MANILA, Philippines— The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has asked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to delay the implementation of its new test for foreign nurses seeking work there.
Saudi is the biggest employer of Filipino nurses. POEA records show that the number of Filipino nurses deployed to Saudi has steadily increased over the past four years. A total of 5,640 Filipino nurses were deployed to Saudi in 2004; 4,627 in 2005; 5,640 in 2006; 6,266 in 2007; and 7,955 in 2008.
In an interview, POEA Administrator Jennifer Manalili told INQUIRER.net the new Saudi requirement, similar to the one required by the United States’ Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), requires the so-called prometric examination.
The testing fee of $85, as in the NCLEX (the nursing licensure test in the US), is to be shouldered by the examinee
However, Manalili said, the Philippine government can hardly implement the new requirement because it has not been fully disseminated and preparations for its implementation are still underway.
She said personnel changes in the Philippine diplomatic post in Saudi and the Saudi embassy here are also making it difficult to implement the new test.
Manalili said POEA does not even have a complete list of the testing venues in the Philippines.