18,617 Filipino nurses sought U.S. jobs in 2022

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A total of 18,617 nursing graduates from the Philippines took the U.S. licensure examination for the first time in 2022, in hopes of practicing their profession in America, Quezon City Rep. Marvin Rillo, vice chairperson of the House committee on higher and technical education, said on Sunday.

“In 2022, we had the highest number of Philippine-educated nurses taking the NCLEX in 14 years, in terms of first-time takers,” Rillo said, citing figures from the U.S. National Council of State Boards of Nursing Inc. (USNCSBN).

The USNCSBN administers the National Council Licensure Examination, or the NCLEX, for registered nurses in America.

The 18,617 represents a surge of 90 percent when compared to the 9,788 Filipino nursing graduates that took the NCLEX for the first time in 2021, without counting repeaters, according to Rillo.

“The number of Philippine nursing graduates taking the NCLEX for the first time is a reliable indicator as to how many of them are eagerly looking for employment in America,” Rillo said.

Rillo renewed his call for Congress to invest more compensation funding to retain Filipino nurses in public hospitals and to discourage some of them from leaving the country.

The lawmaker from Quezon City has been batting for the passage of House Bill No. 5276, which seeks to boost by 75 percent – from P36,619 to P63,997 – the lowest base of nurses employed by the government.

Under Rillo’s bill, the minimum base pay of nurses in public health institutions would be raised by six notches to Salary Grade 21 prescribed under the Salary Standardization Law of 2019.

Meanwhile, the latest numbers from the USNCSBN show that a total of 4,318 nursing graduates from India also took the NCLEX for the first time in 2022, along with 1,816 graduates from South Korea.

A total of 1,326 nurses educated in Puerto Rico and 1,264 nurses schooled in Nigeria likewise took the NCLEX for the first time last year, along with 540 nurses trained in Kenya.