Unlicensed nurses allowed to enter hospitals amid healthcare shortage in Philippines

The Philippines will start allowing unlicensed nurses to work as “critical care associates” in hospitals and health facilities to address the country’s healthcare staffing shortage, the Presidential Commission on Communications (PCO) said on Thursday.

The PCO said that Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos gave the go signal to allow underboard nurses to work, stressing the need to overcome the handicaps of the Philippines’ healthcare system.

“It allows those nursing graduates who have taken their boards and have not been able to pass the board this time will be allowed to work nonetheless if they can establish their competencies in certain subjects of the nursing curriculum, and that way they can get work immediately,” the PCO quoted Marcos as saying.

The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) estimated a shortage of 114,743 nurses in the country as of December 2022.

According to the government’s Professional Regulatory Commission, only 53.55 percent of registered nurses are now active due to stress and salary issues, while years of massive migration of Filipino health workers to foreign countries have exacerbated the shortage of workforce in the industry.


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