospital, opened its own nursing school, a joint program with San Francisco State. To attract more nurses, it has also even offered sign-on bonuses up to $7,500 for hard-to-fill specialty positions.

Kaiser Permanente says it too has seen difficult times getting more nurses to work on its hospital floors. To give nurses flexible work options, it has created a call center where "advice" nurses can take in calls, get symptoms of non-emergency patients and suggest treatments or consultations with physicians.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, June 25, 2007

//Tips// PNA's tentative nursing seminar schedule for 2007

Filipino nurses looking to earn additional credits for continuing education may be interested in seminar's being conducted by the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA). Here's their tentative schedule as of June 2007:

July 06 Understanding Hemodynamic Monitoring
July 13 Looking through Congenital Heart Defects
July 19 Seminar in Research (PART 1)
July 20 Operating Room Instrumentation and Techniques
July 26 Seminar in Research (PART 2)
July 27 Diabetes Mellitus
August 02 Seminar in Research (PART 3)
August 03 Suctioning Technique: Focus on Closed Suction Technique
August 09 Seminar in Research (PART 4)
August 10 Tuberculosis: Strategies for Prevention
August 17-18 Nursing Skills Fair
August 24 Understanding Basic EKG
August 31 Basic Hospital Infection Control Course
September 07 PICC Lines: Hands- On Approach to Learning
September 14 Patient Safety Goals
September 21 Basic Hospital Infection Control Course
September 28-29 Nursing Skills Fair
October 05 Cardiovascular Support Drugs: Practical Tips
October 12 Workshop on Skin and Wound Care
October 19 Basic Hospital Infection Control Course
October 26-27 Nursing Skills Fair
November 09 Care of the Patient on a Ventilator
November 16 Basic Hospital Infection Control Course
November 23-24 Nursing Skills Fair
December 07 Care of Patients with Cancer
December 14 Update on ACLS

For inquiries, you may contact the PNA at (02) 5251596, 5210937, and 4004430. Registration fees include certificates only and don't include snacks or meals.

Seminars are held at the PNA Auditorium, 1663 F.T. Benitez St., Malate, Manila, from 8 am to 12 noon. The PNA advises interested participants to confirm their registration at least a day before each seminar.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

//News// Arroyo wants trade deal with Japan ratified

President Arroyo appealed to local legislators to ratify the controversial Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) which would open greater trade exchange between the two countries.

The JPEPA calls for the scrapping of import duties for automobiles coming from Japan, while Philippine products exported to Japan will also see reduced taxes, leading to complete removal after several years.

More relevant to nurses, the JPEPA would remove the restriction on Filipino nurses and caregivers to work in Japan. Under the pact, about 1,000 nurses and caregivers would be allowed to work in the country every year, but applicants must complete a three-year language and skills training course and pass the Japanese licensure test before being issued a work visa.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sunday, June 24, 2007

//News// Nurse shortages likely to worsen as boomers age

The Associated Press reports that the prognosis for the nursing shortage in the U.S. looks increasingly bleak as America's elderly population grows alarmingly large in the next few decades.

Check out the story here.

Meanwhile, President Bush continued to urge Senators to work on the proposed immigration reform act. Legislators have agreed to tackle a limited number of amendments starting next week before putting the bill to a final vote.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Nursing: It's a guy thing, too

I came across this interesting poster of male nurses that was used by the Oregon Center of Nursing in 2004 to recruit more men into the nursing field. Obviously, women have dominated the nursing field and largely outnumber male nurses. Studies in the U.S. reveal that there are only about 146,902 male nurses or just 5.4% of the total nursing population in that country.

Men in nursing is an intriguing area of study in the Philippines, where nursing has been historically defined as a domain of women. Studies of Philippine culture would show that caring for the sick and nursing the wounded have always been a job for the women. Men, on the other hand, do male chores like planting rice, fixing the house and drinking "lambanog" at the end of the day. It is the image of the Filipina mother that is more compassionate, more caring, and thus more capable of being a carer for the sick than Filipino men. Men were regarded as incapable of showing compassion and lacked a true caring attitude that nurses were supposed to have. The few men who ventured into the field of nursing in the past, especially before the 90's, were either called "soft" or "eccentric".

