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A bill has been filed in the lower house of congress seeking to prohibit the collection of fees by hospitals from nurses who apply for training or volunteer work in their institutions.

House Bill 5985, introduced by Laguna 4th District Representative Edgar San Luis, also proposes a penalty of imprisonment of not more than one year and a fine of not more than P100,000 to those found guilty of exploiting nurse trainees/volunteers.

The proposed legislation further mandates hospitals to pay nurse trainees monthly salaries for services already rendered. Any fees previously collected must also be refunded, in full, to the nurse with 6% annual interest.

In a statement published at the House of Representatives' website, Rep. Edgar San Luis said, "No matter how the hospital administrators call the pernicious practice—training, skills building, volunteer work or whatever—what they are doing is plain and simple exploitation."

Dr. Lea Paquiz, in her capacity as Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) President, revealed last year that several government and private hospitals have been exploiting nurses by not filling in vacant positions instead hiring unpaid nursing trainees/volunteers while charging them so-called training fees.

Related Article:
PNA Slams Hospitals for Requiring Nurses to Pay Training Fees

ALLGEN Free IELTS Seminar on April 2, 2009

ALLGEN is inviting nurses to a free IELTS Introduction & Assessment Seminar on April 2, 2009 (Thursday).

Topics to be discussed include:

1. IELTS: an overview;
2. Assessment in Listening, Reading and Writing;
3. Common mistakes in Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking and How to Avoid Them

This free IELTS Seminar offers limited slots only. Interested parties are advised to call ALLGEN at telephone nos. (02) 567-2749/567-0641; 0918-468-8222; 0922-395-8297.

The Seminar will be held at ALLGEN Review Center at the 5/F TM Kalaw Ctr. Bldg., TM Kalaw Ave. (near UN LRT), Manila.

H-1B Visa for Registered Nurses

The H-1B is a non-immigrant, work visa issued to professionals who belong to select group of "specialty occupations" defined in the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act as one requiring theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in a field of human endeavor. A bachelor's degree or its equivalent is usually required in these occupations.

Generally, registered nurses (RNs) do not qualify for an H-1B visa because in order to qualify for an H-1B visa, an employer of a nurse must show that:

1. a bachelor's or higher degree (or its equivalent) is normally the minimum requirement for entry into the position; and

2. the degree requirement is common to the industry for parallel nursing positions (i.e., employers in the same industry require their employees to hold the degree when they are employed in the same or a similar position).

Since the minimum requirement to be licensed as an RN in the United States is generally a two-year associate's degree in nursing, a typical RN position is not considered as a "specialty occupation."

However, there exists a few exceptions as outlined in an internal INS memo. The following advanced RN positions may qualify for an H-1B Visa:

1. Administrative Nurse Positions (i.e. Nurse Managers);
2. Advanced Practice Registured Nurses (i.e. Clinical Nurse Specialists, Nurse Practitioners, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Certified Nurse-Midwife); and
3. Specialty-Nurses (i.e. Critical Care and Peri-Operative Nurses).

Meanwhile, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Friday announced that it will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year 2010 (FY 2010) cap on April 1, 2009.

65,000 visa numbers are allocated each year for the H-1B category.


A bill has been filed in the U.S. Congress seeking to create a special non-immigrant visa category for filipino nurses and other foreign registered nurses.

The proposed legislation dubbed, "The Nursing Relief Act of 2009" (H.R. 1001), will create a temporary W Visa category for registered nurses. It will work in a very similar way as the H-1B visa except that the category is exclusive to registered nurses.

The proposed W Visa cateogory will have a yearly numerical limit of 50,000. However, the cap may be increased depending on the demand for foreign nurses. A W Visa will be valid for three (3) years at a time.

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department has released the Visa Bulletin for April 2009 and it shows that the priority dates for the visa classification, where filipino registered nurses are under, has retrogressed further to back to March 2003 from May 2005.

Related Link:

Full text of The Nursing Relief Act of 2009 (H.R. 1001)

The Professional Regulation Commission - Board of Nursing has rescheduled the date of the 2009 Nurse Licensure Examination.

Pursuant to Board of Nursing Resolution Number 2009-12, the bi-annual Nurse Licensure Examinations for this year will be reset to June 6 and 7 (Saturday-Sunday) and November 29 and 30 (Sunday-Monday).
Click here to VIEW/ENLARGE the PRC-BoN Document

The deadline for the filing of applications in the June 2009 Nurse Licensure Examination is on April 17, 2009.

Related Links:
Nurse Licensure Examination 2009 Schedule
Steps in Applying for the Nurse Licensure Examination

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