Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Waiting for the June 2007 Philippine Nurse Licensure Exam results

The anxiety of waiting for the results of a major test, like the June 2007 Philippine Nurse Licensure exam, builds up when you expect that an announcement would come out soon. As the days draw nearer to a target date or a day that you'd expect the results to be published, the tension gradually intensifies. Some people cope adequately, while others lose sleep, lose appetite, and even, sometimes, lose their mind. (I'm exaggerating.)

The Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC), which administers the nursing licensure test, earlier said results for the June 2007 board exams would be available by the middle of August. I assume that's from Aug. 15 onwards, or about two months after the exams were conducted in various parts of the country.

Throughout the history of PRC, they've been terrible at calculations and predictions. Of course, you have to marvel at their efficiency and speed when processing license tests for master plumbers, foresters, and certified mill foremen. But one has to wonder if they use a different abacus or crystal ball when predicting release dates for results of nursing and teacher tests.

When I took the boards, the PRC's calculations were off and the results came out a month later. Never mind that there were about 40,000 or so examinees then, but an efficient agency would have known that years ahead and made adjustments. That's where planning comes in. If you think about it, the PRC ideally should be the most efficient of all regulatory agencies in the country. Why shouldn't it be? You've got all the country's best and brightest professionals as members.

Well, alright, there are over 78,000 nursing applicants that took the test last June. But they knew that even before the first nursing graduate applied for the test.

Hopefully, the PRC doesn't overshoot so much its target of releasing the results by mid-Aug. With a delay in the results, they're turning Labor Secretary Arturo Brion into a Madam Auring copycat, complete with the wayward prophecies. Didn't he announce earlier that the results for the June 2006 retakers would come out three weeks after the board exam?

NEXT: In my next post, I'll give some suggestions about what you can do while waiting for the results of the June 2007 nurse licensure exam.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Filipina nurse awarded Best Nurse Leader in US

Filipina nurse Lily Maniquiz Lara has been awarded the 2006 Best Nurse Leader in a search conducted by Advance, a US-based nursing publication.

Lara was cited primarily for her leadership in the development and implementation of a successful program that reduced patient falls by as much as 80% in the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System's Nursing Home Care Unit 213-2, among her other accomplishments.

The Philippine Nurses Association-America in Southern California had earlier awarded Lara with the Excellence in Nursing Management and she had been previously awarded the Excellence in Nursing Innovation in 2004.

Advance also cited Lara's effective management style, which helped her get a 95% staff satisfaction mark in a survey conducted by the publication. "When it comes to pulling people together to get the job done, Lara relies on her innate ability to connect with a wide variety of personalities to create trusting relationships," Advance writer Luke Cowles wrote about the Pinay nurse.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Emerging nurse specialty: Blackbelt Nursing

If you haven't decided yet on which nursing specialty you want to go into or if you're tired of the humdrum of the medical-surgical floor, here's an emerging nursing specialty that you might want to check out. It's called "blackbelt nursing"--where the first intervention for an aggressive or violent client is to deliver a karate chop as a sedative.

I'm just kidding, of course. But you never know how things progress in the future.

Check out this story from news.com.au:
Docs, nurses take self-defense

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Filipino caregivers face deportation in UK

More than a dozen Filipino senior carers in Cambridge in the UK may have to leave the country after the local government has refused to renew their work permits.

The refusal comes after the removal of senior carers off the national shortage jobs list. Many of the Filipinos facing deportation have lived in Cambridge for four years.

The decision has been appealed, with city MP David Howarth taking on their case.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Leakage mars Canadian nursing licensure exam

Canadian authorities have begun investigations of a security breach in its own nursing licensure exam in June. Questions that were part of the licensure test were leaked days before the exam was conducted, according to a report by thestar.com.

Officials of the Canadian Nursing Association said only questions in the short-answer part (fill-in-the-blank) were compromised. These short-answer questions comprise 15% of the entire test, while multiple choice questions make up the rest of the day-long exam, which had 250 questions in all.

Some 5,300 candidates took the nursing test, which is a requirement for licensure in Canada.


I'm eagerly awaiting how CGFNS will react to this scandal, which strikes so much resemblance to the Philippines' own leakage controversy. Canadian authorities contend that those who passed the exam are qualified nurses, despite being scored based only on the multiple-choice portion of the test, a strategy which our own PRC employed--scoring candidates based on the questions that were not leaked. The CGFNS still reacted harshly to Filipino candidates and I'm wondering if it would be consistent and impose the same restrictions on Canadian nurses who took the leak-tainted test.

