10,000 nurses wanted for DOH’s rural health program

The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday announced that it is looking for 10,000 registered nurses to be trained and deployed to poor rural communities in the country. Health Secretary Enrique Ona said the DOH will accept applications starting Monday next week for its project called Registered Nurses for Health Enhancement and Local Services (RN HEALS).
“The project seeks to make essential health services available to all Filipinos by training and deploying 10,000 unemployed nurses in communities to be identified by the DOH in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare and Development," Ona said in a statement last Wednesday. He added that the project is aimed at addressing the shortage of skilled nurses in 1,221 rural and “unserved or underserved" communities in the country for one year.  

Ona likewise said that registered nurses who will qualify for the RN HEALS program will be given an allowance of P8,000 per month, plus a minimum of P2,000 from the local government unit (LGU) they are serving. Board and lodging will also be provided by the LGU, which will also supervise the registered nurses and ensure their safety and security, according to the DOH chief. 
“Eventually, these nurses will be part of the pool of competent nurses for later employment or absorption in health facilities, thus addressing the inadequate supply of skilled nurses and increasing the nurses ’ employment rate," he said.
Registered nurses who are physically and mentally fit may apply online through the DOLE website from January 17 to February 4. Selection of qualified nurses will be done by DOLE regional offices, according to Ona. The list of successful applicants with their area of assignments shall be posted online at the DOLE website from February 7-10.  

Prior to deployment, an orientation shall be held on February 11-12 in their provincial centers of assignment by the regional DOH, DSWD, the Professional Regulation Commission’s Board of Nursing, and the Philippine Nurses Association. 

In 2009, the DOLE and DOH also launched a similar program for registered nurses called Nurses Assigned in Rural Service (NARS).  

~Andreo C. Calonzo/JVGMANews.TV

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