It is unlikely to find a Saudi nurse in the Kingdom. We have nurses that belong to different nationalities. According to a study, there are more than 87,000 expat nurses working in the Kingdom while there are only a few of the Saudi national nurses. The basic reason of shortage of Saudi nurses is poor education and poor training. A nurse after graduation has to undertake a test conducted by Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS). However, many Saudi graduates repeatedly fail the test and do not qualify for being a nurse. As per poor education, they fail the test and ultimately switch their careers. Dr. Sabah Abuzinada who is a nursing consultant and a senior official at SCFHS informed that in 2015 around 2,254 nurses were equipped with fake certificates and thereby were disqualified.
Our education system is improper: some Saudi nurses pass a test after undertaking it four times! A nurse can only get a professional license to practice the skills when she can pass a test. Dr. Sabah also briefed that we are out of Saudi nurses as the nation deem this profession as highly dishonorable! As the nurses have to work in a mixed environment, people believe that it is not a good profession. We have to inform the people about the importance of this profession for the society. The shortage of Saudi nurses is also attributed to non-availability of proper quality education and training in public and private sectors, lack of trained teaching staff and lack of health labs. Dr. Sabah also disclosed that people hold a belief that nursing education is easy and take their education lightly. This is a wrong belief and those who stick to this belief fail the tests. And test failure causes quitting of the profession.
Dr. Sabah also briefed that workplace regulations are not suitable for nurses and they choose to quit the job. As the nurses are not facilitated with childcare and transport services, they opt to choose an alternative career! The poor salaries and benefits also fail to attract male nurses in the Kingdom. However, Dr. Sabah appreciated the training programs initiated by the health commission. This would help strengthen the profession
She also disclosed that private sector is responsible for poor education and training facilities. Most nurses graduated from privet institutes fail the professional classification test. 81% of the graduates, last year, failed the test of which majority of them belonged to private nursing colleges and institutions. An effort was made to uplift the number of Saudi nurses by holding tests and training for those who had failed the test. The exam and training were conducted through a collaboration of major medical centers yet the results were not up to expectations.
Dr. Sabah also told that the Commission has shown the lenient attitude towards the nurses who have graduated from renowned universities. However, some of the nurses are required to attend cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training.
Source: Saudi Gazette