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Pinoy nurse in the UK gets deportation reprieve

A Filipino nurse in the United Kingdom got a reprieve from the British government, which had earlier wanted to kick him out for missing a deadline for the filling of an immigration form.

Aldrin Quibuyen, a nurse who works at Caeffair Nursing Home in Llanelli, was allowed to stay in the country after being granted a reprieve by House of Commons, Immigration Minister Liam Byrne.

Quibuyen has been in the UK since 2003, while his wife and son Buzz joined him in 2004. They have a daughter, Phebe, who was born in the UK.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

DOLE Secretary proposes practical nursing license for board exam flunkers

I didn't know Labor Secretary Arturo Brion could crack a joke, not until I read the news from gmanews.tv about his proposal to give practical nursing licenses to those who would fail the recent June 2007 nursing licensure exams.

If I were a practical nurse, I'd be insulted. At least in the US, they have separate exams for nurses and practical nurses. I hope Brion is not even half-serious about his proposal to turn the practical nursing profession into a basketcase of nurse flunkers.

In the first place, what is Brion thinking? I suppose he wants to make practical nurses out of all flunkers, not just those who are with the June 2006 batch who re-took the exams, since he says only half of the 78,000 who sat for the test are expected to make the cut. The June 2006 batch have a different set of hurdles that they should overcome, but first-timers and non-June 2006 examinees don't need Brion's condescension.

Whether or not a nursing applicant from the Philippines gets a local license, he's still eligible to apply for a nursing registration in the US. Other countries, such as Australia, Canada, and Middle East states, among others, do require local registration, but if you're hoping to work in the US, then a local license is not a prerequisite in most US states. Provided visas are available again, nurse applicants only need to pass the NCLEX-RN and get a Visascreen to get a shot at the US labor market.

More significantly, there seems to be no practical nursing course being offered locally that's recognized by US authorities. So even if you make practical nurses out of the flunkers, it wouldn't enhance their employability a bit.

Suppose, God forbid, an examinee flunks the June 2007 exam, he doesn't need to sulk and become a practical nurse instead, just like what Brion wants. My grade school teacher definitely had better motivation skills that our country's labor chief. "If you want a chocolate--and you don't get it in your first try--don't settle for just any other candy," I remember being told when I was nine and my teacher was giving out chocolates for perfect quiz scores.

I personally know some people who flunked at their first crack of the nursing exams but came out topnotchers in their second try. Flunkers don't need to be mis-directed from their goals of becoming nurses, they need to be motivated to surpass their own efforts. So, if you really want the chocolate, don't settle for Brion's offer of a candy.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Canadian headhunters recruiting Filipino nurses in Ireland

Headhunters from Canada have reportedly started luring Filipino nurses away from Ireland, where the government refuses to give citizenship status to Filipino immigrants, even to those who have stayed there for over seven years.

In the past few weeks, Canadian recruiters have gone on a massive recruitment drive to get as many as 250 Filipino nurses to move to Alberta, where green cards and better wages await them.

There are about 10,000 Filipino nurses in Ireland and only a few have been granted citizenship. The Irish government does not recognize educational credentials of the spouses of Filipino nurses and Filipinos pay higher school fees for their children because, without citizenship, they're classified as international students.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

A day in the life of a med-surg nurse

The New York Times and Vault.com offer an excellent collection of anecdotal articles about what goes on in a typical day for various types of jobs in the US. So, while waiting for a relief from the retrogression blues, let's take a peek into a typical day of a medical-surgical nurse in the US. Dan Bratton, a registered nurse who works on the medical-surgical floor of the Good Samaritan General Hospital in New York, lets us in on a typical day for him at the hospital.

Read about Bratton's day here.

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Mauritius needs foreign nurses

Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius (Photo from Wikipedia)

The African Press Agency reports that Mauritius--an island nation off the coast of Africa in the southwest Indian Ocean, about 900 kilometers east of Madagascar--may open its doors to foreign nurses.

The island state has been losing nurses to France, which has its own nursing shortage of about 25,000 positions. Mauritians are fluent in French and English is taught in schools, that's why they're being recruited to France.

