Why Scarcity in US Visas Shouldn’t Scare Filipino Medical Professionals

It is undeniable that the demand for Filipino nurses and doctors for US hospitals has declined over the past few years. Although nursing shortage is still true in the US today, it is slowly becoming a myth. Two decades ago, nurses come in droves to US each armed with a license, a working visa and a dream for prosperity. Way back then, a lucky few only had to wait three months of applying and finding employment to earn their US visas, but today that is no longer the situation.

After the recession hit US in 2008, Filipino nursing graduates had to wait roughly two years to earn nursing positions. While some are still able to get a hold of what has become a “rare opportunity” to work in medical institutions abroad, others had to endure longer because a flailing economy had to do budget cuts and curtail hiring in large proportions. The same thing happens over 10 years ago when Tony Blair promised to hire 20,000 extra nurses for National Health Services (NHS) in the UK only to crush dreams a decade later when Britain decided to retrench.

Does this mean that nursing graduates have to bid farewell to a better future? Definitely NOT.

Everest Group, an international business advisor and research firm, found a “Hidden Jewel” in the emerging Healthcare Information Management (HIM) industry. The industry has grown fourfold over the past two years. By 2016, it is set to become a $1 billion industry employing around 100, 000 Filipinos. These are medical coders, billers, pharmacy indexers, transcriptionists and other frontline and back office positions that require medical knowledge. Nurses, in this case, have the utmost advantage because the scope of their study covers most of the skills needed to get hired.

According to Everest Group, the Philippines has the largest pool of US-licensed nurses outside the US training with more than 6, 000 nurses per year. Filipino nurses are the top foreign educated nurses qualifying for the US-NCLEX-RN examination beating India, South Korea, Canada and China. In fact, 40 percent of foreign educated nurses in the US are Filipinos.

International healthcare providers have shifted their focus to the Philippines because of its large talent pool. With the supply of qualified nurses exceeding demand attributed to the limited number of opportunities because of economic slowdown, the Healthcare Information Management outsourcing industry has become a smart career alternative.

Yet for someone who dreamed of working in a hospital attending to patients and completing rounds, going to the office everyday to answer phone calls or analyze drug prescriptions for people from the other side of world might seem unnerving. However, those who have been working for the industry for quite some time find the job as a combination of both corporate and healthcare lifestyle minus the physically demanding tasks in a hospital. That means less stress, more time for family and a healthier living.

This proves that there are other jobs for nurses other than low-paying positions in local hospitals. Thousands of jobs await nurses and other healthcare professionals in the Healthcare Information Management and yes, no US Visa required.

Angela is an Online Marketing Specialist specializing in content writing for BPO services. She currently work for TeleDevelopment Services, Inc. TeleDevelopment is a call center and BPO support services that provides management recruitment, training and development solutions, staffing and language assessment.