Being one of the wealthiest countries due to having one of the largest natural gas and oil reserves in the world, Qatar is a great place to work as a foreign nurse. They are known for having one of the richest economies in the world. Aside from that, the country is also known for their well-established healthcare system. In fact, Qatar has been recognized as fifth on the health index, as issued by the Legatum Institute. The country offers a vast number of nursing job opportunities, with attractive salaries, which is why many nurses choose to work in the country.
About the Country
Qatar is the third largest destination in the Middle East for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), with significantly increasing demands for OFWs in the fields of construction. Although Qatar may be thousands of kilometers away from the Philippines, the country still feels like home for many OFWs, due to the large population of Filipinos in the country. Around 200,000 Filipinos work and reside in the country, and there are several Filipino organizations for OFWs in Qatar. One of which is the Philippines Nurses Association-Qatar, which is a non-profit professional nursing organization that aims to protect and improve the lives of nurses working in Qatar through measures, such as fostering high and quality standards of nursing practice, relevant professional advancement, humane working conditions, better career prospects, and a dignified existence in order to become globally competitive.
The official religion in Qatar is Islam, wherein an estimate of 90% of the citizens are Shi’a Muslims, while 10% are Sunni Muslims. The way of living in Qatar is slightly different from that of Saudi Arabia. Its cultural views are similar to those of other Islamic countries. However, it is more liberal, such that liquor sales are not prohibited in Qatar.
Similar to other Middle Eastern countries, Doha has a desert climate. Their summers are often hot and humid, with temperatures increasing up to 45° C from May to October. Winters, on the other hand, are pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C. Rainfall is limited, with less than 100mm falling every year.
Type of Nurses
There is a wide-range of job opportunities for foreign nurses who wish to work in Qatar. Some of which include becoming a Registered General Nurse (RGN), Registered Midwife (RM), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), and a Nurse Practitioner (NP).
Registered General Nurse (RGN)
Nurses in Qatar often begin their career as a Registered General Nurse (RGN). RGNs are nurses who work in wide-range of areas, such as hospitals, community health settings, educational institutions, occupational health, long-term care facilities, private practice, and mental health settings.
Registered Midwife (RM)
A Registered Midwife is an individual who completed an education program in midwifery. RMs are responsible for providing support to women during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum periods. They also provide care for newborns and infants. Their responsibilities include detecting any complications in the mother and infant, accessing medical care and assistance, as well as promoting a normal birth.
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
Clinical Nurse Specialists are expert clinicians, who focus on evidence-based practice. They work in specialized areas of nursing practice, which are classified based on population (ex. Adults, Geriatrics, Women, Pediatrics), setting (ex. Critical care, Emergency room (ER), etc.), type of care (ex. Rehabilitation, Psychiatric-mental health, etc.) disease or medical specialty (ex. Cardiology, Oncology, Diabetes, Anesthesiology, etc.) and type of problem (ex. Pain, Wounds, Eating disorders, etc.).
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who work with physicians and other healthcare professionals in areas such as long-term care facilities, ambulatory care facilities, clinics, and hospitals. They provide direct care to patients, in ways such as interpreting their diagnostic examinations, performing procedures, and prescribing medications under agreements with senior consultants.
Staff nurses working in Qatar earn an average salary of 15,100 QAR (₱230,70.08) monthly. Entry level nurses earn 9,720 QAR (₱148,508.14) per month, while senior nurses earn as much as 29,200 QAR (₱446,135.55) monthly. Registered nurses, on the other hand, earn an average salary of 8,000 QAR (₱122,228.92). The salary of registered nurses in the country often ranges from 4,900-38,280 QAR (₱74,865.21-₱584,865.38).
The salary of nurses in the country is dependent on the experience, skills, job position, and location of the workplace of a nurse.
Demand for Nurses
Despite the pandemic requiring a higher number of healthcare professionals to treat more patients, Qatar is a country with a small population. This implies that, while exceptional possibilities exist, they are scarce in supply. Needless to say, you are up against professionals from all around the world for healthcare positions in the country. Therefore, you must be highly skilled in your field in order to be able to work at one of the top healthcare institutions in the country.
There are two types of hospitals in Qatar, namely, the government hospitals, and private hospitals.
The healthcare system of Qatar is primarily directed by the Ministry of Public Health. The two organizations in the country that provide health services are the Primary Health Care Corporation, and the Hamad Medical Corporation.
Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC)
The PHCC is a non-profit corporation that is dedicated to enhancing the health and well-being of individuals in Qatar, by establishing and managing a network of health centers around the country. PHCC administers more than 27 regional health centers in Qatar, with most of them found in the core regions, Central, Western, and Northern regions. 13 of the health centers are located in Doha, and the remaining health centers are situated in the populated areas of the country. The health centers provide multiple health services, which differ based on the location and needs of a particular place.
Health centers maintained by the PHCC include Al Waab Health Center, Al Khor Health Center, Al Rayyan Health Center, Mesaimeer Health Center, Al Karaana Health Center, Qatar University Health Center, and more.
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC)
HMC, established by the Emiri order in 1979, is a non-profit corporation that runs 12 public hospitals, community clinics, and an ambulance service around the country. All the hospitals under the HMC are re-accredited by the Joint Commission International, making them the first healthcare organization outside of the USA to achieve that. On top of that, the ambulance service of the organization has also been certified by the JCI in 2011.
Some of the private hospitals in Qatar are Al Ahli Hospital, Al Esraa Medical Center, KIMS Qatar Medical Center (KQMC), Doha Clinic Hospital, Al-Emadi Hospital, and Dr. Hassan Al-Abdulla Medical Center.
You must be a holder of a Bachelor degree in Nursing (BSN), from a recognized institution, in order to be able to apply to become an RGN in the country. If you have a non-nursing degree, you must acquire a Master degree in clinical Nursing. Aside from attaining a degree, you must also hold a valid and active nursing license from your country of origin. To become an RM, you must complete a Midwifery education and acquire a Midwifery diploma with a minimum course duration of three years. To become a CNS, you must first meet the requirements for RGN, and then you must complete a master degree, postgraduate program, or doctoral degree in your preferred area of clinical specialization. Lastly, NPs must complete the educational requirements to become an RGN prior to acquiring a master’s degree or doctoral degree in advanced nursing practice.
To become an RGN in Qatar, you must have a minimum of two years of clinical experience in your preferred field of nursing. However, if you are a fresh graduate, you could still work in Qatar, provided that you complete an internship program in the country, or in your country of origin. To become an RM in Qatar, you must have two years of experience as a midwife prior to applying for a job. For CNS, you must have at least three years of clinical experience as an RGN, and one year of experience in your chosen area of specialty. Lastly, for NPs, you must have a minimum of three years of clinical experience as an RGN, and an additional two years of experience in your desired area of specialty.
In order to be able to apply for a nursing job in Qatar, you must first pass the Prometric Examination.
The Department of Healthcare Professions (DHP) – Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) – State of Qatar requires that all applicants must successfully pass the Prometric examination, which is a computer based examination. The qualifying exam is one of the conditions for registration or licensing of healthcare practitioners in order to ensure the efficiency and eligibility of candidates to practice safely in Qatar.
You must take the examination that is fit for what you are applying for. For instance RGNs must take the exam for their respective classification. The exam for RGNs and RMs has a total number of 150 multiple choice questions, which can be taken for 3.5 hours. In order to successfully pass the exam, you must acquire a minimum score of 50%.
Prior to taking the Prometric Examination, you must fulfill the Qatar Prometric DataFlow verification process.
Qatar Prometric DataFlow
Qatar Prometric DataFlow is a process of Primary Source Verification (PSV), which aims to verify the educational background, training, experience, and other credentials of the applicant. PSV is performed by the verification agency, DataFlow. When applying for licensure or renewing of license (for licensed health professionals whose qualifications had not previously experienced PSV), all health professionals must go through the PSV procedure. Each document must only be validated once. For credential reasons, health professionals may need to repeat the PSV procedure for verification of newly obtained credentials/qualifications, such as the acquisition of a new educational degree. The documents that you must submit for the verification process are listed below.
- Passport Size Photo with white background
- Passport (Front and Back Page)
- School Leaving Certificate (S.L.C.) – Secondary School Certificate
- Plus Two (Higher Secondary)
- Degree or Diploma Certificate
- Registration Certificate (License)
- Certificate for your Last 2 Years of Experience (for Qatar Prometric)
- Basic Life Support (BLS) Certificate
- Good Standing Certificate (issued by the Medical Council or Regulatory body from where you obtained your previous license or the State Nursing Council of your last employer
- Certificate is only valid for six months.
- If an applicant has experience from another country, a valid license and Good Standing Certificate from the Consent Regulatory Body is required.
Study in advance for the Prometric Examination to secure a high score. Make sure to also prepare the necessary documents beforehand in order to prevent any delays in the application process. Once you have successfully submitted the requirements, you are one step closer to becoming a nurse in Qatar.
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