Why do so many nurses from the Philippines come to Canada/USA? - page 6

by lilaclover 28,044 Views | 123 Comments

I hope nobody takes offense to this question because I certainly don't mean it in any negative way. I am just wondering why so many nurses from the Philippines are coming to Canada and the USA? I always thought the... Read More


  1. 1
    Quote from LouisVRN
    The ones I have never have a negative attitude, never complain and are nothing but courteous and helpful, as another poster pointed out I think they are quickly snatched up because they do tend to follow policy to the T. There meds are passed on time, there documentation/charting is accurate, they do everything that is required which is more than can be said for the majority of other nurses that I work with.
    This describes a lot of nurses from all backgrounds whether they're Mexicans, Filipinos, Canadians, Australians, Americans etc. I had the opportunity to have worked with some wonderful Filipinos who were educated both abroad and locally. The majority of the ones that were educated locally were ones who came from the Philippines and were working in a totally different field.
    Fiona59 likes this.
  2. 4
    Quote from piglett
    would you want to work 6 days a week 12 hours a day for $182 a month ????
    NO , they don't either

    piglett
    She wasn't asking that. We know there are poor people in other countries. Some were protectorate/territories as the Phillipines were. Yet there aren't a lot of nurses coming from Guam, Samoa, the Marshalls and Puerto Rico. But now that they moved the forum to the Phillipine nurse's forum I imagine she will only get hostile answers. And God forbid somebody say American citizens (of any background should have preference in the scarce job market without getting called a racist. I for one am getting tired of it.
  3. 0
    i'll just share my 2 cents on the matter and hopefully it will shed some light. The pay here (Philippines) is very minimum. TO think that nurses are professionals, yet because of overstaffing in hospitals they are asked to volunteer or even pay the hospital for training just so they have something to do that is related to their jobs. US and canada are good options because the pay is big. But don't count other countries out as you can find Filipino nurses in Europe, New Zealand, and Middle East countries.

    Let's make a simple everyday example. Suppose you'd like to eat at Mcdonald's. An average meal would cost 150 pesos, that's roughly $3.50 with the current exchange rate. 150 pesos is already a half day's salary for the nurses here. Of course, if you have a family and have bills to pay, you wouldn't be splurging on a meal that's worth half a day's work. Now, if you were a nurse in the US. How many hours will you have to work to earn that 3.50? Probably less than 30 mins. And the problem is, houses here cost quite a lot so many "working class" cannot afford to buy houses and it's not easy to get a loan. Unlike in the US where even if you're earning minimum wage, you can mortgage a simple house. Houses here cost 100,000 dollars and that's not a big house and it's located outside the city.

    Filipinos are found in every occupation. I think they try to go where the opportunities are and as of now, it's in nursing. In fact, for the last 5 years or so, there has been a slow-down of hiring international nurses and some countries have closed their recruitment. But it's too late because the snowball effect has taken place and there are more and more nurses graduating each year. Wait til IT opens back up again, you'll see Filipinos taking more of that course too. Hope noone is offended by my post. Just wanted to share my observation too. By the way, I'm a Filipino nurse still here in the Philippines
  4. 2
    Quote from wemon211
    i'll just share my 2 cents on the matter and hopefully it will shed some light. The pay here (Philippines) is very minimum. TO think that nurses are professionals, yet because of overstaffing in hospitals they are asked to volunteer or even pay the hospital for training just so they have something to do that is related to their jobs.
    Those things are happening to US new grads, too. In alarming numbers. They lose their homes, can't afford to pay off loans, and are taking jobs as waitresses, CNAs, perhaps even at MacDonalds. They uproot families and move to different states and spend hundreds of dollars of their own money to fly to different cities at their own expense just for the chance for an interview, even knowing there are several hundred other people interested in that job.

    Let's make a simple everyday example. Suppose you'd like to eat at Mcdonald's. An average meal would cost 150 pesos, that's roughly $3.50 with the current exchange rate. 150 pesos is already a half day's salary for the nurses here. Of course, if you have a family and have bills to pay, you wouldn't be splurging on a meal that's worth half a day's work. Now, if you were a nurse in the US. How many hours will you have to work to earn that 3.50? Probably less than 30 mins.
    If a Big Mac Value meal in the Phillipines costs half a day's work, if a nurse here made $150-200 in 6 hours, it would be like a value meal costs over $100 at best? How do they stay in business charging that much money for a hamburger, some fries and a soda?

    And the problem is, houses here cost quite a lot so many "working class" cannot afford to buy houses and it's not easy to get a loan. Unlike in the US where even if you're earning minimum wage, you can mortgage a simple house. Houses here cost 100,000 dollars and that's not a big house and it's located outside the city.
    The above is happening to US nurses as we speak. I will have to disagree with your assessment that a person here earning minimum wage can afford a mortgage, especially if purchases were made assuming the nurse would be hired right away, and loan payments often kick in 6-9 months after graduation based on the same assumption. Those things can really cripple a family and make very difficult to save money for a down payment.

