The Filipino Nurse

October 2008 Issue


Pinoy Lifestyles in White


Thanks to the nursing shortage in the US some thirty years ago, that nursing became every girl’s/boy’s dream in the Philippines. In many perspectives, this nursing influx has numerous impacts in the socio-economic picture, both here and abroad. These factors flowed naturally to create the Filipino Nars image while in transition in creating that niche in the American healthcare.


Coming to America with couple of hundred dollars and the trade of a nurse, life was interesting among the young men and women in white separated from their families, friends and country! Generally hard working, genuinely caring, respectful, patient, submissive, happy, and peaceful, the Filipino nars blended readily with America and its immigrants from all over the world.


They came by batches, single and in their prime times, so that working double shifts is not an issue. These gave them the edge to their financial strength which extended to their families, sending one or two of their siblings to nursing schools to follow their footsteps and good fortune. Their non-nursing counterparts have to adjust to their busy lifestyles.


Each nurse has a story of courage from being pinoys and fresh from the province, working against all odds to create their status as America’s professional nurses, from being foreign-educated to Americas own-trained advance practitioners.


Over the years, the Filipino narses created this image to portray a world-class caregiver as Nurses. They started low as nurse’s aides until they pass their boards and serve as professional nurses. The path was not easy and without issues. As people of color, minorities and foreign-born, they were not exempted from prejudgment, bias and unfair treatment. Despite of these, they survive the tension and stress of being nurses. They create their own lifestyle to suit the needs of their profession and bounce back from the wear and tear of stress and physical demands of caring for the American patient. The Filipino nars love fun, dancing and picture taking and talking about movie stars. They love to cook and share their cuisine to their co-workers. They fill the nurse’s lounge with the smell of a garlicky adobo on lunch breaks.


Quo Vadis, nars!


Legislative Agenda for Philippine Nurses

Project NARS: Nurses Assigned in Rural Service

On February 9, 2009, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, launched the NARS Project which stands for Nurses Assigned in Rural Service, as a part of  massive strategies under the Economic Resiliency Plan of the government to mitigate the impact of the global financial crisis and save and create as many jobs to expand social protection. The NARS Project aims to increase the accessibility of health care services for distant, poor rural areas of the country, while providing financial help and experience to new graduates.

NARS is a training and employment program designed to mobilize registered nurses at an average of 5 per town in 1,000 poorest communities. These trainees shall be known as “warriors of wellness’ in their hometowns where they are expected to do the 3 I’s: Initiate primary health care, school nutrition, maternal health programs and first line diagnosis; Inform the public on community water sanitation practices and perform health surveillance, and Immunize children and mothers.

The project was made possible by the collaboration of DOLE (Dept of Labor and Employment, (DOH) Department of Health, (PRC) Professional Regulation Commission and (LGU) Local Government Units.

The program was ready for implementation by April 1, 2009 with the training aspect collaborated by the Board of Nursing (BON) and the Association of Deans of Philippine Colleges of Nursing (ADPCN) and the National League of Philippine Government Nurses (NLPGN).

The program will benefit a total of 10,000 NARS Trainees for 12 months. Their families will also benefit from the stipends that they will receive for a total of 6 months. The recipients of improved health care services through hospital and community nursing will include a total of 1,000 poorest, rural communities.

Source: BON Newsletter (Board of Nursing) Vol 4 April 6, 2009


Phillipine Rural Communities
Uncontrolled Population Growth
Poor Water Supply