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Jobs in nursing hard to come by for graduates

PETALING JAYA: It is difficult not only for diploma graduates but also degree-holders to get a job in nursing.

Some have ended up becoming insurance agents, tuition teachers and sales assistants while others are involved in part-time businesses as they wait for a nursing vacancy to open.

Hartini Haron, 25, from Sabah, said she graduated one-and-a-half years ago with a nursing degree from a public university but had yet to get a job in the field even though she had sent in “countless” applications.

“I am disappointed with the whole situation. We studied for four years and now, we can’t even get a job,” she said.

A few of her friends got a nursing job almost a year after completing their studies, said Hartini, who does whatever part-time work that she can get.

Hartini said new graduates with no working experience as a nurse found it tough competing with graduate nurses who had working experience.

Nurses from the Health Ministry who continued their studies for a degree were easily absorbed into the system, she added.

Another public university nursing graduate, Khairun Nisa Mohammad, 25, from Ampang said she received an offer from a private hospital after nine months of unemployment.

“The Government must provide job opportunities. If not, why did they provide nursing courses?” she asked, adding that only one of her course mates got a job as a lecturer with the Health Ministry.

Before getting her current job, Khairun Nisa said she worked as an assistant merchandiser.

“Some of my Chinese friends have become nurses in Singapore,” she said.

She said only two of her 30-odd classmates got jobs as nursing lecturers with the Health Ministry while the rest had not been able to get a nursing job and worked as sales assistants, insurance agents and tuition teachers.

Sofia Yusof, 25, who completed her nursing degree in July 2010, said she accepted a nursing job in March last year at a private hospital in Johor but was being paid according to the salary scale for diploma holders She added that she could not get a nursing job via the Public Services Commission.

“I have to support my parents who are old and pay for my study and car loans,” she said.

Another graduate who wanted to be known only as Nooraniza, 25, from Johor, said she had sent her applications to the commission, but there was no vacancy at the moment.

Desperate for a job, she accepted a nursing job at a private hospital which was only willing to pay a “diploma scheme” salary.

“I took up the job because I didn’t want to burden my father,” said Nooraniza, whose father is a crane driver.

S. Gnanapragasam, 62, said his 22-year-old daughter and several of his friends’ children were having difficulty getting nursing jobs after completing their diploma courses.

He added: “They spent several years studying and in the end, they are struggling to find jobs. My daughter finally found a job but she is not doing what she was trained to do.”

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