Nursing licensure exam result dismal–PNA

By James Konstantin Galvez, Reporter
“I am not happy with the board exams result.The mortality rate should not be that big,” said the Philippine Nursing Association (PNA) Inc. President Teresita Barcelo on Monday.

Barcelo said the government has to implement measures to improve the quality of nursing education after expressing concern over the dismal result of the recent nursing licensure exam.

Part of the reform is an enhanced curriculum that will ensure that nursing students get quality education in their chosen field, Barcelo added.

The steep decline in the number of those who passed the board exams this month was also observed with some concern by former PNA President Dr. Leah Primitiva Samaco-Paquiz.

“During our time, the passing rate was about 80 percent,” Samaco-Paquis said, noting that the decline started way back in the 1970s when the Marcos administration “rationalized” the nursing curriculum and changed the five-year course offering to the current four years.

At present, there are about 460 nursing schools in nationwide.

Some 39,455 examinees passed the nursing board exam in November 2008 out of 88,649 graduates who took the test, some of whom garnered a passing rate of 44.51 percent.

The officials cited several factors that led to the “decline” in the passing rates of nursing graduates. Among them, lack of qualified faculty, inadequate resources and facility and the proliferation of sub-standard nursing schools trying to cash in on the nursing boom in the past several years.

They stressed that these issues should be addressed to put the country’s nursing education on a par with the rest of world.

They said further that the government should also institute strict monitoring of existing institutions and facilities.

Earlier, the PNA warned that Filipino nurses are slowly losing their competitive edge even as they noted the decline in the number of hiring in the United States and the United Kingdom, two of the leading destinations of Filipino health professionals.

At present, there are about 460 nursing schools in nationwide.

Some 25 “non-performing nursing schools” continue to operate despite a recommendation by a panel of experts for their immediate closure two years ago.

But Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman, Dr. Emmanuel Angeles admitted that with limited funds, CHED can only monitor and evaluate a small percentage of the 1,726 higher education institutions and the 16,000 programs it offered, including nursing, each year.

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