Angara: New Nurses could be channeled into Rural Health Units

Congressional Commission on Science and Technology, and Engineering (COMSTE)
February 21, 2011


The results of the Philippine Nursing Licensure Examinations were released yesterday—29,711 passers adding to the country’s crop of Registered Nurses (RN), but many are worried about the availability of job opportunities.

35.35% of the 84,287 nursing graduates who took the December 2010 exams passed, a decrease from the 41.4% from the July 2010 batch. However, this still leaves the country with an oversupply of thousands of qualified professionals.

According to Senator Edgardo J. Angara, perhaps a solution to the unemployment woes of our country’s RN’s may be found in the Registered Nurses for Health Enhancement and Local Services (RN HEALS) program from the Department of Labor and Employment. The program designates nurses to the local government units in rural areas.

“The RN HEALS project might just be able to address this issue—some of the new nurses should be deployed to serve in the Rural Health Units (RHU) throughout the country, which would perhaps nudge the numbers in these areas closer to the optimum 1:10 nurse-to-patient ratio,” he suggested.

Recently, Angara filed Senate Bill 2629 which seeks to establish a Local Health Unit in each municipality and a RHU in each town in the provinces to provide basic health services even to the far-flung corners of the country. The bill would require a five-member health team in each unit, with no less than 2 nurses.

“If passed, this bill might just provide a win-win solution to both problems—the RN’s difficulty in securing a job and the shortage of health care workers in the provinces,” said Angara.


Thanks to Javier Laiz for the update!

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