11/07/2021

Filipino nurses pushing for the right to use their skills

A new association is working to get the qualifications of Filipino nurses recognised in the Faroes

At least fifteen nurses who received their training in the Philippines live in the Faroe Islands.

They all want to work within their field of expertise, but they are held back despite a great shortage of qualified health workers.

This is because working as a nurse in the Faroes requires legal authorisation from the Danish health authorities.

However, two of these nurses, Manylin Jacobsen and Jessica Dam, have received this authorisation and are now eligible to work as nurses. They are Faroese representatives of the association of Filipino nurses in the Nordic countries, which held its second meeting yesterday.

“Our mission, in close collaboration with the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Faroe Islands, is to help Filipino nurses who struggle to get work authorisation from the Danish health authorities,” says Jacobsen.

Another obstacle is the language barrier. But according to the two nurses, the Faroese language courses serve their purpose well.

“The real challenge lies in the Faroese medical terminology. We are looking at ways to establish Faroese language courses with a specific emphasis on medical terminology,” says Dam.

One of the Filipino nurses who has not yet been able to make use of her qualifications due to the language barrier is Manylin Juul.

When she first came to the Faroes, she took a job on board ferry Norrøna because she could use the English language in this job.

“This didn’t help me to learn Faroese, so I decided to start working in a daycare centre instead,” she says.

“After eight years in this job, my Faroese language skills have improved greatly. But there is still some way to go before I can start working as a nurse. There isn’t really anywhere I can go to receive guidance on how to make use of my professional qualifications.”

Magni Mohr, the dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Faroe Islands, says it would benefit everyone if nurses with qualifications from other countries would be allowed to work in the Faroes.

He agrees with Juul that the efforts to help foreign workers to access the Faroese job market are poorly organised.

However, he adds, with some political support it is possible to establish a model in which nursing students from abroad can do one year of their course in the Faroes and thus earn enough ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits to be granted authorisation from the Danish health authorities.

(KvF)

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