At least 2,890 Filipino nurses hoping to practice their profession abroad took the United States licensure examination for the first time from January to March.
ACTS-OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III said the figure is 46 percent higher than the number of Filipino nurses who took the US National Council Licensure Examination during the same three-month period in 2018, excluding repeaters.
“It is evident that many Filipino nurses are still raring to move into America’s highly lucrative labor market,” he said.
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Filipino nurses in American hospitals receive an average of $6,292 or P327,870 in monthly wages.
Even Filipino nurses already gainfully employed in the Middle East are steadily relocating to America, he said.
“Drawn by superior pay and their strong sense of connection to the Western culture, many Filipino nurses in the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are now going to Texas and California,” Bertiz said.
The number of Filipinos taking the test for the first time is considered a good indicator as to how many of them are trying to enter the profession in America, he said.
Some 10,302 Filipino nurses took the NCLEX for the first time in the whole of 2018, up 32 percent from the 7,791 who took the test in 2017.
Unofficial estimates peg at 150,000 the number of active Filipino registered nurses in America.
Despite a huge national surplus, Bertiz said the Philippines continues to produce a large number of new nurses, many of whom end up working overseas.