My younger son (Jon) is going to a nursing school at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Olongapo City, Philippines. He’s in his third year with about a year and a half to go. I don’t know what the nursing degree is actually called yet, but he’ll have a bachelor’s degree in nursing when his education is complete.
The First Two Years
The original name of the nursing school was “Global City Innovative College”, but it was renamed this year to “George Dewey Medical College”, after an admiral of the United States Navy, best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War which ended in 1898. The name change coincided with new ownership.
Jon enrolled in the first semester of the first year in November of 2006. I was surprised at how affordable the tuition was at 28,000 pesos (about $560 in US dollars). Of course, uniforms and other fees pushed the cost up another 5,000 pesos (around $100 in US dollars).
At first, Jon and his classmates did their homework at Internet cafes. Because of how long each assignment took, I figured it would be cheaper to get a printer and let them use my Internet connection at home for research. So… in February of 2007, I broke down and purchased an inkjet printer along with some extra cheap printer ink cartridges (which had to be ordered from Manila — what a pain that was).
The Third Year
The tuition for each semester has steadily increased, but not by that much. The first semester of the third year of nursing school added up to 33,000 pesos with an additional 5,000 pesos for uniforms, for a total of about 38,000 pesos or $880 in US dollars at the current foreign currency exchange rate.
I haven’t mentioned how much I paid for supplies, books and other miscellaneous items because I never kept track. They weren’t very expensive until the third year books had to be purchased. Those ran about 4,300 pesos or about $100 in US dollars.
My son also needed nursing shoes because the third year requires instruction at local hospitals. It took Jon a full day, with help from another classmate, to locate nursing shoes for men here in Olongapo City. My wife (Josie) started looking for nursing shoes in the US, but couldn’t find any at all. I think shoe manufacturers need to get with the times because nurse jobs aren’t strictly for women any more.
Josie recently spent some time at a Phoenix hospital while her cousin was having a baby. While she waited, she observed what the male nurses were wearing. All of them were wearing white sneakers of some brand or another. I asked her to look and see if there were any Bapes shoes that would fit the bill, but she couldn’t find any in plain white. I checked with the nursing school and they told me Jon had to wear nursing shoes anyway and that sneakers were unacceptable.
The Fourth and Final Year
My son received his pinning last month at the cap and pinning ceremony, which was held at the Olongapo City Convention Center. I and my mother-in-law attended and I ended up being part of the ceremony, which was something I didn’t expect — Jon never said a word about it prior to the event.
Being only the third year, I inquired as to why the ceremony took place this year. I don’t remember the answer, but it had something to do with having duty at the hospitals during the fourth year.
From what I understand, the fourth year is primarily duty at local hospitals. I’m not sure what else is involved. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Anyway, laws have changed and people enrolling in their first year now have to attend FIVE years of college versus four.
Since Josie’s cousin is an office manager for a company that staffs on-call nurses, miscellaneous hospital equipment such as thermometers, stethoscopes, blood pressure testers (whatever they’re called) and related items were obtained for very cheap prices. Some of it was free.
There are probably other equipment items I haven’t mentioned but I can’t remember them off the top of my head. Regardless, I’ve spent far less on equipment than I ever thought I would.
Other Nursing Schools
There are several nursing schools in Olongapo City, but they aren’t dedicated to nursing only. Gordon College, for example, isn’t specifically a nursing college.
Strange as it may seem, almost all of the local colleges offer some form of nursing program. George Dewey Medical College is specific to nursing, at least for the time being. The college is less than 5 years old and isn’t subsidized in any way. It’s the most expensive nursing college in the city.
Nursing Jobs after College
Nurses are in high demand throughout the world and available nursing jobs are plentiful. While Jon wants to head back to the US, where nurses get paid $30 per hour on up, he could actually end up anywhere. He won’t be restricted to traditional nursing jobs and could end up working as a nurse practitioner in a nursing home or as a nursing assistant of some kind, instead of a working at a traditional hospital as a registered nurse.
George Dewey Medical College
For more information, please write or call:
George Dewey Medical College, Inc.
Hospital Compound, Zambales Highway, Upper Cubi,
Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Olongapo City
Phone 63-47-252-1804 or Fax 63-47-252-1805
I recommend using registered mail versus standard mail. Your letter would probably get lost in the Philippines mail system if you send it via standard first class mail.