Increasingly, though, more men are going into nursing, not just here in the Philippines but also all around the world. A study on the number of male nurses employed in local hospitals and clinics would certainly open up new areas of research, but unfortunately, I haven't encountered one. I would certainly encourage others to pursue one just to know how cultural values have evolved with regard to the nursing profession.

As a male nurse, trying to make his own way into a field that has been the traditional empire of women, I would love to see more men going into nursing myself--not to compete with the other sex but only to debunk the age-old notion that men are meant only for war and do not have a caring side.

To reach more men with this message, however, another man has to convey it. It has to come from another man, that's why there's such a thing as a "man-to-man talk". To quote a line from the Web site: "Nursing is a great deal for men, but a man needs to hear that from another man. It's a guy thing." I agree.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, June 22, 2007

U.S. immigration reform nears Senate shoot-out

You've heard it before, truth can be painful and reality can bite you in the butt, but Narco News's Al Giordano doesn't need to twist reality to put a hilarious face to the colorful personalities that dot the current immigration reform debate in the U.S.

Here's a very informative, yet very entertaining, article on the U.S. immigration issue, which is again up for debate in the Senate starting either this weekend or early next week.

US Immigration Reform Bill Moves Closer to Passage – and a Paradigm Shift in US Politics

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The cost of a nursing education in the Philippines

Nursing school tuition in the Philippines can run up to P60,000 or more per semester. Depending on the institution, tuition will probably cost from P500 to P800 per unit for mid to low-end colleges. High end schools would probably charge P100,000 or more per school semester. Hospital affiliation fees command huge pay outs, ranging from P20,000 to over P35,000 per semester.

Affiliation fees are what students pay supposedly for being allowed to intern at a hospital, but if you look at what students these days are getting from their hospital experience, you'd think hospital internships are nothing more than just glorified training for taking vital signs--blood pressure, temperature, pulse and respiratory rates. There's simply too much of that going on but too little of real nursing education about patient care and safe drug administration. Clinical instructors who are supposed to teach students eight hours every meeting, spend less than two hours with students because they've got two other classes to handle on the same 8-hour shift. It's not the instructors' fault every time, of course. Overbearing students, particular the older ones, the second-coursers, sweet-talk their preceptors and soften their hearts with cakes and little souvenirs from a recent trip to Hong Kong or Thailand, so instead of getting down for patient care, they all end up enjoying coffee in the hospital cafeteria or a nearby Starbucks.

Earlier this week, we wrote that enrollment for nursing courses went up 30% from 486,233 last year to 632,108 students this year. If you do the math and assume that each student pays at least P60,000 per semester, that's at least P29,173,980,000 going to schools, and that's just for regualr school fees. We haven't even computed school uniforms, books, and nursing equipment such as the trusty BP apparatus and Littman stethoscope (which alone costs at least P5,000), among others.

It's no wonder people now call nursing as the "National College Course of the Philippines". Our colleges and universities are bursting with nursing students, local hospitals can't absorb them in anymore. To be precise, it's not that they "can't", it's more accurate to say, they "won't". Given their limited budget, they wouldn't spend another peso to get new nurses, even though hiring nursing graduates these days costs less than P10 a bucket.

Every local hospital has wisened up and taking advantage of the huge local nursing education demand. Each of them now has some sort of training program going on. A few offer exceptional training, but most give out an impression that they're just out for your money. Think about it: hospitals charge you P6,500 to P8,000 for a three-month training course but all you do is stand in a corner of the nurses station and wait until some patient needs to have his blood sugar taken. Where's the nursing care in that?

If you're a fresh graduate, a first-courser as we love to say (that's a person who didn't go through MED or LAW SCHOOL as a prerequisite to a nursing degree), you'd have to suffer first before you can tell your parents that you spent the family's fortune on how to be a master at blood pressure assessment.

Useful link:
List of nursing schools in the Philippines that accept second-coursers

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

//News// Michigan drops CGFNS certificate exam for foreign nursing applicants

Michigan will no longer require foreign nurse applicants to pass the certificate exam administered by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) before they are allowed to take the licensure exam for the state.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm on July 14 signed a new bill that removes the mandatory CGFNS test requirement for nurses educated outside the U.S. In the past, the CGFNS certificate was a pre-requisite for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for registered nurses.

