Welcome to the life of being an unemployed registered nurse here in our country. After passing the recently concluded Dec 2010 NLE, what is next for the many new nursing board passers here in the Philippines? Well certainly you are not alone in your dilemma on how to start your nursing career as many other nursing graduates and board passers alike are bewildered as to which road they need to take.
It is actually nice that you seem worried as this feeling of yours will evoke a sense of urgency on how to come up with the best possible resolution or even an alternative to the situation where you are right now. This makes you completely different to some other new nursing board passers out there who seem to be contented in being a bum.
It is not anymore a big surprise that most of the overseas opportunity have already shut their doors for nurses. Most of the countries now (even Saudi Arabia) require nurses to have at least 2 years of clinical experience before they will entertain your application. Meanwhile, most hospitals from western countries oblige their nurse applicants to pass certain exams and courses aside from the 2 years of experience and being currently employed in a hospital. It is pretty tough huh to start a career in nursing! Well you should’ve realized that before you agreed to the demands of your parents in studying nursing.
Since all of us took up nursing for the same reason, here are some of the options to ponder. For starters, you can actually start processing your NCLEX and IELTS application. The previous is required mostly by most American states while some may resort to CGFNS or even both while the latter is required mainly in most English speaking nations like New Zealand, Australia, America, Canada, United Kingdom, etc. Some passers may proceed with graduate school programs like pursuing masteral (MAN/MSN), apply in IV insertion trainings, join in BLS training, even attend to many nursing related seminars, and of course applying as a nurse volunteer (sigh) in the FEW and heavily populated hospitals.
These are but some of the options you have but as to what you should prioritize first, the choice is really up to you. If you don’t see yourself leaving the Philippines anytime soon, then it would be a good idea to have your BLS and IV trainings. You may also apply for the available 3-6 months (most hospitals now offer less than 3 months) hospital-based training to increase your leverage in the profession. It will be a good idea also to start mass producing your resume so you can pass your application to some of the hospitals that works to your liking. A usual trend among many hospitals is a window waiting period of around 2-3 months which may make you unproductive. To avoid this scenario, you may attend further training or even study for NCLEX or IELTS while waiting. Many hired staff nurses find it difficult to balance ongoing work and their review for any of those exams, thus, a tendency to apply for a leave or even a resignation with their present job may be inevitable. Hence, it will be better if you can get this all done even before you start working. Sure your foreign license along with your IELTS certificate holds validity/expiration dates however you can renew it anyway right (which comes in a certain big amount of course).
Meanwhile, you can always study hard, get a masters degree and be an instructor in school/review centers/training centers as they do pay well. Only that you have to study harder as well just like what we have done years ago as student nurses.
So what I would suggest is that you read and visit different threads in the forum and take into consideration a lot of things. Decide on what you want to do in your nursing career and seize whatever opportunities are out there that may work best for you. It is also very crucial to look into your funds as everything that you do will mostly incur expenses. This is the hard part about nursing as after all those grueling years of studying and paying expensive tuition fees, you still have to shell out more money for trainings, exams, applications, papers, etc. So prioritize and decide carefully what path you would like to take so that you will not waste your time and to avoid unnecessary expenses as well. Generally it would be great if you can land a hospital based job as clinical experience is now deemed vital in your journey to find work abroad.