WELCOME to the world of the jobless.

More than 37,679 new nurses out of the 91,008 examinees hurdled the July 2010 Nursing Board Exams the Professional Regulations Commission announced.

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Among those who placed in the top ten are six Saint Louis University graduates with Vida Theresa Gumangan placing fifth over-all with a 85.60 rating.

Other topnotchers from SLU included Marian Sheryl Milo and Jaylyn Villafania placing eighth with an 85 percent rating while Elaine Lapaan and Eleanor dela Paz both placed ninth.

Another Louisian, Kimberly Mendoza placed tenth with 84.60 percent rating.

However, passers of the board exam worry more of the brisk employment opportunities for professional nurses in the region.

Association of Deans of Philippine Colleges of Nursing-CAR president and SLU dean Mary Grace Lacanaria said she is happy of the result of exams despite being the rising unemployment of professional nurses.

"Employment opportunities have been difficult that is why we advice fresh graduates and board passers to increase their competencies," Lacanaria stressed.

Lacanaria added many countries, including the United States where many new nurses prefer to work, are in retrogression.

"It's hard for nurses to get a job because before being hired they must have two years experience in public or private hospitals to be more qualified in getting jobs abroad.

Lacanaria said there is no problem with the curriculum as they have been benchmarking with other countries but with the discrepancies in implementation of the schools.

She added the only way to answer this problem in nursing competency is to adopt the 5-year curriculum for the nursing course to be at par with other countries.

"Students have the difficulty in adjusting to a four-year course the curriculum which should be ideally for five years. It is only in the Philippines which has a four-year nursing course," she said.

Only 10,000 of 60,000 new nurses get to work abroad, the POEA revealed.