There is no nursing shortage!

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Specializes in Med-Surg.
I am a Filipino nurse working my way to the US because a beginning nurse here in the Philippines earns only about a hundred dollars a month. We're told that there is a nursing shortage in the US. So, if what you're telling is true then we've been duped.

We are also told that the staffing in most US hospitals is very ideal. A nurse cares for a maximum of 5 patients. Here, a nurse cares for 20 or more patients in a shift.

I've easily hurdled the CGFNS, NCLEX-RN and IELTS exams required for foreign nurses but with what you're telling I think shouldn't have taken those exams at all. Anyway, I'll have to prove it myself. I guess Filipinos can easily take the challenge of being overworked and underpaid but of course we do know how to assert our rights when worst comes to worst.

I am hoping for the best.

I'm not a nurse, yet. I'm still in school. It's a little weird to see Filipino conditions set up next to US conditions, though and then to think how much we Americans complain! But, everything is relative. I mean, compare a hair over a hundred thousand a year to a hundred dollars a month... 20/1 to 4-6/1. It is relative, right? All I can say is thank goodness for all the American nurses who have come before me - and you - who have saved me from such a fate as that that you and your fellow nurses face in the Phillipines.

Anyway, just an observation. Nothing to really add, except to respond to the original post by saying that our teacher told us we were being trained to be entry-level nurses, working in a supervised environment - i.e. a hospital, long-term care center, etc. and where we go from there is on us. Staff nursing is not the end of the line, but the beginning of a, hopefully, long career. There are many opportunities for nurses who have put in their time in the trenches, so to speak.

Back to your post, oneprouddigorot, I wonder why the Filipino government doesn't do more to keep their nurses from fleeing to the U.S. and why the U.S. continues to drain nurses from areas of the world that need them most? Big questions with little answers, I'm sure.

Riseupandnurse

658 Posts

Specializes in Medical Surgical.

I have seen the statistics of how many nurses in the U.S. are able-bodied but not working in nursing. (This was the topic I chose for a college class I took that required three speeches on the same subject, each speech given with different emphasis.) I need to try to find that database. But yes, there are hundreds of thousands of healthy, under age 65 licensed RNs in this country who just choose to do other things than nursing.

marie-francoise

286 Posts

I have seen the statistics of how many nurses in the U.S. are able-bodied but not working in nursing. (This was the topic I chose for a college class I took that required three speeches on the same subject, each speech given with different emphasis.) I need to try to find that database. But yes, there are hundreds of thousands of healthy, under age 65 licensed RNs in this country who just choose to do other things than nursing.

Those would be interesting numbers!

P.S. Here is a thread related to this one:

https://allnurses.com/forums/f195/supply-demand-not-happening-nurses-244450.html

HealthyRN

541 Posts

i have seen some of the statistics on the number of nurses in the u.s. however, i wonder how many of those nurses are actually able to work as nurses. i know several nurses who have retired or are disabled and still maintain their licensure. i know there are many able bodied nurses who have walked away from nursing but, how do you differentiate them from the 90 year old retiree who hasn't worked in 25 years?

the us department of health and human services with the health resources and services administration conducts national surveys of the nursing workforce. the lastest results that i could find are from 2004. there was an estimated 488,000 rns not employed in nursing. of these, about 110,000 are over the age of 65 (table 36). only 10,000 (no age reported) are not employed in nursing due to disability or illness. the most cited reasons for leaving nursing are career change, burnout/stressful work environment, scheduling, and inadequate staffing. only 35,000 reported leaving nursing to stay at home and care for family/children. so, if you subtract the number of nurses not employed in nursing due to retirement, disability, or wanting to raise a family, we still have 333,000 licensed nurses who could be working as a nurse.

the table results of the survey are at http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/healthworkforce/rnsurvey04/appendixa.htm .

marie-francoise

286 Posts

The US Department of Health and Human Services with the Health Resources and Services Administration conducts national surveys of the nursing workforce. The lastest results that I could find are from 2004. There was an estimated 488,000 RNs not employed in nursing. Of these, about 110,000 are over the age of 65 (Table 36). Only 10,000 (no age reported) are not employed in nursing due to disability or illness. The most cited reasons for leaving nursing are career change, burnout/stressful work environment, scheduling, and inadequate staffing. Only 35,000 reported leaving nursing to stay at home and care for family/children. So, if you subtract the number of nurses not employed in nursing due to retirement, disability, or wanting to raise a family, we still have 333,000 licensed nurses who could be working as a nurse.

The table results of the survey are at http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/healthworkforce/rnsurvey04/appendixa.htm .

333,000! That's a lot o' nurses.

elkpark

14,633 Posts

Back to your post, oneprouddigorot, I wonder why the Filipino government doesn't do more to keep their nurses from fleeing to the U.S. and why the U.S. continues to drain nurses from areas of the world that need them most? Big questions with little answers, I'm sure.

Read some of the threads on the Philippines forum here -- I have found them very informative and enlightening. The Filipino government is trying to keep nurses there (actually, it's not clear whether it's trying to keep nurses there, or just make $$$ off the nurses who leave), but there are also many, many schools of nursing (some good, some just shy of outright scams, apparently) training hundreds of thousands more RNs than the Philippines can possibly use, solely for the purpose of emigrating to the US (and/or other countries, but it seems, from my reading on the forum, that the US is the preferred destination). Cranking out RNs who have no intention of ever practicing nursing in the Philippines, but are only going to school in order to be able to "get the heck out of Dodge" and work abroad, is a major industry in the Philippines.

