If I Were a Nurse, Where Would I Be?

Rey Palmares
Sep 11, 2017
News and Tips

In the Philippines, the early 2000’s were home to an influx of the young and old into the profession of nursing. Almost every Filipino family had one child schooling to be a nurse. Why do you ask is that?

Nursing is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. It requires a mental, physical, and emotional resilience that is uncommon to most other professions outside of the medical field. Nurses are highly regarded as technical professionals all over the world; not many would take the career choice lightly. Filipinos however saw the opportunity as a means of getting out of the country, working abroad for a larger salary, and being better able to contribute to the family by sending money home – hence the overnight surge. But what if money was no object?

Of all the countries in the world, the United States of America is ranked first. When asked why, nurses would reply: “because of the amount of Filipinos already residing there”. There are over 3.4 million Filipinos in the United States, the most in any other country outside of the Philippines. Filipinos have the concept of family and culture closely ingrained. It is no wonder that they would opt for countries in which they can easily find their kinsmen and freely talk in their native dialect or in Tagalog. Nonetheless, Filipinos are generally fluent with English so the language barrier is almost nonexistent. It is not just refreshing, it reminds them of home, and Filipinos will always be fond of their homes. Close to the United States is Canada for very much the same reasons.

In Asia, Filipinos usually opt for Singapore. The thriving country has a stable economy and excellent labor policies. Filipino nurses work for the money, but stay for the environment. Many nurses even choose to be naturalized as Singaporeans because of the friendly culture. The country has since opened its doors to foreigners in IT professions, business, and accounting. The government takes labor regulations seriously and nurses are surely protected from workplace abuse and the like. There is, however, a strict hiring process and while many would prefer such a beautiful country close to home, not many nurses make the cut. Next to Singapore are Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The Middle East is also home to many Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). Not just nurses, but engineers, construction workers, domestic helpers, and more. The country is growing at a rapid pace and to fill the labor it requires, it has outsourced much of its jobs to foreigners. Nurses would usually select countries such as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia because of the salary. Outside of the salary, a nurse can find a multitude of Filipinos living in small communities where they may always find a place.

The nursing profession is considerably one of the more difficult career choices one could select. Dealing with life and death on a daily basis, nurses must have the stamina physically, mentally, and emotionally to deal with these tasks. It helps to have a community that shares your culture. Hence, nurses would usually opt for countries that are closest to home – one that has well established Filipino communities. Being away from home is difficult as it is for OFWs and so what they look for the most in these countries is some semblance of home, the easiest and most tangible of which are fellow Filipinos themselves.

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