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Amendment that seeks to relieve retrogression voted down

The US Senate yesterday voted down a proposal by Senator John Cornyn to bring in an amendment (SA 2337) to H.R. 2669 that would have brought temporary relief to the retrogression. The motion fell 55-40, with 5 abstaining from the vote.

Click here to see who voted against the proposal. (The Nays killed the motion.)

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US Congress contemplates additional green cards for skilled workers

Businessweek today reports that the US Congress is contemplating a possible legislation that would provide additional green cards for skilled workers.

Representative Zoe Lofgren, who serves as the chairman of the House subcommittee on immigration, confirmed that there are informal discussions going on among congressmen regarding the increase in yearly green card allocations by at least 100,000.

Recent revelations that the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has not been able to issue all of the alloted visas for the past years because it lacked the resources to process all of the applications have prompted congressmen to initiate the discussions.

The USCIS recently admitted that 10,000 of the 140,000 green cards that were allocated last year were never given out. Without new legislation, these visas can not be issued anymore. Over the last 10 years, it is estimated that as many as 170,000 green cards have been unused.

The current discussions in Congress are focused on possibly recapturing these unused visas.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Best hospitals in the US

The U.S. News & World Report has announced the results of its annual survey of the Best Hospitals in the U.S.

Johns Hopkins in Baltimore has again come up on top, followed by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The survey ranks the best places to seek medical care, not the best places to work for as a nurse, but often most of the top hospitals also offer superb nursing opportunities.

After you look up the survey, check out this interesting article, "Your New Best Friends, the Nurses", as well.

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US gov't allows Adjustment applications until Aug 17

The big news today is that the US Department of State has allowed the filing of Adjustment of Status (I-485) until August 17. It rescinded the July 2 Visa Bulletin which took back an earlier announcement that employment-based visas would be available by July. Applicants whose I-140s are current and are in the US for at least three months may already file for AOS until the cut-off date.

The August Visa bulletin, however, shows that all employment-based visas would be unavailable and this is expected until October, which is the start of the agency's fiscal year.

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Between New Zealand and the US

New Zealand is a beautiful country. Its breathtaking landscape and unpolluted air are only a few of the things to love about this country. I've thought about moving to New Zealand even before I took up nursing and now that I have a higher chance of getting into the country with a nursing degree, the temptation is more intense, especially since there's so much uncertainty regarding the US nursing industry right now.

So, when I was asked few days ago what I think about moving to New Zealand, I already had a ready answer.

If you want to take out the uncertainty and want to move out in a definite time, New Zealand looks very promising compared to the US, where there's no telling when the retrogression will end. Applications for NZ are pretty much very straightforward--just get all the paperwork done and you've got high chances of landing a nursing job there, especially if you already have some work experience tucked under your belt. (Although experience is not required by every employer, most gov't-run hospitals there do look for experience and they pay better than their private counterparts).

I'm not saying that the US market is totally closed for us. The shortage there is so much that the domestic market won't be able to keep up and they will definitely still need outside help for a couple of years. The problem is that both immigrant and working visas there are so limited and the availability of new visas is so unpredictable. There's simply too much uncertainty in the appplication period that it's hard to make long-term plans. But the market will open up eventually, it's just a matter of time.

The nursing shortage is so huge worldwide, nurses can practially work anywhere. The only limiting factor is the available resources. Applying for NZ requires some financial resources, something that most of us don't have. The six-week nursing assessment program requires at least NZ $4,000 and that's just part of the total expenses. (Click here for the other expenses.) Recruiters and agencies for NZ are notoriously known to charge such exorbitant fees that you'll end up paying thrice as much as you would have spent if you go it alone. They're not so much help.

Applying for the US is actually much cheaper than applying for NZ. US salaries are also considerably higher than in NZ, and there's so much more opportunities for professional growth in the US. You will be able to live a comfortable life in NZ, but it's not easy to disregard the vast opportunities in the US.

If you really want to take out the uncertainty and hate waiting for the US to open up, NZ is as good as any other place to move to. Some actually use NZ as a jump off point for Australia where the pay is higher than in NZ. Some never leave NZ and it's not difficult to understand why. I haven't met anyone who's been there and didn't fall inlove with its natural charms and quality of life.

If you have the resources and if you feel you might be waiting for a long time for the US, then you might want to consider NZ. The entire application process might take you a couple of months but at the end of the application process you will have a chance to fly out to NZ.