    Many people bought houses on low down payment loan programs, the bad economy obliterated the value of their houses, and not being able to afford the punitive interest rate increases have walked away from their first home with young kids in tow. It's very sad.
    NurseCubanitaRN2b and Fiona59 like this.
  5. 0
    Quote from Trulibra
    What is the cost of living in your home town?

    Do homes cost 1/2 million dollars? Does gas cost 1/2 your pay? Just wondering.
    1/2 a million ??? definitely not. the average house is about $150,000 or less due to housing prices falling here.
    i have a job that involves a lot of driving, so not wanting to fill the pockets of the big oil company's too much i bought a Toyota corolla (good used with cash) that is very good on gas.
    i know some people feel they need 9 credit cards & a big fancy house that they can't afford. then they head rite out & spend 40k or more on a vehicle that they don't need , but they want........

    money fights & money problems are the leading cause of divorce in north america, so why do i want to put myself in a position that causes stress on my new marriage???
    once my wife gets her visa & arrives we are going to look into seeing if there any weedend shifts here for her
    i know some facilities run 12 hour shifts & they don't want to pay out a hugs sum in overtime so they have 1 group work Monday -Thursday & the 2ND group works fri,sat,& sun only. some guys married a nurse thinking of all the money she can make. however i don't think of my wife as a cash cow , i think of her as my wife & i intend to spend as many days with her as i can. new stuff is nice, piles of money are nice, but as long as all of the bills are paid on time & the roof doesn't leak on the house & we have some money in savings i am a happy camper



    i welcome your questions & comments
    piglett
  6. 8
    Quote from nursel56
    Those things are happening to US new grads, too. In alarming numbers. They lose their homes, can't afford to pay off loans, and are taking jobs as waitresses, CNAs, perhaps even at MacDonalds. They uproot families and move to different states and spend hundreds of dollars of their own money to fly to different cities at their own expense just for the chance for an interview, even knowing there are several hundred other people interested in that job.
    You are very right. But we know this because we are here in the States and are seeing it firsthand. Many Filipinos who are still in the Philippines are likely not aware of how some Americans do struggle financially. I'm not saying all Filipinos in the Philippines are like that but for many, the image of America is seen from a lens made up by what they see in Hollywood movies and what they hear from experiences of relatives and friends who came to the US as professionals living middle class lifestyles.

    Quote from nursel56
    If a Big Mac Value meal in the Phillipines costs half a day's work, if a nurse here made $150-200 in 6 hours, it would be like a value meal costs over $100 at best? How do they stay in business charging that much money for a hamburger, some fries and a soda?
    That's a lesson in economics few people will understand unless you've been on the other side. Mc Donald's and the other fast food chains have been largely, a way to sell fast and cheap yet unhealthy meals to Americans of all walks of life. However, it is truly the ones in the lower socio-economic brackets who tend to consume these meals because they're affordable. That's the reality here in the US. That is not the same in the Philippines.

    The American fastfood chains made their debut in the Philippines maybe in the late 70's and they were largely marketed towards Filipinos of higher socio-economic levels with a lot of disposable income. Their ads even ran clips of happy American kids enjoying All-American burgers, fries, and a milkshake and this is the image of American fast food that have been imprinted on most Filipinos' psyche. It is probably one of the ultimate statements of "status symbol" for well to do Filipinos -- a way of mimicing American tastes and lifestyles. Meanwhile, majority of Filipinos actually eat native dishes prepared at home with inexpensive ingredients from local grocers and produce. Going to McDonald's is not a day to day thing for many and for some, it's even a treat to bring the family to McDonald's.

    Quote from nursel56
    The above is happening to US nurses as we speak. I will have to disagree with your assessment that a person here earning minimum wage can afford a mortgage, especially if purchases were made assuming the nurse would be hired right away, and loan payments often kick in 6-9 months after graduation based on the same assumption. Those things can really cripple a family and make very difficult to save money for a down payment.

    Many people bought houses on low down payment loan programs, the bad economy obliterated the value of their houses, and not being able to afford the punitive interest rate increases have walked away from their first home with young kids in tow. It's very sad.
    Again, this is a misconception for some Filipinos in the Philippines because all they hear are how their relatives who went to the US were able to own homes and cars and send their kids to college. I think it's partly because many Filipinos arrived as nurses and though the current economic crisis in the US has affected many, we nurses for the most part, still enjoy a relatively stable lifestyle if we are employed full time. Meanwhile, the struggle of the young, single mother of two, working as a nursing assistant and trying to support her way through nursing school on minimum wage and foodstamps is unheard of. But we know that person fairly well because we work with her everyday in the US.

