Publication written by 2011 DPDF Migration and Gender Studies Fellow Yasmin Ortiga:
This paper investigates the challenges faced by nursing schools within migrant-sending nations, where teachers and school administrators face the task of producing nurse labor, not only for domestic health needs but employers beyond national borders. I situate my research in the Philippines, one of the leading sources of migrant nurse labor in the world. Based on 58 interviews with nursing school instructors and administrators, conducted from 2010 to 2013, I argue that Philippine nursing schools are embedded within a global nursing care chain, where nations lower down the chain must supply nurse labor to wealthier countries higher up the chain. This paper shows how this process forces Filipino nurse educators to negotiate an overloaded curriculum, the influx of aspiring migrants into nursing programs, and erratic labor demand cycles overseas. These issues create problems in defining the professional knowledge needed by Filipino nurses; instilling professional values and standards; and maintaining proper job security. As such, these findings demonstrate how countries like the Philippines bear the burden of ensuring nurses’ employability, where educational institutions constantly adjust curriculum and instruction for the benefit of employers within wealthier societies. My interviews reveal how such adjustments undermine the professional values and standards that define the nursing profession within the country. Such inequality is an outcome of nurse migration that current research has not fully explored.