Filipino nurse candidate is first-ever in Okinawa to pass Japan’s national exam

Filipino nurse candidate is first-ever in Okinawa to pass Japan's national exam

On March 25, at Arakaki Hospital in Ageda, Okinawa City, Bulilan Gian Carlo Tortugo (center) from Philippines passed the difficult Japanese national nursing examination and shared her delight with Yumiko Tsukada (left) who is the director of supporting foreign trainees, and Daisuke Takahara (right) who is in charge of supporting foreign trainees.

March 27, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

On March 25,Bulilan Gian Carlo Tortugo, who is from the Philippines and has been attending a training course at Arakaki Hospital in Ageda, Okinawa City, passed the Japanese national nursing exam. She was one of the foreign-nurse candidates accepted into the Okinawa nursing program under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). It was the first time that an EPA candidate went through the national nursing exam in Okinawa. Gian said, “I would like to congratulate myself.”

Arakaki Hospital accepted Gian in 2011 as a nursing candidate. She had worked as an assistant of nurses and studied for the examination with the person in charge of supporting the trainees. It is so difficult for foreign trainees to pass the examination because the exam is written in Japanese and requires the understanding of specialist terminology.

“These three years were so hard. I was able to keep studying because I kept a goal of passing the exam,” Gian said. She went to see the announcement of test results with Yumiko Tsukada, who is the director of nursing and in charge of supporting trainees. Gian and Tsukada wept together with joy when they found out she had passed the examination. Tsukada said, “She became a precedent and an example for foreign EPA nurses. I hope more hospitals in Okinawa will accept them in the future.”

The system of accepting foreign trainees under the EPA agreement started in 2008. Generally, the pass rate for the nursing examination is less than 10 percent because it is difficult to the master Japanese language. Arakaki Hospital plans to accept two nurse candidates from Philippines in 2014.

(English translation by T&CT and Lima Tokumori)

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