But don't leave off your US application just yet if you want to get there eventually. Just finish your US applications first--get your NCLEX done and Visascreen--and continue to scout for possible employers. Some NZ employers only give one-to-two year contracts and by the time you finish your tour of duty, the US market could be ready to bring you in.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Robot doctors? Ok. But robot nurses?

I doubt if robots would ever perform patient rounds for nurses, just like what they're doing for some doctors right now. A more intriguing question would be: would doctors be able to use robots to see patients when they're far away if there were no nurses at the bedside to carry out their orders?

What do you think?

(Photo is by the Associated Press)

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Map of Pearson Vue test center in Makati

An NCLEX-RN test center is finally here in Manila. Although the center officially opens on August 23, when the first NCLEX exam in the Philippines will be conducted, applicants may now schedule their test date.

Two days ago, all the exam slots in the Hong Kong test center from July to October were all booked, but today, numerous slots have opened from late July onwards. It was about time that a Manila test center opened, for such a long time Filipinos have had tremendous difficulty scheduling test dates there, so many had to resort to extreme measures such as taking the NCLEX in Saipan, Taiwan, South Korea, and even Japan. More importantly, the opening of the Manila test center is a great financial relief to many Filipino nurses who don't have the resources to pay for plane fare, food, and hotel accommodations outside the country.

The Manila test center won't be conducting exams until August 23, but if you want to know where it's located so you can scout transportation routes and nearby hotels, you can check out the map I've made.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

(Updated) Pearson Vue's Manila testing center contact info

Pearson Vue today will begin scheduling services for the NCLEX-RN exam in its Manila testing center. Here's the contact information for the Manila center:

Pearson Professional Centers-Manila, Philippines
Telephone: +63 2 887 2198
Address: 27th Floor, Trident Tower
312 Senator Gil Puyat Avenue,
Makati City, Manila

The number listed above has now been updated and is the official number of the Pearson office in Manila. If you can't reach this number, you may try other Pearson Vue hotlines:

* The Asia-Pacific call center (based in Australia): +612-94785400
* You may try this number as well: 1280061294785400
(The prefix 1 and 2 might be for int'l dialing, so you can replace it with your use your provider's int'l dialing instructions, for ex. +1 or +001, etc.)
* You can also try this: 1800-1110-0796 loc 3
(Contributed by Kokeshi)
* Chicago, Illinois office: 312-525-3667 or 312-525-3600 (submitted by a reader)

You can see a map of the Pearson Vue testing center in Makati here.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Waiting out the retrogression

While waiting out the retrogression, now is the best time to complete all your documents, get the NCLEX done (if you haven't done so), and perhaps earn some work experience (if you're not employed yet). Although not all employers in the U.S. require experience, it'll be good to boost your own confidence especially if you're a young fresh graduate.

Don't let the retrogression get you down, the worldwide nursing shortage won't be gone in a day. Read this story, for instance, of a hospital in Southwest Florida which is contemplating international recruitment efforts.

An excerpt from the article, reads:
International recruitment. Lee Memorial brought in 54 nurses from India who were under contract with Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center and Gulf Coast Hospital before Lee Memorial purchased those two facilities. If the nurses work out — and by all appearances they are — Lee Memorial might again look overseas for staff.

Other data to think about:
Hospitals around the U.S. had 116,000 nursing vacancies as of December, according to the American Hospital Association;
The journal, Health Affairs, projects a 340,000 nurse shortage by 2020;
To keep up with Florida's growing population, hospitals and other health-care organizations will have to find 36,428 new nurses within the next seven years.

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NCLEX, in Manila finally!

The news today about the opening of the NCLEX testing center in Manila is the best news we've received in a long time. The NCSBN, in a press release, said the Manila center will begin accepting calls on Friday, July 13, NCLEX applicants who already have their ATT can start scheduling their exam dates this Friday, but actual exams will only begin on Aug. 23.

I've e-mailed NCSBN to ask additional details about the Manila test center, hopefully they'll reply soon. Except for the start of scheduling and exam administration, the NCSBN press release contained little else. There were no details about the location of the testing center and the number of examinees it can accommodate in a day.

The testing center will be operated by the NCSBN's test service partner Pearson Vue. NCSBN said the center will have the same security systems as in other NCLEX testing centers.

In the past, there were reports that the NCLEX testing center would be located in the Enterprise Building in Makati. Some rumors say Subic is the likely site. I would bat for Enterprise, not only because of its accessibility but more because of the infrastructure. Except for a last-standing duty free shop, there's little hint left that Subic was formerly occupied by Americans.

