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Through the time, the trend of nursing profession was commercialized through its great opportunities abroad and its deafening high pay for specialized nurses. Meanwhile, nursing schools had emerged like mushrooms in the Philippines and the number of Filipino nurses become extremely imbalanced with its term of demand from healthcare facilities here in the country ; making greener pastures overseas as an option and a vibrant dream goal.

As a tribute to our Filipino nurses abroad let us find out what are their distinctive and unique qualities which attracted Uncle Sam and other foreign employers not only to hire them as professional nurses but value them as one of their most talented employees.

15. Well Educated – The quality of nursing education in the Philippines comprised mainly of a four- year curriculum and Bachelor of Science in Nursing is common unlike to other countries that they would opt only to take a 2 -3 years of practical nursing course. Though, our healthcare facilities do not have identical advanced technology with other countries, Filipino nurses do adapt with ease because while studying we are at the same time exposed in the clinical area; making our idealism with book fundamentals placed with realistic scenarios.

14. Well Experienced – Filipinos who tend to go out of the country are highly- trained nurses with approximately 2 -3 years of practice, the most would be 5 years of practicing nursing. With that advantage, Filipinos are proven to be efficient already in doing nursing care.

 13. Proficient in the Universal language – English, as the universal language is very important for employers abroad. That is why written and oral examinations in the said language are prerequisites to overcome language barrier in taking care of foreign clients. Aside from the speaking Tagalog and our own hometown dialects, Filipinos are well versed in English.

12. Family and spiritually focused – What makes other foreign nurses appreciate about Filipinos is how they value their family. Filipinos are inspired and determined to work abroad because of their family. At the same time, they have strong faith in their religion which predisposes them for having a positive outlook in life.

11. Easy- to- get –along – Filipinos are friendly in nature. They smile back and would usually offer their help to others when need arises. Filipinos are giving in what they have and are not reluctant to share themselves to other people.

10. Stress – tolerant Even problems arise; Filipino nurses are psychologically strong inspite of it. They are emotionally prepared to any sort of calamities or unfortunate events outside the country. There are many factors which makes Pinoys a tolerant of stressful situations aside from being mapagmatiis. Furthermore, the most distinctive about Filipinos is we could even smile or put a humour out of a chaotic scenario.

9. Committed and Passionate – Empathy was taught from the beginning of nursing education and until in practice settings; female Filipino nurses abroad are considered to have motherly nurturing care because of our caring attitude or pagiging maalaga or malambing in nature. Aside from that, Pinoys are also committed in their work and would usually last long in their respective work assignment without any complain from their co- workers.

8. Dedicated and Hard Working – Overseas nurses work like a carabao abroad just to make a living for their family. They tend to even overwork and what Uncle Sam love about Filipinos is because they are the ones who request for overtime and holiday work schedule especially during Christmas or New Year holiday seasons. These are just diversion techniques that Pinoy nurses usually do to prevent themselves from having homesickness and depression. We also believe in the Filipino saying, “Habang my buhay, may pag- asa. 

9. Honest 8 out of 10 Filipinos are honest. They are sincere in what they do and truthfulness is their main thing. They are the ones who would sincerely practice nursing care without any shortcuts and would work hard for the exact time of hours allotted for them.

8. Smart Being honest does not make alone Pinoys loveable to foreign employers but also their being smart people. Not all Filipinos are cum laude when they have graduated from the BSN, but they are wise enough that they can be described as smart nurses.

7. Cheerful We are blessed because humour is not absent in our system. Getting along with other people is easy for us because of this culture orientation. We can laugh once in a while, while on duty and even during a hectic procedure.

6. Reliable Filipinos can work even without direct supervision. This requirement is usually asked during an interview. It is a very essential task in order for the employer to cut cost of required time to supervise his employees.

5. Competent Before going abroad, nurses here in the country do almost have all the training certificates in various nursing procedures because we are not tired of learning just to make sure that we are equipped with good training. Nevertheless, jobless nurses here tend to enrol to any sort of certifying training grounds just to make use of their time while waiting for their work applications.

4. Strong – willed We tend to have the willingness to work to any foreign place just to have greener pastures even assigning us to an area which has different religious orientation from us. We are willing to travel to another place and learn new language; be robed with different duty uniform like a sarong and an avaya; just for one reason – to earn much money to support your family.

3. Does not readily complain Despite unconformities in the work settings, Filipinos are usually the ones who do not complain right away. Though we are vocal, too, in what we think is right but we respect their protocols with honest hearts. Working in a foreign place is not easy so to stand the test of time, Filipinos practice being respectful and obedient to their employers.

2. Flexible This trait is just second among the loveable traits of a Filipino nurse because there is another most coveted trait that foreign employers love than being flexible. In anyway, Filipinos are very flexible in nature that even they are hired for a certain position and later on did they find out that their function there is different, it is still okay for them; because Filipino nurses can readily adapt to any forms of job description.

1.   Willingness to work despite cheap pay Yes, this is actually true. Foreign employers actually pay lower rates to Filipinos because of the dollar – peso exchange rate issue. We tend to grab the opportunity to work in other places because if we convert their pay rates to Philippine peso, it is actually big in amount. But, we did not realize that they are cheap compared to how much they pay other foreign nurses who actually demand for their salary rates; we on the other side, are not demanding in these terms because what is important to us is we could support our family very well in the Philippines.

Though, some ironic reasons have also been included in the list, the passion for living and the cry for assumption of better living in the Philippines are the top priorities of our Pinoy nurses abroad. We should honor them our caps for representing the best of what we have and we could offer as nursing professionals to other countries. Happy International Nurses Week!

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A dedicated registered nurse who loves to view life as a revolving conundrum with spectacles of light and an aspiring writer who wants to share her expertise and experience in the nursing profession. She had pursued continuing education specializing in Psychiatric Nursing but had her practice on MNCHN.