Bonus, incentives pushed to lure âinactiveâ nurses
"We have thousands of nursing graduates who have not been practicing their profession. Some of them are already registered nurses, while the others never bothered to take the licensure test after graduation,” Rep. Eduardo Gullas said.
STAR/Edd Gumban, file
Bonus, incentives pushed to lure “inactive” nurses
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - July 27, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Amid the shortage of health professionals in the country, Cebu First District Rep. Eduardo Gullas has called for a new program that would provide cash bonuses and career incentives to entice “inactive” nurses to practice their profession.

"We have thousands of nursing graduates who have not been practicing their profession. Some of them are already registered nurses, while the others never bothered to take the licensure test after graduation,” Gullas said.

 Over the years, Gullas said many nursing graduates have become airline flight attendants, business process outsourcing staff, or sales agents of real estate, insurance and automotive firms, among others.

Gullas said that the massive economic dislocation and jobs destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic might provide these nursing graduates who are not practicing their profession the chance to rethink their career paths and go back to nursing.

"In Cebu, we actually have many nursing graduates who became flight attendants at the height of the air travel boom. Sadly, a number of them are now out of work,” Gullas pointed out.

He urged the Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Nursing Association (PNA) and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to draw up the program that would encourage inactive nurses to update their competencies and resume their practice.

"We in Congress are ready to help fund the program, which could help address the lingering shortage of nursing staff in public health institutions,” Gullas said.

 Gullas said the program may include career incentives and financial benefits such as a one-time transition bonus and free enrolment in the various courses being offered by the Continuing Professional Development Council for Nurses.

 Gullas added that this pandemic threatens to set back the country’s production of new registered nurses (RNs).

 The PRC usually conducts the Nursing Licensure Examination (NLE) twice a year – in June and in November. However, the PRC will be conducting only one NLE this year, after the examination originally scheduled last May 31-June 1 was postponed to November 22-23.

 From 2017 to 2019, the country has produced average of 10,536 new registered nurses every year.  FPL (FREEMAN)

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