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NCLEX testing center in Manila begins scheduling on July 13

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. (NCSBN) will begin NCLEX testing in Manila at the international Pearson Professional Center on Aug. 23, 2007. Scheduling for examination appointments will begin on July 13, 2007.

Read the full story here.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hail Ban Ki-moon!

This is a shoutout for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

On Tuesday, Ban called on both rich and poor countries to act urgently on pressing problems related to migration. The UN's top official told some 600 delegates at an international migration conference in Brussels to address growing issues such abuse and discrimation of migrants. He also asked richer nations--particularly, Japan, the U.S. and member-nations of the European Union--to create policies that are friendlier to migration, especially of people trying to escape poverty in Africa and Asia.

Ban has just become migration's biggest advocate. I'd vote him as President anywhere anytime.

The Brussels conference is the first in informal conferences designed to discuss the migration phenomenon. The next conference is planned next year, right here in Manila.

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PricewaterhouseCoopers report highlights broken U.S. medical workforce model

A new report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers says the U.S. medical workforce system needs resuscitative care. It says that even though there are more doctors and nurses today than ever before, they are not being trained, distributed or deployed efficiently. A huge decline in the number of nurses will begin in less than three years but hospital employers are still in denial about just bad nurses feel about their work conditions.

Read the official media release on the PriceWaterhouseCoopers report here.

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TOEFL, IELTS validity for Visascreen

I was asked a few days ago about the validity of English exam scores for Visascreen purposes. Someone had earlier claimed in a post at an Internet forum for nurses that English scores were valid up to five years if you submit it already to CGFNS. All of the information posted at the CGFNS Web site said English scores were only valid for two years, so I e-mailed CGFNS to verify if the new information was accurate.

As it turned out, the new information is totally wrong. English scores were only valid for a maximum of two years, regardless of the date you file your Visascreen application. So, for example, if your IELTS scores were expiring on Aug., and your NCLEX exam is on Oct., even if you file your Visascreen application before Aug., your English scores would still become invalid and you'll have to retake the IELTS again.

Here's the e-mailed response of CGFNS:

Thank you for your inquiry. If an applicant's English exam expires before he takes the NCLEX exam, he will need to take the English exam again. The initial date of the VisaScreen application does not make the expired English results valid.

The VisaScreen application is valid for one year. If the application expires, you can request to have the application re-processed for a fee of $128.00.

I hope this clears up the issue.

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Monday, July 9, 2007

AHA's position on immigration bill

We all know how the U.S. Senate shot down a proposed immigration reform bill that sought to establish a guest-worker program, not to mention legal status for 12 million illegal immigrants in the country. However, I'm sure not everyone knows that the American Hospital Association (AHA) was actually against the immigration proposal.

Although this may be old news for some and perhaps, now immaterial because of the failure of the immigration bill, I'm still posting a link here to the article on AHA's position for the curious.

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Norway contemplates recruitment of foreign-educated nurses

Earlier this year, the Norwegian government said it was contemplating the recruitment of foreign-educated nurses to fill its own nursing shortage, which is expected to reach as large as 100,000 positions in the next few decades. The plan, however, is being blocked by the Norwegian Nurses Association.

Since this story came out in the Norway Post, I haven't seen any other update anywhere on the Internet. If you find any additional news on this, please let us know, so we can share it to everyone.

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CTS mailing info

In case you're sending documents to Continental Testing Services, the third party service provider hired by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to handle registration applications, you can use a different mailing address than the usual P.O. Box number they use. Fedex doesn't send to P.O. Box numbers that's why you might need a different mailing address.

You can use this instead:
Continental Testing Services, Inc
547 S. LaGrange Road
LaGrange, Illinois 60525

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Saturday, July 7, 2007

Filipino-American heads largest nurses union in U.S.

This September, Filipino-American Zenei Triunfo Cortez, will officially join three other women on the President’s Council of the California Nurses Association, and become the first Filipino-American to lead the largest union of nurses in the U.S.

Cortez was 19 when she migrated with her family to the U.S. in 1974. With over 25 years experience as a nurse, Cortez will spearhead advocacy efforts for over 75,000 registered nurses in California, where nurses recruited from the Philippines have become major contributors to U.S. healthcare.