Instead of the CGFNS exam, foreign nurses will simply need to submit their credentials to determine that their education is equivalent to a U.S. nursing course.

Filipinos make up majority of all foreign-trained nurses in Michigan, where a shortage of 7,000 nurses is expected by 2010 and 18,000 by 2015, figures from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth showed.

Additional source for this story:
Extra nursing test dropped
US States that no longer require the CGFNS exam

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

//News// Local trade union wants close monitoring of nursing schools

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) wants the government to closely monitor nursing school across the country to protect students from sub-standard education.

The TUCP, in a statement, said enrollment in nursing schools continue to surge. Enrollment this school year in more than 400 nursing schools have jumped by 30% to 632,108 students from 486,233 last year.

TUCP spokesman Alex Aguilar urged the Commission on Higher Education to closely monitor schools and step up their drive against schools that act merely as "diploma mills".

Aguilar also called for improved regulation of the local nursing eligibility examination to protect its integrity

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wound, ostomy, continence nursing in demand

Hardly anyone in my batch ever ambitioned to be an ostomy nurse, but I know several people who've specialized in this area of nursing who are successful in their careers. With the aging population in the U.S., both of patients and health workers, it looks like these specializations will need increasing numbers of nurses now and in the near future.

Nursing shortages afflict some specialties

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, June 18, 2007

U.S. nursing shortage needing attention

I came across two articles today on the Internet about the nursing shortage in the U.S. Both stories call for greater assistance from the federal government to plug the increasingly-growing problem.

Concern mounts over caregiver shortage
Nursing shortages fuel debate on foreign workers

Here's an opinion piece on the aging population of the US:
Baby boomers need immigrants

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sunday, June 17, 2007

//News// U.S. legislators bring back immigration reform to Senate floor

U.S. President George Bush is mustering all his clout in getting the Senate to get back to working on a comprehensive immigration reform bill that was trashed by legislators last week.

Bush, who is hoping to make the immigration reform bill his legacy, personally met with legislators and burned the lines to talk to some senators, hoping to win their approval of the proposed legislation.

Legislators agreed to bring the bill back on the Senate floor after Bush pledged $4.4 billion to shore up the country's border patrol facilities and strengthen the agency that watched over it.

After several closed=door meetings, it was agreed that both Democrats and Republicans would each be given a dozen opportunities to amend the bill. After which a final vote shall be made.

The Senate goes on break in two weeks just before the fourth of July celebrations. With limited time to discuss the immigration reform bill and dissent against it still high, especially among Republicans, the fate of the proposed bill is still up in the air.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The problem with the new EB3 visas

Just the other day, we've seen the US announcing that it would again open up applications for immigrant working visas or the employment-based visa category 3 beginning July 1. Many have been anxiously waiting for this because it's a step closer to their American dream.

I have to admit, I'm one of those who celebrated the announcement. Although I didn't exactly throw a party, I certainly didn't celebrate just by sitting down either. As the last of the confetti falls on my room floor, I realized that the lifting of the retrogression and the celebrations may be short-lived after all. Some predict that visas would be gone again by October, but I'm starting to fear that the party could end as early as the first week of July.

Remember what happened to the H-1B visa or the working visa? All the visas were goobled up in less than two days. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services even had to raffle off the allocations because there were simply too many applications that came in, several times more than the number of visas available.

The problem with the EB-3 visas that are being offered starting July 1 is that the visa category is not exclusively intended for nurses, in fact, some say, nurses are perhaps, in the mind of immigration officials, the last persons who would get the new visas. There are thousands of other workers, most notably scientist, information technology experts, and teachers, who are already in the U.S. just waiting for their applications to be current. So, there is a possibility that the volume of applicants for the first few days could overwhelm the scarce supply in just a matter of days or weeks.

Of course, these are all speculation at this point. Like every other nurse in the Philippines, I'm hoping for the best... but if the best turns out to be something I wasn't expecting to see, then I pray that the turnout would be better than what I had actually hoped for.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, June 15, 2007

//Opinion// Great news, indeed

The lifting of the retrogression is great news indeed. This means that pending applications for nurses immigrating to the U.S. will be moving again beginning July 1.

