Filipinos who still take up nursing in 2018 put their faith in the quality of their education and pin their hopes in landing a job abroad. But just how is Filipino nursing education varied from that of the US and Canada?
Filipinos are known for their work ethic and being ‘malambing’ (a local term referring to a combination of both sympathy and compassion). This begins early on as the first two years of any nursing student’s academic life partially revolves around the liberal arts. With courses in the humanities and social sciences, these nurses-to-be are exposed to various cultures and experiences concerning the discipline. This delicate balance translates well into the profession. They develop the necessary skills to relate to people, communicate with them at their level, and are constantly engendered to treat patients like their own families. While they have their majors as early as their first years in nursing school, a humanitarian foundation is built on theories, soft sciences, and real experiences.
Filipino nursing schools emphasize research work and community immersion. These activities help students develop skills in technical writing, active reading, and organizational documentation. Internships and community work contribute to how well they cope with varied personalities in real environments later on. These students are encouraged to delve into other disciplines with the premise that nurses must be well-rounded enough to serve in any scenario and relate with the wide-ranging clientele.
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing curriculum is constantly being updated. Varying from one school to another, most curricula are reviewed and restructured as often as every 2-3 years. Long departed from the concept of developing nurses for local employment, these updates are designed to cater to foreign demands and wishes. After all, a large majority of Filipinos who pursue nursing are aiming at careers abroad. Some schools offer electives in sociology and the humanities which provide students with varied glimpses of life abroad. All courses are taught in English, the second language for all Filipinos.
Despite the decline of the domestic nursing demand, opportunities abroad still call to many Filipinos to take up the nurse’s white uniform. Filipino nurses take their identity in the global stage from their capacity for patient care and job expertise; this degree of work ethic is what draws the healthcare industry to Filipino nurses. They are cultivated and trained early on through the courses they take and the experiences they have as students. The local curriculum shapes them to be well-rounded: simultaneously skilled in the technical aspects of the profession as well as adding a sense of humanism to the practice.