An increasing number of Filipino nurses are seeking employment in the United States, where nurses’ salaries are far higher.

According to Aniceto Bertiz III, representative of the ACTS-OFW party-list and member of the House of Representatives, a total of 4,533 graduates took the US licensure examination for nursing graduates from January to June this year, Philippine Star reported. This represented a rise of 27% over the same period last year.

Bertiz said many Filipino nurses are attracted to working in the US mainly because of the far higher wages paid.

The average salary of a registered nurse in the Philippines is around PHP183,000 (US$3,423) per year, while a nurse in the US can earn as much as US$70,000 per annum.

“Of course owing to our exposure to Western culture, Filipino nurses find it (relatively easy) to work and live in America,” Bertiz said.

The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) said there is an increasing demand for nurses in the US as there is a need to replace medical professionals who will retire over the coming decade.