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Friday, July 6, 2007

Nursing in France

I've gotten good feedback aboout nursing in France, but to be able to qualify for a nursing license, you'd have to speak fluent Frenchfirst.

I had two semesters of French back in college in UP (my first course was Journalism in Diliman), but I can't speak one complete sentence in French anymore. Actually, I had two semesters of French (10 and 11) and two semesters of Spanish (1 and 2), but the only words I remember are Lo siento and Désolé and I can't even tell which is French and which is Spanish!

I'll post more about nursing in France later.

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Saudi seeks nurses

Saudi's Ministry of Health and Hospital Operations is recruiting up to 5,000 nurses from the Philippines, according to the Philippine Information Agency. It seems that a recruitment drive in Mindanao by the Saudi government through local partner firms failed to attract enough nurses, that's why they're now recruiting from Manila. Unfortunately for male nurses, Saudi is specifically looking for female nurses only.

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Thursday, July 5, 2007

Nursing shortage in Dubai

A global shortage of nurses is also taking its toll in the United Arab Emirates, reports the Dubai-based online tabloid Xpress.

This rich Arab state has had difficulties retaining its nurses, of whom 91% were recruited either from the Philippines or India, because many nursing professionals use their experience in the UAE as leverage to get more lucrative jobs in the UK, US or Australia. Training UAE nationals to become nurses does not look very promising because nursing requires direct patient contact and working in shifts, which clash with local culture and traditions, according to a hospital recruiter in the country.

The average monthly salary of nurses in Dubai ranges from Dh2,000 and Dh9,000. In neighboring Saudi Arabia, nurses' salaries are between 12,000 and 18,000 Saudi riyals (Dh11,750-Dh17,600). Check US nursing salaries here.

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Filipino nurses hit the mark

Here's an interesting article about an ongoing issue in Canada, where doctors are demanding the return of a special team of nurses who solely perform venipuncture or IV insertions on patients. Based on the story, the Vancouver Island Health Authority has pulled out the IV insertion team that works night shifts, but a group of doctors--anesthesiologists, in particular--and nurses are clamoring for the return of this team. The doctors said they've seen too many patients who've been bruised and bloodied from missed IV insertion attempts.

A more interesting link I found, however, was a testimonial from an American nurse who says Filipino nurses are particularly good at this skill.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Saunders Q&A for NCLEX CD bug fix

About two weeks ago, I had trouble running the original CD that came with the latest edition of the Saunders Q & A Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination Edition 3. The problem didn't seem to come from the CD itself, instead, there was an issue with a library file that came with Windows that was incompatible with the CD application.

Whenever I attempted to install the CD, an error message came up that says connection to the data had failed and it kept asking for the CD, which was already inserted into the CD slot. So, I googled to see if anybody else had the same issue and if they had the solution. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any so I had to e-mail Elsevier about it. To my surprise, I got a very prompt answer from them. Keith, one of their technical support agents, was very helpful and he responded quickly to my questions.

To fix the bug, a library file needs to be copied to the Window/systems32 folder. Apparently, in some Windows installations, the latest version of the msvcr80 library file is not updated. This file is used to run some Windows-based applications like the Q&A CD.

If you've encountered the same problem, here's the fix:

1. Download the file MSVCR80.DLL, by clicking here. Save it to your Desktop.
2. Go to the Desktop, right-click on MSVCR80.DLL and click Copy
3. Click Start/Run and type in C:\WINDOWS\system32
4. When the system32 folder opens, right click in the folder's field and
click Paste
5. Re-launch the NCLEX program. If it still won't respond, please
uninstall, restart, and re-install the program.

If you've got other questions for Elsevier, their technical support is available between 7:30 A.M. and 7 P.M. CST, Monday through Friday.

Inside the United States: 1-800-692-9010.
Outside the United States: 0113148728370 ext. 7215
Email questions to technical.support@elsevier.com

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Hospital offers $5,000 for nurse referrals

Filipino nurses working in Duke University Health System in North Carolina stand to get $5,000 just by referring another nurse to work at the facility.

Read the story here.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Employment-based visas retrogressed again

Employment-based visas in the U.S. are again retrogressed, according to the revised July Visa Bulletin released by the Citizenship and Immigration Services Offices (USCIS) today.

The USCIS allocated some 60,000 new employment visas this past month just to be able to clear its backlog but the allocations have all been exhausted and any new applications would not be accepted until October 1, the start of the USCIS' 2008 fiscal year.

