Reskilling Vietnamese Nurses Under the Japan-Vietnam Economic Partnership Agreement: An Analysis of Practice Examination of Japan's National Board Examination for Nurses Given in Vietnamese Language

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 11:45
Location: H├Ârsaal 32 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Yoshichika KAWAGUCHI, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan
As globalization accelerates, more and more nurses are on the move across borders for their professional development. Since 2008, Japan has accepted 547 Indonesian nurses and 412 Filipino Nurses under the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between Japan and each country. Under the EPA program, foreign nurses must pass the national board examination (NBE) for nurses in the Japanese language within three years after they enter Japan. Many previous studies indicated that it is difficult for foreign nurses to pass the NBE, as indicated by the latest passing ratio, 7.3% (March 2015). Vietnamese nurses, following Indonesian and Filipinos, have accessed the labor market in Japan since 2014.  It is obvious that Vietnamese nurses need help to pass the NBE.   

In this study, a Vietnamese version of the 103rd NBE (held in March 2014) for nurses in Japan was given to Vietnamese nurses, who were selected as ‘candidates’ to go to Japan. The aim of this study is to find the pattern of choosing the correct answer in the practice examination by controlling the language barrier. Amongst the 129 participants, no one satisfied the acceptance criteria of 40 points or over for General Questions, and 167 points or over for rest of the questions. By area of nursing, Japanese examinees represented the highest correct answer ratio in Geriatric Nursing (83.7%), whereas Vietnamese nurses scored highest in Holistic Care of Nursing Practice (54.0%).

The result of the study indicated that there is a great difference in the percentage of correct answers between Vietnamese and Japanese examinees. We must consider that socio-cultural differences between two countries, such as differences in the scope of nursing, the health care system and the nursing education program may cause such differences. Therefore, instructing Vietnamese nurses by stressing these areas is necessary for the success in Japan’s NBE.