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A dozen filipino nurses, working as senior carers, in Cambridge, United Kingdom face possible deportation after the Home Office refused to renew their work permits according to a report by the Cambridge Evening News.

Home Office officials also announced they will no longer issue work permits to foreign nationals for senior carer positions after the position has been taken off the list of shortage occupations.

"We treat each work permit renewal on a case-by-case basis and cannot comment on individual cases. The shortage list is made up of roles where professionals within the industries involved have told us there is a chronic shortage of applicants." A Home Office spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, local city official David Howarth has taken the cudgels for the filipino nurses. "These are qualified and hardworking nurses who came to this country at our request and they are now simply being discarded. This is not the way to treat people doing a very important and difficult job." He said.

In a letter to Minister of State for the Home Office, Liam Byrne, Howarth said, "This policy seems unfair and ill-judged and I hope your department will reconsider it. This decision will lead to a shortage of carers.

Many of the nurses have lived in Cambridge for four years after being recruited to help ease staffing shortages in 2003.

Labor Secretary Arturo Brion said that the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and Senator Edgardo Angara are looking at the possibility of allowing the flunkers of the Nurse Licensure Examination to work as Practical Nurses.

Practical nurses, also known as Licensed Vocational Nurses, are also in demand abroad.

Brion presented the idea to Senator Edgardo Angara, former chancellor of the University of the Philippines, as well as officials of the Commission on Higher Education and to the Professional Regulation Commission.

"They all agreed to its viability so we'll meet soon and discuss it," Brion added.

According to a report by the Inquirer, about 40,000 of the 78,797 examinees are expected to pass the June 2007 Nurse Licensure Examination according to estimates by the labor department. The projected 40,000 includes June 2006 examinees who were required to retake portions of the exam.

Brion said the results of the June 2007 nursing licensure exam will be released by middle of August.

(Thanks to breech for pointing out the Inquirer article)

The Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB), a government health board in New Zealand, plans to hire filipino nurses for Auckland according to a report by GMANews.TV

CMDHB is one of the largest providers and funder of primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare in Australasia, serving the people of South and East Auckland in an area that stretches from Otahuhu to Port Waikato.

Representatives of CMDHB will be coming to the Philippines on the third (3rd) week of September to interview applicants and may deploy qualified applicants to New Zealand as early as October.

Qualified candidates will initially be issued visitor visas to do a competency course for eight weeks before they can take exams and eventually register as a nurse in New Zealand, according to Japhet Vailoces, a Filipino clinical nurse educator at the CMDHB’s cardiology and neurology department interviewed by GMANews.TV
CMDHB representatives are reportedly working out a direct-hiring scheme with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to eliminate possible abuse and exploitation by private recruitment agencies. They are also seeking an exemption from paying the US$450 recruitment fee prescribed under the standard recruitment agreement of the POEA.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. (NCSBN) announced that it will begin accepting registrations via Pearson Professional Center for the U.S. nursing licensure exams (NCLEX) beginning Friday, July 13, 2007. The exams, conducted daily, will begin on August 23, 2007.

The Philippine site for the NCLEX exam is at
the 27th Floor, Trident Tower, Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City.
Click here for directions in going to the testing site.

(Thanks to breech for posting the pearson test center address at the shoutbox)

Related Link:
NCSBN Press Release


The U.S. Department of State (DoS) today (July 2 in the US, July 3 in the Philippines) issued a revision on its previously released July 2007 Visa Bulletin effectively retrogressing all employment-based visa numbers.

Last month, the U.S. Department of State released its July 2007 Visa Bulletin reflecting all employment-based visa petitions becoming "current" beginning July 1, 2007.

the sudden backlog reduction efforts by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices during the past month have resulted in the use of almost 60,000 employment-based visa numbers.

This means that the nurse visa retrogression is again in effect.

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