Read the official announcement here and here.

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Nine US states recruiting Filipino nurses

This just in from ABS-CBN Interactive:

At least nine US states are now "eagerly recruiting" Filipino nurses and other health professionals, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines said.

Former senator and TUCP general secretary Ernesto Herrera identified the nine US states as California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and New Jersey.

'Over 50 percent of 77.5 million American baby boomers—those born between 1946 to 1964—live in these nine states. This is why these states need health professionals by the thousands,' Herrera said.

I suppose nobody told Herrera about the retrogression, but this info is good to know, at least we know where the opportunities are.

Read the rest of the story here.

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Monday, July 2, 2007

Nursing jobs in Canada, Spain, Australia, New Zealand

ABS-CBN's Bandila reports that work opportunities for nurses are currently available in Canada, Spain, Australia at New Zealand.

We've earlier blogged about opportunities in New Zealand and Australia, but it's also good news to hear about new opportunities for Filipino workers in Canada and Spain.

Canada is busy preparing for the 2010 Winter Olympics, that's why they're inviting seasonal workers to help build the infrastructure needed for the Games. Aside from construction workers (heavy equipment operators, welders, painters, etc.), they're also looking for cooks, hotel workers, truck drivers and even people who'd work restaurants and fast food chains.

Around 600 nurses are needed in the city of Saskatchewan in Canada. You can get more information on beautiful Saskatchewan here.

Aside from caregivers, nurses and engineers are also being invited to apply for jobs in Spain, the Philippines' former colonial master. To qualify for a job in Spain, applicant need to learn-spanish.

Nurses in Spain earn about 1,100 euros, according to the POEA.

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Moore's Sicko documentary ignites new U.S. healthcare debate

Michael Moore's latest documentary, "Sicko" has begun showing in U.S. theaters and it's been fueling debates about the country's healthcare policies. In a letter posted by Moore on his Web site, he says that the movie is on track to have the second largest opening weekend for a documentary in the history of the movies! ("Fahrenheit 9/11" was first.)

The film, which delves primarily on how terrible the U.S. government has handled healthcare for Americans, hopes to effect change in the healthcare industry. Supporters of the movie are batting for a couple of pending bills in the U.S. Congress that seek to improve America's current healthcare situation, and we're hoping that somewhere in that hoolabaloo, a legislation allowing the continued entry of foreign-educated nurses would also surface.

More articles on this topic:
'Sicko' takes in $4.5M million in weekend debut
"Sicko" target="_New" Energizes Health Care Debate
'Sicko' may lead people to action

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Nursing jobs in Saudi

I received an e-mail last week from a local recruiter who informed me that an employer from Saudi was coming over to interview local applicants starting July 4. I don't know a lot about the recruiter, except that they're listed with the POEA, where the jobs board listed a link to the recruiter's Web site. If you're thinking about dealing with this company, I'd suggest you do your own research because I really can't help you with that.

Working as a nurse in Saudi is not for everyone, but despite the torments of working in this Arabic state with its scorching sun and its tightly wound regulations, many Filipino nurses still brave the elements and pursue work opportunities there. A few of my friends are in the Middle East--one is a female nurse in Saudi, while the others are scattered in U.A.E.--and they've all had rewarding experiences despite the hardships. There are horror stories, a lot of them actually, and you see one or two in the news almost everyday, but there are success stories as well, it's just that they don't get as much media coverage.

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Sunday, July 1, 2007

Overseas Filipino workers send $1.2B in remittances back home

Filipinos working overseas, including nurses, sent home a total of $1.2 billion in remittances in April this year alone. That's 32.6% higher compared to the same period last year.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas says that overseas Filipino workers have already sent a total of $4.7 billion in the first four months of 2007, or more than 26.1% compared to the same period last year.

The government is expecting over $13.5 billion in remittances for the entire year, up from the 2006 total of $12.8 billion.

Of the eight million overseas workers, there's an estimated 163,756 Filipino nurses working in various countries all over the world.

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Red tape delays deployment of Filipino nurses in Kuwait

The Economic Times of India reports that the deployment to Kuwait of hundreds of nurses from the Philippines and India is being delayed by red tape. Both Philippine and Indian embassies in the Arabian state have so far failed to certify the professional credentials submitted by the nurses recruited to work in Kuwaiti government hospitals, the report said.

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