The need of nurses abroad such as in America, Canada, Europe, Korea, Japan and the Middle East is increasing. It is estimated that by year 2020, the need for nurses reaches 1 million. For example, Japan now needs more nurses because of the imbalance between supply and need. Currently, there are 1.3 million nurses working as care-givers in Japan, comprising 822,000 nurses, 46 thousand community nurses and 27 thousand midwife nurses while the total number of nurse assistants is 411 thousand. The Indonesian government has sent 208 nurses in 2008, 362 nurses in 2009, and 149 nurses in 2010.
"Japan still needs 15,900 nurses by 2010," said lecturer of Nursing Science Program Faculty of Medicine UGM, Elsie Dwi Hapsari, S.Kp., M.S, D.S, in the International Seminar of Nursing: ‘Indonesian Nurses to Study and Work in Three Countries: Preparation and Challenges’, in Ismangoen Building, Monday (4/10).
Although nurses from Indonesia are more and more wanted, there is still language problem, different working environment and international standards of competence. In addition, nurses in Indonesia cannot increase their competence because the master’s and doctoral education is still lacking in the country.
"Until now the number of master’s and doctoral education programs in nursing in Indonesia is still limited. One of the factors was the small number of lecturers who have the appropriate level of education and the educational background," he said.
The same thing was also conveyed by Rebbeca Matti from USAID. She said that the United States were in need of nurses from various countries who have international qualifications. "Working as a nurse in the United States needs an international qualifications for several reasons, partly because of the high degree of independence and respect that is given to the nurses and the mouth-watering salaries. But, is it actually the goal wanted by nurses in Indonesia?" she asked.
According to Matti, the ever-changing climate in America should be the focus of nurses from Indonesia to perceive more of the work system prevailing there. She said that nurse education in American schools can be used as a reference to deepen the knowledge of nursing at the international level. "This is despite the fact that it is easier to gain entry access into the U.S. as students than workers," she said.
In the meantime, Prof. Faustino Jerome Babate from the Philippines said that at least 48 nurse schools in the Philippines have opened a master’s program and 6 schools have opened nursing doctoral programs. According to Babate, the opportunity for Indonesian nurses to continue their studies in the Philippines is wide open. "Education costs are cheap, and the culture is similar in which Indonesians will easily adapt to the society because we still have the Malay culture," he explained.