The very real "brain drain" from other Third World countries to the First World (not just the US) is a serious problem, I agree. I'm not sure what the answer is. Again, I am certainly sympathetic to individuals who want to create a better life for themselves and their families ...

Specializes in ICU, Coronary ward.
Back to your post, oneprouddigorot, I wonder why the Filipino government doesn't do more to keep their nurses from fleeing to the U.S. and why the U.S. continues to drain nurses from areas of the world that need them most? Big questions with little answers, I'm sure.

They can't keep us here in the Philippines. The government is planning to pass a law to keep us from leaving the country by requiring us to work here for at least 2 years but it hasn't been passed yet.

Like any other individual who belongs to a poverty stricken country, I dream of providing my family a better life. Some go to extents of becoming illegal US immigrants. For me, I'd like to do it the legal and much harder way. I did the first simple steps by passing all exams required for foreign nurses.

Life here is good, it is actually a more beautiful place to live in than America but we have to be financially endowed to enjoy all the good things here. You are never alone here.

I don't plan to stay in America for long. When I get old, I would still like to spend the rest of my days in the Philippines. That's what those who went ahead of me do.

Give us the chance to take care of those who are sick in your country, the chance to practice "the ideal american nursing pratices", and the chance to provide something better for our families.

RNsRWe, ASN, RN

3 Articles; 10,428 Posts

Life here is good, it is actually a more beautiful place to live in than America but we have to be financially endowed to enjoy all the good things here. You are never alone here.

Ouch. Maybe take a look at some websites showing photos across this HUGE land of GORGEOUS landscapes and cities, and I'll bet you'd be re-thinking that statement. Not trying to start a war over which is a 'more beautiful' place to live, but them's fighting words ;)

As for the rest of the foreign-nurse discussion, while I have sympathy for those who wish to have a better quality of life for themselves and their families in America, I AM NOT WILLING to have a LESSER quality of life because my employer can get cheaper labor in an ever-replenishing pool of imports. My ability to earn a decent living is DIRECTLY affected by those who are quite happy to work in poor conditions for less income and fewer benefits. Simply because it's worse there does not mean I think it's fine to bring that view here.

Sorry, but unless I see the foreign-nurse business as helping to improve the working conditions already in place in the States, I'm not going to root for fewer restrictions to allow them to come here. I'd do my part to KEEP them from doing so, actually, as long as they continue to keep my profession harder to survive in.

I don't plan to stay in America for long. When I get old, I would still like to spend the rest of my days in the Philippines. That's what those who went ahead of me do.

I did not seek to become a nurse so I can "make it through" a few years before I'm too worn out to continue, because nurses from the Philippines can "put up" with it longer (because of greater financial duress). The statement above that I'm quoting is a prime example: you don't plan to stay here long, just long enough to earn the bucks you need/want and keep those of us who DO want to live out the rest of the days in OUR home country from doing so without killing ourselves in unsafe work environments.

Them's my two cents.

Dr. Laura Gasparis-Vonfrolio, RN, PhD wrote a great article about the nursing shortage myth. It's called "Engineering a Crisis: How Hospitals Created a Shortage of Nurses."

She shows with Dept of Labor stats, and all kinds of other official sources that there is no nursing shortage- nurses have been driven from the bedside by the way they are treated and worked by hospitals.

If I could find this article on the net, I'd post it. It seems to have disappeared.

Ouch. Maybe take a look at some websites showing photos across this HUGE land of GORGEOUS landscapes and cities, and I'll bet you'd be re-thinking that statement. Not trying to start a war over which is a 'more beautiful' place to live, but them's fighting words ;)

As for the rest of the foreign-nurse discussion, while I have sympathy for those who wish to have a better quality of life for themselves and their families in America, I AM NOT WILLING to have a LESSER quality of life because my employer can get cheaper labor in an ever-replenishing pool of imports. My ability to earn a decent living is DIRECTLY affected by those who are quite happy to work in poor conditions for less income and fewer benefits. Simply because it's worse there does not mean I think it's fine to bring that view here.

Sorry, but unless I see the foreign-nurse business as helping to improve the working conditions already in place in the States, I'm not going to root for fewer restrictions to allow them to come here. I'd do my part to KEEP them from doing so, actually, as long as they continue to keep my profession harder to survive in.

I did not seek to become a nurse so I can "make it through" a few years before I'm too worn out to continue, because nurses from the Philippines can "put up" with it longer (because of greater financial duress). The statement above that I'm quoting is a prime example: you don't plan to stay here long, just long enough to earn the bucks you need/want and keep those of us who DO want to live out the rest of the days in OUR home country from doing so without killing ourselves in unsafe work environments.

Them's my two cents.

I agree 100%.

i am referring to nurses with active licenses. there are at least 10 nurses i can think of off the top of my head who are either too old or too sick to hold a job who have active licenses in my state. all they have to do is pay their renewal fee and they are considered active.

in every state in which i've ever practiced nursing, you can't just pay a renewal fee and keep your license. many states require a nurse to actually work a minimum specified number of hours per year to maintain active licensure status.

We are also told that the staffing in most US hospitals is very ideal. A nurse cares for a maximum of 5 patients.

You are not being told the truth. I've been a nurse in the US for 17 years, and I've never once had as few as 5 patients.

In med-surg, it's more like 10.

In long term care, I've been the only nurse for 65 patients.

I have worked with many Filipino nurses. They are just as unhappy with the nursing working conditions in the US as Americans are.

If you search for protesting nurses in the US, Fillipino nurses are protesting and striking along with Americans.

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