Gusto nang umalis ng Pilipinas! Mike Defensor: Over 6K nurses took US licensure test in 2020

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Over 6,000 Filipino nurses took the United States licensure exam for the first time last year despite travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Michael Defensor said Sunday, January 31.

In a statement, Defensor said the number of examinees would’ve been higher if there was no pandemic. The 6,204 is down 51 percent when compared to the 12,786 Philippine nursing graduates that took America’s professional eligibility test, or the NCLEX, for the first time in 2019.

“It is not easy to take the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination). Before you can get your authorization to test (ATT), you have to be certified as eligible to take the test by the nursing regulatory board of the U.S. state where you intend to practice,” the lawmaker said.

The NCLEX is administered by the U.S. National Council of State Boards of Nursing Inc. (NCSBN). Taking it costs $200 (P9,600) upon registration, at a computerized adaptive testing center in Makati City. This means extra travel expenses for those coming from the provinces.

Some 43 percent of Philippine-educated nurses pass the NCLEX on their first take while around 25 percent of repeaters make the grade. There are now over 150,000 active Filipino nurses in America. They account for four percent of the U.S. nursing workforce, Defensor said.