    Of note, many Filipino nurses do work a lot of hours beyond the 36 to 40-hour week (both in their primary jobs as over time or in a second job) and yet are very frugal when it comes to spending for things Americans typically tend to blow their earnings on. That is also another reason why most Filipino nurses in the US seem to be doing well financially.
    ljcovington, SquishyRN, dishes, and 5 others like this.
  7. 2
    Juan -- let me first say that your post is one of the best I've ever seen here on the board, including those from nurses from all over this crazy place we call earth .

    It was informative, you answered what was asked without gettting defensive, and provided some new information I had never consodered before - by your explanation of the MacDonalds issue. Truly it is difficult to imagine that such a commonplace item here in the States would be considered a luxury in the Phillipines.

    I think that very few people are really aware of what an about-face the job market has done here. It has not trickled up, with many supposedly reputable sources of info way behind the curve on this -- so it isn't surprising that people outside our borders would still be visualizing the scenario that was true for literally decades.

    It's almost as if we were zooming down the freeway and suddenly a brick wall is in front of us. There is a lot of confusion about exactly what are the facts on the ground, because we are still reeling from the impact. Heck, I am unemployed right now - I usually work in home health/private duty but with Medi-Cal being drastically slashed all of us are feeling it.

    I am aware of the work-ethic you speak of, I see people working 20hrs in a row, and I don't know how you can manage to do that - but most people are saving massive amounts of money by rooming in with relatives, and pooling money to purchase houses, etc. I really wish us native-born nurses could have each other's back in that regard. Perhaps because we've gained affluence over time resting on our immigrant ancestors busting their rear ends working the way you guys are now.

    Again, thanks for that excellent post, I learned a lot from it.
    NurseCubanitaRN2b and Fiona59 like this.
  8. 0
    Probably the same reason why 20% of the world's seamen are Filipinos; better pay.
  9. 0
    Quote from wemon211
    i'll just share my 2 cents on the matter and hopefully it will shed some light. the pay here (philippines) is very minimum. to think that nurses are professionals, yet because of overstaffing in hospitals they are asked to volunteer or even pay the hospital for training just so they have something to do that is related to their jobs. us and canada are good options because the pay is big. but don't count other countries out as you can find filipino nurses in europe, new zealand, and middle east countries.

    let's make a simple everyday example. suppose you'd like to eat at mcdonald's. an average meal would cost 150 pesos, that's roughly $3.50 with the current exchange rate. 150 pesos is already a half day's salary for the nurses here. of course, if you have a family and have bills to pay, you wouldn't be splurging on a meal that's worth half a day's work. now, if you were a nurse in the us. how many hours will you have to work to earn that 3.50? probably less than 30 mins. and the problem is, houses here cost quite a lot so many "working class" cannot afford to buy houses and it's not easy to get a loan. unlike in the us where even if you're earning minimum wage, you can mortgage a simple house. houses here cost 100,000 dollars and that's not a big house and it's located outside the city.

    filipinos are found in every occupation. i think they try to go where the opportunities are and as of now, it's in nursing. in fact, for the last 5 years or so, there has been a slow-down of hiring international nurses and some countries have closed their recruitment. but it's too late because the snowball effect has taken place and there are more and more nurses graduating each year. wait til it opens back up again, you'll see filipinos taking more of that course too. hope noone is offended by my post. just wanted to share my observation too. by the way, i'm a filipino nurse still here in the philippines
    not only minimum wage, but below minimum. that's how respected nurses are here in the pi.
  10. 1
    this topic gave me a lot of insight. i understand lactamase's concern. i live here in the philippines, and it's true that we don't see that hardships that westerners also face.

    it's been said before as i was reading back on the previous posts. nurses is an honorable job. you save the lives of people.. they depend on you. however, i believe and observed, here in the philippines, nurses are not respected. the government does not support nurses very well. they don't advocate for our rights considering our role in society. we are paid below minimum wage. we don't have nursing assistants, lpn's or whatsoever. nurses do everything here. wonderful, right? aside from that, sometimes nurses work double shifts because they have no replacements, and there are no relievers. no one complains, experience is needed.

    go to the us or canada, omg. nurses are respected and well paid. they understand the importance of nurses. yes, decades ago, they needed nurses, and of course, we came there to work with great pay with benefits, flexible working hours, and what's that? we have assistants? and we instruct them what to do? it's heaven. that is why a lot of filipinos are nurses, either coerced by their family because of the great opportunities abroad, or simply because they like that job.

    i have that argument with myself. i have always been patriotic, though i am also thinking about my future. i will be going to us soon. money is important, needless to say, because we will have families and we need to feed them, make sure they have a roof over their heads, educate them, and then there's our own health and our retirement years. it is still very important. i just make do by thinking that i will eventually be able to send money to my family and all in all make our lives more comfortable.

    going back, thanks for asking this lactamase. we are just trying to help ourselves and our family because nothing will happen to us here in the pi. sad, i know.. but unless they do something about nurses here in the philippines, most of us will be looking for better opportunities abroad.
    NurseCubanitaRN2b likes this.


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