SOME 2,890 Filipino nurses hoping to practice their profession in America took the U.S. licensure examination for the first time from January to March this year, a lawmaker said yesterday.
The number is up 46 percent against the 1,988 Philippine-educated nurses who took America’s eligibility test or the NCLEX for the first time in the same three-month period in 2018, excluding repeaters, according to House Deputy Minority Leader Aniceto Bertiz III.
Citing data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bertiz said 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 connectedness 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,” said the lawmaker.
Based on figures from the U.S. National Council of State Boards of Nursing Inc., besides the 2,890 Filipinos, 361 Indians, 310 Puerto Ricans, 228 South Koreans and 181 Nigerians also took the NCLEX for the first time from January to March.
Since passing the $200-NCLEX is usually the final step in the U.S. nurse licensure process, 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.
A total of 10,302 Filipino nurses took the NCLEX for the first time in the whole of 2018, up 32 percent versus the 7,791 who took the test in 2017.