The Recognition of Indonesian and Filipino Candidates as Registered Nurses Under the Economic Partnership Agreements about Japanese Nursing Practice

Monday, 22 July 2013

Satoko Ono, MSN, RN
Faculty of Nursing, Department of Health and Welfare, Seinan Jo Gakuin University, Fukuoka, Japan
Yachiyo Yamamoto, PhD, MW
Department of Medical Welfare, Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare, Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan
Yasuko Maruyama, MSN, RN
Faculty of Nursing, Department of Health and Welfare, Seinan jo Gakuin University, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan

Learning Objective 1: The leraner will be able to find the provision of education for the care worker candidates from foreign countries.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be improve transcultural nursing competence.


Japan started accepting care worker candidates in 2008 under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Indonesia and the Philippines. Candidates take a Japanese language course and prepare for the national exam while working at hospitals or other care facilities for at least three years. It is believed that these candidates experience difficulties in adapting to both the culture and clinical settings in Japan. The purpose of this study is to clarify the recognition of candidates under EPA about Japanese caring practice.


 A semi-structured interview was conducted with six Indonesian and six Filipina candidates. Data was analyzed by a qualitative inductive approach. Ethical approval for this study was obtained from the Ethical Review Committee of Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare.


Twelve categories comprising the candidates’ recognition of nursing care in Japan were detailed: “Characteristics of Japanese”, “Characteristics of Japanese patients”, “Weakness of family ties”, “Nursing service in Japan”, “Patients in their countries”, “Families in their countries”, “Nursing service in their countries”, “Taking a flexible and motivated attitude”, “Considerations of the characteristics of Japanese”, “The reliable workplace”, “Confusion about nursing service in Japan”, and “The linguistic barrier.”


The EPA candidates recognized many different points of Japanese nursing compared to their own countries. The most important points were 1) confusion when encountering the clinical setting in Japan, 2) linguistic barrier, 3) being helped by both Japanese colleagues and patients. It is important for them to know the cultural background as well as the characteristics of Japanese medical care, and the lifestyles of the elderly in Japan. The provision of education for these purposes is urgently needed for these candidates.