Filipino nurses who are already in the U.S. typically go through the Adjustment of Status (AOS) process. Even if you're already in the U.S., though, you'll need a willing employer to file the immigrant petition (I-485) in your behalf. You can't file the I-485 on your own. Typically, employers pay for your application fees, but if for some reason you'll be paying for these fees on your own, then better hurry up completing your papers because the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is set to raise fees beginning July 30.

The I-485 fee will increase from $325 to $355, the I-140 (adjustment of status) fee will shoot up to $905 from $325, while the I-130 (petition for alien relatives) will go up to $355 from $190.

Employers normally don't shoulder for the application fees for a candidate's family members.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

//Opinion// In response to TOEFL question

If you're planning to take the TOEFL, better for the TOEFL iBT because it already integrates all the test parts--reading, writing, speaking and writing.

In the reading part, you'll be reading a couple of passages and then answering questions about them. It's the same for listening, where you'll listen to a talk, or a classroom discussion, or a conversation between two people, and then answering questions. I think, though I'm not sure, you'll get about 60 minutes for each of these parts.

The speaking part gets a bit tricky because you'll listen to a lecture or a conversation and then you'll be asked to summarize and give your opinion. Here, you will also be asked about your thoughts on everyday things like, "Describe how birthdays are celebrated in your country" and things like that.

The same format is followed in the writing part, except of course, you'll be using a computer to write down your answers. Typically you'll need to write 200-300 word essays. An example of a possible topic is, "Which world leader do you admire most and why?".

More information about the TOEFL can be found on
TOEFL Books From

Good luck!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, June 14, 2007

//News// Retrogression is lifted

Visa retrogression for nurse applicants to the U.S. has been lifted, based on the July 2007 bulletin issued by the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS).

Experts predict that immigrant visas for foreign-educated nurses, physical therapists, and their dependents would be available up to October, when the U.S. fiscal year begins. The lifting of the retrogression came after the CIS, under Congress' approval, opened new employment-based visas due to a short-fall of approved applicants this year.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

//Tips// Lung Center sets skills training for nurses

The Lung Center of the Philippines will begin its regular basic skills training program for nurses on July 16. The program, which runs for three months, costs P6,500. They've obviously hiked their fees, which was still P5,500 in the last training period.

We're unsure if slots are still open, but those interested may call the the hospital's nursing training office at 924-6101 loc. 270.

Application requirements include: resume, TOR, diploma, RLE, board rating, license, PRC certificate, 1x1 picture, and P300 for chest X-ray.

The hospital maintains a dorm for nurses so if you live from outside Manila, you don't have to worry too much about where to stay during the program.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

//Opinion// Hot, humid, yet prosperous Bahrain

In April, the Philippines and Bahrain signed a memorandum of agreement opening up opportunities for Filipino doctors and nurses in the fastest growing economy in the Arab region. In return, Arab medical workers will come to the Philippines to train and gain experience.

The Philippine Ambassador to Bahrain says Filipinos have started to flood the Bahraini work place. In 2006, there were 11,736 Filipino workers being hired and re-hired in the state known as the Pearl of the Persian Gulf. That's 17.7% more than in 2005 when only 9,968 Pinoys were recruited in the state that's claimed to be the site of the Gardem of Eden in the Bible.

With the door now wide open to Pinoy medical workers, we can be sure that the number of Filipino contract workers in Bahrain will only shoot up, just like oil rising from this mineral-rich nation.

There's an estimated 40,000 Filipinos now living in Bahrain, 5,000 of which are dependents, while another 5,000 are undocumented workers.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, June 11, 2007

//Tips// Ortho's hiring, PGH is not

Got this bit of info from our friend, Bing:

The Philippine National Orthopedic Hospital is hiring nurses up to this time. To apply, just bring along original and photocopies of your credentials (TOR, resume, board rating, certificates, license, etc.) and submit them in person to the nursing personnel office. They'll schedule you for an exam and if you pass, you'll through a series of interviews. For the exam, just brush up on your Ortho lessons back in college.

