THE INCREASING number of nurses going abroad to earn fat dollars has driven Filipinos to flock to nursing schools. Filipinos believe nursing is their ticket to the good life abroad.

This increasing number owes mainly to the great demand for nurses abroad, and Filipino nurses are the top priority for hiring because we are by nature caring and warm people. Patient care seems to be innate in us. That is why most hospitals abroad prefer Filipino nurses. Not to mention our fluency in English as compared to our fellow Asians.

The nursing mania is very evident: nursing schools have sprouted out of nowhere, making dubious claims that they have all the international affiliations the better to entice students to enroll in them. In UST alone, almost 11,000 high school graduates have applied with Nursing as their first choice. Only 400 students will be accepted. As far as I can remember, four years ago, when I was still a fresh high school graduate, this was not the case. Even licensed medical doctors are taking up nursing.

I am part of this nursing mania. After acquiring a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts, I came to a point where I had to make a great decision in life: whether to study for a second degree or not. I want to work abroad, but that is not the only reason I have for wanting to pursue nursing.

People were astonished when I first told them about the idea. Many tried to discourage me. It is a waste of time, friends told me. I should just pursue a career in Communication Arts. Things turned chaotic as the days passed by. Many events had transpired while I babbled about my future. It was a very tough moment; I was deliberating on whether or not to make a career shift.

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I guess this is not such a good time, considering there are many students who, like me, want to pursue nursing for their vested interests. But I am undaunted in my decision, and fulfilling that decision is definitely a must for me.

This decision is justifiable. I want to help people and to take care of the persons I love. My mom, for instance, is one of the greatest reasons I want to study Nursing. I want to take care of her after all the great things she has done for me. And the only way I can repay her is to be a nurse to her.

Many of my friends doubt my intentions of pursuing a career different from the course I have finished. They argue that I should just have taken nursing after high school. Well, I don’t regret having studied Communication Arts. CA helped me to become the person I am today. It taught me how to be critical, artistic, people-oriented and resourceful in all things. It taught me how to stand up every time I fall. It taught me how to be strong in life and not give up when misgivings come.

But as a theology professor once said, “Acquiring new knowledge is not a waste of time.” I loved hearing that aphorism; it inspired me to do things that I really want.

I don’t know what the future holds for me. But I know that being a nurse is going to be a part of my future.

To all Thomasians, pursue what you want in life, and give it your best. I know I will.

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