MANILA, Philippines—Filipino migrant groups in New Zealand have launched online petitions calling on the Wellington government to review a new ruling that automatically denies registration to Filipino nurses who obtained their degrees in the Philippines in less than four years.
The petitions, launched by Philippine Nurses Speak Out! (PNSO), call on the Nursing Council of New Zealand to give Filipino nurses a fairer assessment, saying some of them graduate early because this is their second college course.
According to Ruby Lat of PNSO, Filipino “second courser” nurses include those who obtain degrees in Biology, Psychology, Dentistry, Medicine and other allied courses before taking up Nursing, thus they already had earned credits and are able to graduate in less than four years.
One petition (http://www.ipetitions.com/ petition/philnursespeakout) is for the affected nurses, while the other (http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/supportphilnursespeakout/) is for supporters of their cause.
According to Philippine Ambassador Bienvenido Tejano, there are about 50 nurses overstaying in New Zealand after their applications were rejected.
The Nursing Council’s chief executive, Carolyn Reed, had expressed concern the rapid increase in the number of nursing programs in the Philippines may have compromised the quality of nursing graduates.
“We appeal for consideration, especially for the distressed and stranded Filipino second coursers in New Zealand,” said the first petition.There are some 26,000 Filipinos living in New Zealand, of whom 500 are nurses.–Jerome Aning, Philippine Daily Inquirer