Cebu District 1 representative Eduardo “Eddie” Gullas urged the government to establish a program that would provide cash bonuses and career incentives to “inactive” nurses.
Gullas said his proposal was aimed at addressing the “growing” shortage of nurses and encouraging them to resume their practice and help the government in the battle against COVID-19.
Gullas adds that many nursing graduates have chosen another area of work, primarily as business process outsourcing staff, sales agents, or flight attendants.
“We have thousands of nursing graduates who have not practiced their profession. Some of them are already registered nurses, while others never bother to take the licensure test after graduation, ”Gullas said in a statement.
He noted that many nursing graduates in Cebu became flight attendants during the height of the airline boom, and a number of them are now out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The massive economic dislocation and job destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could offer these non-practicing nursing graduates the chance to rethink their career paths and return to nursing,” Gullas said.
He said it was time for the Department of Health (DOH), the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) and the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) to implement a program, which could include professional incentives and financial advantages such as a one-off transition bonus. and free registration in the various courses offered by the Continuing Professional Development Council for Nurses.
“We in Congress are ready to help fund the program, which could help alleviate the continuing shortage of nurses in public health facilities,” Gullas said.
He sounded the alarm that the country’s production of new registered nurses (RNs) is affected by the pandemic, after the nursing license exam (NLE) originally scheduled for May 31 to June 1 was postponed from 22 to November 23.
He said the NLE is typically conducted twice a year – in June and November.
According to Gullas, the Philippines produced an annual average of 10,536 new registered nurses from 2017 to 2019.
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