Understanding the DoLE’s NARS Program

What it’s not — a springboard to immediate deployment as nurses overseas. Foreign hospitals usually look for more qualifications (specialization, academic records, actual work experience and where, etc) than just a six months OJT for the nurses they hire. BUT- for fresh graduates and non-practicing nurses, this is a good stepping stone in your career as well as a feel-good way of helping your community, at least for 6 months. Note however, that the slots are few and spread throughout the country; competition will be stiff. But hey, if you’ve got time, a hometown that you love, and a nursing diploma in your hands, why not apply?

What it is — on-the-job training cum community service program where successful applicants will be paid P8,000 in allowances (hopefully to be matched by the corresponding LGU with another P2,000). To reduce costs, the nurses under NARS Program should be locals – meaning, from the communities they would serve, rather than city folks being assigned to rural nursing stations where they will be complete strangers.

Press release issued by the DoLE on the NARS Program follows …

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said interested nurses may file their application at the nearest DOLE regional office, or online at http//www.nars.dole.gov.ph where application forms can be downloaded.

Roque said the DOLE would entertain applications and conduct selection of nurses for deployment to rural areas until March 22, 2009, adding an initial 5,000 nurse-trainees would be selected for deployment beginning April 1, 2009. While on training, the nurses would receive a minimum stipend/allowance of P8,000.00 per month.

The DOLE Chief said that unemployed registered nurses who are physically and mentally fit and willing to serve in their hometowns and who meet the following requirements may qualify for the training cum employment under NARS: a) with valid nurse license issued by the PRC, b) not over 35 years old, c) resident of the identified municipalities; d) no nursing-related practice for 1-3 years.

He also said that another batch of 5,000 nurse-trainees would be recruited between Aug. 15- Sept. 30, 2009. Deployment of the second batch to rural areas would commence on Oct. 1, 2009.

NARS, which stands for Nurses Assigned in Rural Service, is a training-cum employment scheme wherein the hired nurses would be deployed to their hometowns in rural areas to undergo six-month training in providing public health services and in performing clinical functions under the guidance of participating nearby hospitals and other medical facilities.

Launched by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during the Multi-Sectoral Summit on “Joining Hands Against the Global Crisis” held recently in Malacanan Palace, the NARS program is a collaborative undertaking of the DOLE, the Department of Health (DOH), and the Professional Regulations Commission’s Board of Nursing (PRC-BON).

source: Information and Publication Service

Author: Susan Ople

Susan "Toots" Ople is the President of the Blas F. Ople Policy and Training Institute. She's an OFW and labor advocate based in the Philippines.

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  • Jennifer Gatdula

    good day.. just wanted to ask if when would be the third batch of nars program?and what if i have already my application for the second batch and yet doesn’t given a chance to be part of it,do i have to re-apply online for the third batch?thank you and hope to hear you soon for this message..thank you and god bless!

  • noel funcion

    Why is it that our government again is putting a maximum age for this program. I am 43 y/o registered nurse, does that mean nurses like me over the 35 y/o max age no longer qualified to apply?? it is very rediculous!!. This is against the law!!

  • noel funcion

    It is illegal and unjustifiably wrong for DOLE to discriminate based on age. Ibig nyo sabihin pag 40y/o ka na wala kana pagasa makakuha ng trabaho as a nurse?!!! This is age discrimination!!