MANILA — A total of 2,509 Philippine-educated nurses took the U.S. National Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for the first time from January to June this year, in the hope of practicing their profession in America, House Assistant Majority Leader and Cebu Rep. Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr. said.
“The number is up 28.6 percent versus the 1,951 Filipino nurses who took the NCLEX for the first time, excluding repeaters, in the first semester of 2014,” said Gullas, vice chairman of the House committee on Higher and Technical Education.
The number of Filipino nurses taking the NCLEX for the first time is considered a good indicator as to how many of them are trying to obtain U.S. licenses, or seek gainful employment in America.
Meanwhile, Gullas said a Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) licensed recruitment firm will screen qualified Filipino nurses for possible deployment to the United Kingdom and Singapore, with indicative monthly pay rates of 1,500 British pounds (PHP107,000) and 1,950 Singaporean dollars (PHP65,000), respectively.
He said the screening will be conducted at the Cebu Provincial Capitol’s Public Employment Service Office (PESO) on Aug. 17-18.
Statistics show that among foreign-educated nurses, Filipinos remain the most active job-seekers in America, according to Gullas.
He said 395 Indians, 236 Puerto Ricans, 195 South Koreans, and 130 Jamaicans also took the NCLEX for the first time from January to June this year.
Since 1995, a total of 159,877 Filipino nurses have taken the NCLEX for the first time, including 4,580 non-repeaters who took the test in 2014.
A strong supporter of the Filipino nursing profession, the young solon has been pushing Congress to restore the entry-level basic monthly pay of public nurses to Salary Grade (SG) 15 –- the equivalent of PHP24,887.
The Nursing Law of 2002, or Republic Act 9173, fixed the starting pay of public nurses at SG 15. However, the Salary Standardization Law III later effectively reduced their pay rating to SG 11, or PHP18,549.