Local nurses go global in search of dollars



Thursday, November 24, 2005

Local nurses go global in search of dollars

Frida Alfiana Modok looked happy when she graduated from a local nursing academy on Wednesday, but her mind was no longer here as she was dreaming of further study and of working in Australia .

The 27-year old along with 28 other graduates of the Binawan Institute of Health Sciences (Stikes Binawan) will leave for Sydney before the end of December to undertake six months study at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in order to obtain an internationally recognized bachelor of nursing degree and registered nurse (RN) title. They will then work in Australian hospitals with a gross monthly salary of around A$4,000 (about Rp 29 million). By comparison, the monthly salary of nurses in Indonesia is only Rp 2 million to Rp 3 million.

"I (now) have certainty in my personal life. I will become an internationally registered nurse and I can work wherever I like with international standard payment," she said on the sidelines of the graduation ceremony at Binawan Stikes campus.

Frida, the eldest daughter of a poor family from Ende, Flores, expressed her happiness at the prospect of going to Australia as she recalled her family's poor situation and her three-years of employment in a public health center in Kupang several years ago.

"It's not only a success, but also a golden chance for me to lift my family's dignity. No matter how much I have paid the institute to obtain the bachelor of nursing, I'm challenged to apply my skills in health sciences to gain more and more Australian dollars so that my family can get out of poverty," she said, saying that her two brothers could not complete their high school education because of financial problems.

Lasnaria Simbolon from Samosir island in North Sumatra said the opportunity to study at UTS and work in Australia gave certainty to her future after she had been unemployed for two years in her hometown before studying at Stikes.

"I'm glad to have graduated with magna cum laude and I'm challenged to achieve a similar performance during my study at UTS," she said, adding she would work in the United States after working for two years in Australia .

She said that thousands of nursing academy graduates have been left unemployed because besides their low-quality training, they could not be absorbed into state and private hospitals and did not have the competence to work overseas.

Lasnaria said she was planning to take a master's program at UTS after completing her two-year working contract, and then come back home to help develop health sciences in the country.

Maria Butar-butar from Medan , North Sumatra, said that she along with six fellow graduates would leave for Saudi Arabia to work as professional nurses with a monthly net income of US$650.

"The hospitals where we will be employed will cover our trip to and from Saudi Arabia , provide dormitory accommodation and daily meals and we will have a 45-day vacation for every 10-months of employment," she said.

Asked on why she did not choose to continue her study in Australia , the 28-year-old said she wanted to make money immediately to help her siblings' education, and to return her loan to the institute.

"I owe Rp 25 million for the two years of study at the institute and I have to return it. Besides, I have to help my parents finance my siblings' education," said Maria.

She said she was keen to show Saudi Arabian people that Indonesia was not just a place where unskilled housemaids came from.

Indonesia supplies around 3,000 unskilled workers, such as housemaids, to Saudi Arabia every month.


Saturday the 21st. STIKes BINAWAN 2012
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