Home Civil Society Voices 2012 Civil Society Voices Thousands of private college nursing grads jobless

Thousands of private college nursing grads jobless

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Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj submitted a memorandum to the Higer Education Minister on 13 December 2011 expressing concern about the high number of unemployed nursing graduates.

We, Malaysians, are deeply disappointed with the failure of the High Education Ministry to control the private institutions that offer nursing courses.

The ministry’s failure to control these institutions’ greed has established a situation in which thousands of their graduates are jobless. And yet, these graduates are burdened with PTPTN loans of as much as RM50000 to RM60000.

Here are the facts:

  • 61 private institutions have been given the go-ahead by the Higher Education Ministry to conduct nursing courses;
  • there are currently more than 37500 nursing undergraduates enrolled in these 61 private learning institutions. A large percentage of these undergraduates have acquired the PTPTN loan, normally around RM55000;
  • the total amount of staff nurses employed throughout the country as of December 2010 was 61110. Of that total, 47992 were stationed in the government sector and the remainder 21118 in the private sector;
  • in 2010, 7665 nursing graduates from private institutions sat for the Nursing Board examination. Only 70.1 per cent of them passed the examination compared to the passing rate of 98.4 per cent amongst graduates from Malaysian Health Ministry colleges.
  • Only 42.7 per cent of nursing graduates from private higher education institutions in 2010 succeeded in acquiring jobs at hospitals and clinics

Taking all these facts into account, we wish to know the following:

  • Is it the Higher Education Ministry that determines the intake quotas for nursing courses in private educational institutions in Malaysia? If so, what is the rationale for allowing an intake quota of 9000 undergraduates for the year 2011?
  • Is the Minister aware that every trained nurse must renew his or her professional licence (APC-Annual Practising Certificate) every year? One of the terms that is required to acquire the APC is an occupational status as a nurse in a hospital. Therefore, if one is unable to get employed as a nurse, he or she is not eligible to renew his or her APC.
  • Is the Minister aware that the marketability of a staff nurse will be adversely affected if she is unable to get a nursing post in a hospital? This is due to the fact that a nurse’s skills will deteriorate if the graduate is not given a chance to practise as a nurse.
  • Is the Minister aware that a lot of the graduates at nursing private higher education institutions originate from families that are not rich? They are hoping to get a job as a nurse in order to pay back their PTPTN loans and to aid their respective families.
  • Is the Minister aware that repayment of the PTPTN loan is required even if the graduate is unable to acquire a job as a nurse?
  • How many of the 61 private higher education institutions currently offering nursing courses have started or are applying to start medicine courses to train doctors?

Our demands:

  • Freeze the intake of new students into private nursing colleges. The market is flooded at this point in time. Do not burden more young girls with PTPTN loans that they will not be able to pay back.
  • Look into the other courses that are offered by the private colleges such as physiotherapy, health care, laboratory assistants, and radiology. If there exists a similar situation of over-supply for these other courses as well, please freeze the intake of new students into these courses.
  • Reject applications of private higher education institutions to conduct doctor courses if the passing rate in the Nursing Board Examination was below 90 per cent for graduates from those institutions in 2010 or 2009.
  • Take over the PTPTN debts for all nurse graduates who have not acquired a nursing post in a hospital despite passing the Nursing Board’s examination.
  • Conduct an investigation to determine why the market for trained nurses is flooded – 37500 will graduate in three years, whereas the need for nurses is only 1500 per year (more or less 5 per cent of the total currently employed in the private sector). Is this because of poor judgement on the part of officials who determine the quota or is corruption involved? The profits of private higher education institutions are immense!
  • Review the validity of the policy of relying on private companies to provide higher education for our younger generation. It is evidently clear from the actions of the private nursing colleges that maximising profits is their main focus! The existence of PTPTN loans has underwritten the income of these private higher education institutions, and they are currently competing to attract as many students as possible without a care as to whether they can provide adequate practical exposure to their students or whether there are sufficient job opportunities for their graduates.

We hope that the Higher Education Ministry officials will study the issues that we have brought up and fix a date within a month’s time to inform us of the steps that will be taken by the Ministry to manage the identified problems in this memorandum.

Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj is the Member of Parliament for Sungai Siput

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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27 Aug 2013 6.46pm

Just to submit my input please do not call them nursing graduates as they are diploma holders to add salt to the injury these students have been conned by the colleges and the govt in that they will be taken up by the private sector ,the basic entry requirement is 3 credits now made into 5 but the bulk of them have 3 credit in any subject so how on earth can they compete with the degree holders who are having full certificate and have GCE O LEVEL will the private hospital take the 2nd group ot the 1st one these are nursing aids ,then again do we need thousands of nursing aids so please use the correct word for if not the entire population will be confused.T o this is a scam thats all

23 Jan 2013 7.10am

Local trained nurses from private colleges hardly to get job in local private hospitals in malaysia.though the hospital have trained their own nurses but still number of nurses to deliver good quality nursing care is insufficient but they still cant employ the newly qualified nurses from local private college because they dont have the image of good quality nursing staff,i am sorry to say that they are lacking of knowledge,skill and communication .that is my opinions why they are still being unemployed,

najib manaukau
14 Jan 2012 1.22pm

Again one of the main reasons for these unemployed nursing graduates is the standard set by the authorities. Otherwise they would be snatched up by many countries who are dying for nurses.
I hate to say this the standard is that of a house maid in the glorified of a nurse just like the doctors that Malaysia are known for. So pathetic and one of the signs of a third world country that is on the way to bankruptcy ! Any wonder why the need to set up Talent Corp. going round the world to plea to the mainly non Malay professionals to return to serve in Malaysia and with lots and lots of incentives. Fat hopes and big dreams !

ong eu soon
ong eu soon
14 Jan 2012 12.35pm

To make matter worst, the English proficiency of those nursing graduates are so bad that make them hard to find job in the private sector.

14 Jan 2012 12.47am

The nursing and medical courses are being conducted because of the … Nursing Board, … the MMC itself , the MOHE and KKM in general…

The Ministry of Health is in direct competition with the private sector for nurses training instead of complementing them. If Colleges and Universities are training medical personnel, why does the MOH want to set up their own nursing school…this is working against national interests and the goverment’s policy…

Since their degrees are worthless, these colleges, like Shahrizat must be forced to return the money to PTPTN…

And for God’s sake , close these colleges down, they are nothing more then a scam to skim PTPTN money off he government…but what would the govt know…they are all sleeping on the job…

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