If Orthopedic is hiring, the Philippine General Hospital has stopped hiring temporarily. They still conduct recruitment activities though and will accept anyone who wants to apply. If you pass and complete the entire recruitment stage, you'll be placed in a priority list and will be able to start work once a vacancy opens up.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

//Opinion// Nurses in trouble

Time is running out for five Bulgarin nurses and a Palestinian doctor who was sentenced to death by Libyan authorities for deliberately infecting up to 400 children with AIDS.

The medical workers have been in custody since 1999, after being sentenced to death row in 2004 and in an appeal in 2006. EU officials led by Frank-Walter Steinmeier, also the German foreign minister is leading an international appeal to free the medical workers.

Will Libyan authorities give in to the appeal?

Being a nurse myself, it's pretty hard to imagine infecting as many as 400 children with a blood-borne disease like AIDS, unless all of them received the same AIDS-tinged blood. Perhaps if you use the same scalpel on as many mothers in-labor without disinfecting it after every use, then there might be a chance you could infect 100 perhaps? But 400? Unlike a staphylococcal infection, AIDS isn't easily transmitted through infected objects we pass around. That's why it can only be transmitted through blood transfusions, blood-tinged scalpels or needles, and sexual contact.

The Independent reports that AIDS had been rampant in the Libyan community even before the nurses even began working there. So, I'm very curious about how these medical workers were tried, if they received a fair trial at all.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

//News// CGFNS lawyers to observe RP nurses licensure exam

An estimated 13,000 nurse examinees from the scandal-tainted June 2006 nursing board exam are set to retake Tests 3 and 5 today, joining around 70,000 other nursing graduates who will take Philippine licensure exam for the first time.

Lawyers hired by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) today will observe the tests that will be conducted in selected testing centers across the country.

Dr. Leonor Rosero, head of the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC), said in a TV interview this morning that the first day of the exam yesterday went smoothly. Yesterday's tests covered subjects from Nursing Fundamentals, Maternity and Pedia, Community Health, and Medical Surgical. The retakers today will take their exam about Medical Surgical and Psychology.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, June 9, 2007

//News//What's next for U.S. immigration effort?

The fate of the controversial immigration reform bill, which was thumbed down by U.S. senators on a 50-45 vote Thursday night, is now at the hands of President George Bush.

Bush will need to convince fellow Republicans to go back to the drawing table on an immigration reform act, said Cody Wertz, spokeman of Senator Ken Salazar who was one of the legislators in a bipartisan group that drafted the immigration bill.

On his way back from the G8 Summit in the German town of Heiligendamm, Bush is said to have already started calling key legislators to get the proposed bill back on the Senate floor.

The President made phone calls to three key Republican senators while on board Air Force One. Next week, he plans to personally visit the Capitol and gain support for the immigration bill.

Wertz said the fate of the immigration reform bill will depend on whether Bush can "twist the arms" of Republican senators to renegotiate a compromise. "The president has to help us push this through. If he doesn't, the bill is most likely dead, at least for the near future," he said.

Additional sources for this story.,1299,DRMN_15_5578566,00.html
Bush to push immigration reform bill in person on Hill

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, June 8, 2007

//News// New immigration proposal friendlier to foreign-educated nurses

The reincarnation of the immigration reform being considered in the U.S. Congress would give foreign-educated nurses a chance to apply for work on permanent green cards.

The new proposed bill would include 180,000 H1-B Visas for skilled workers, 200,000 to 400,000 foreign guest worker permits and 370,000 green card work permits annually, according to a report by the Business Journal.

Critics of the proposal, however, claim that this would open the flood gates for foreign nurses, who may have lower skills, drive down wages, and displace American nurses.

According to a study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be one million vacant nursing positions by 2010, as many baby-boomers near retirement age and U.S. schools failing to produce enough nurses due to a lack of teachers.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

//News// U.S. immigration reform suffers setback

U.S. Senators voted down a proposed immigration reform bill, 50-45, but advocates pledged they would continue to push for the nation's most sweeping immigration initiative in years.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled out the bill immediately after a vote Thursday evening, which was called to get a cloture on the bill, resulted in favor of continuing debates. Discussions on proposed amendments to the bill, which seeks to give 12 million illegals in the U.S. a path to citizenship and introduce a guest-worker program, would continue in the following weeks.

Additional sources for this story:
Immigration bill stalls in Senate
Careful Strategy Is Used to Derail Immigration Bill

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

//News// U.S. continues to face critical shortage of nurses reports that the U.S. continues to face a critical shortage of nurses as some 80 million baby-boomers are set to retire soon. Although there are more applications to nursing schools that in the past, the lack of educators are forcing schools to turn applicants away.

Read the full story from the NPR Web site by clicking here or listen to the audio report by clicking here.

demand for nurses
The demand for nurses is expected to outstrip the number coming out of nursing schools in the coming years, as some 80 million baby-boomers near retirement age.

Although applications to nursing schools are up 40 percent from a decade ago, there aren't enough educators to train them.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

//How To// Applying for a license in New Zealand

Filipino nurses who wish to register with the Nursing Council of New Zealand must show proof that they are registered with the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) of the Philippines as a nurse and they must either 1) have completed an assessment program or 2) have earned a qualification equivalent to a New Zealand nursing qualification.

Only a nursing degree earned from an Australian nursing school is deemed equivalent to a NZ nursing qualification, so unless you have the money to enroll in Australia or NZ, the best route to take is the 6-week competency assessment program.

To simplify the application process, here's what you need to do:

1. Take the IELTS. A band of 7 on all parts of the exam is required by the NZ Nursing Council. An average of 7, with scores below 7 in any part will not qualify you for registration. You must consistently score at least 7 in all parts--reading, listening, writing and speaking.

2. Once you have the IELTS, contact the NZ Nursing Council. You will need to download a form which you will need to fill up and then send certified copies of your passport, birth certificate, mariage certificate, curriculum vitae, and police clearance, among others.

You can get the form here.

Remember that documents requested by the Council must be authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs. Typically, you will need to request your documents from the appropriate agency (NSO, PRC, etc.) and then go to the DFA for the documents to be authenticated and affixed with a seal.

3. The NZ Nursing Council will also require you to submit your IELTS report. You must request this from the testing agency which will directly send your report to the Council.

4. Once you have all your documents ready, send them to the Council together with NZ$465 registration fee.

5. Once your application has been processed, the Council will advise you to enroll in an accredited Assessment Program.

You can get a list of approved programs here.

*About the Assessment Program*

An introduction to nursing in New Zealand including cultural safety and legal requirements of practice. Overseas registered nurses seeking registration in New Zealand need to apply to the Nursing Council for registration criteria and provide the Department of Nursing and Health Studies with evidence of this and of English language assessment (for ESOL students) prior to commencing the course. Clinical evaluation will be based on the NZ Nursing Council Competencies.

NZ$ 3600 Tuition Fee (ranges from NZ$3,500 to NZ$4,500)
NZ$ 1050 Homestay (NZ$175 * 6weeks) (inside campus dormitory)
NZ$ 230 one-time reg. fee
NZ$ 80 for the medical/travel insurance (9 wks)
NZ$ 4960 Total

6. If you have the notice already from the Council, you can apply for a student visa with the NZ Embassy.

7. Once you complete your assessment program, you may apply for a work-to-residence permit which you can use to be employed in NZ.

There are several Filipino groups in New Zealand who can help you make the transition. Look up pinoyz2nz in Yahoogroups if you think you'll need assistance.

If you don't have work experience, it would be difficult for you to be recruited by a government hospital in NZ where the pay is higher compared to other institutions. Some nursing homes, however, hire nurses even without prior experience.

Click here to get more information about the registration process in New Zealand.

Good luck.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, June 4, 2007

//News//U.S. CIS issues advisory

Reprinting USCIS advisory:

USCIS Advises Public Regarding Immigration Fraud and Proposed Immigration Reform Legislation

This notice is to inform the public that although the U.S. Senate is debating and considering immigration legislation (S.1348), that bill has NOT passed into law. Legislation must be passed by both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and signed by the President, before it becomes law. Information about the legislative process is available from the Library of Congress (

If immigration reform legislation does become law, U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will advise the public on how to proceed. Until then, individuals should be cautious of any persons, organizations or businesses claiming to assist in applying for benefits under the immigration reform legislation.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sample NCLEX Training Videos


Yahoo! News Search Results for nurses