Master S Degree Program to Bolster Peninsula Nurses

from Oakland Tribune .. 

By Neil Gonzales 

San Francisco State has teamed up with Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City and other medical centers to help working nurses earn master's degrees and boost their skills. 

The effort funded by a $450,486 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation builds on San Francisco State's existing master's program with Stanford Hospital and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto. 

That program divides class time between clinical experience at a hospital and administration courses at San Francisco State, the university said. Most of the nurses currently in the program are from Stanford and the children's hospital. 

The latest project will provide other nurses on the Peninsula "educational opportunities nearer their homes and work," said Shirley Girouard, director of the School of Nursing at San Francisco State. 

The expanded program invites nurses from Sequoia, Mills- Peninsula in Burlingame and other hospitals to apply for classes to be held in Palo Alto and San Francisco State starting in the fall. The program takes four semesters to complete. 

About 40 participants will be admitted each semester, Girouard said. They will "become advanced practice nurses" and have the ability to serve in various skilled roles such as an administrator, researcher and teacher. 

The project moves "the location of graduate education up closer to nurses who might be seeking graduate education," said Linda Kresge, chief nurse executive at Sequoia. "The university is partnering with hospitals so that we might identify registered nurses who are prepared at the baccalaureate level (and) interested in seeking graduate education or a master's degree." 

The effort also involves doing a "feasibility study to assess demand for masters-prepared nurses in the Bay Area," Girouard said. 

An advisory committee of medical professionals from Sequoia, Stanford, El Camino Hospital in Mountain View and elsewhere will help oversee the study, San Francisco State officials said. 

"There is a need for these types of nurses because they provide a different, higher level" approach in addressing health-care quality, safety and patient satisfaction, said Amy Nichols, associate professor of nursing at SF State. 

Advanced practice nurses are in short supply, especially in the area of nursing administration and training -- partly because many in the field don't want to quit their job to return to school for a master's degree, Nichols added. 

So a master's program "needs to be convenient and feasible and work with their professional lives so they can take classes," she said. 

Staff writer Neil Gonzales covers education. He can be reached at 650-348-4338 or 

(c) 2009 Oakland Tribune. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.

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Accord sought with countries recruiting Filipino nurses

By Madel R. Sabater
Former Health Secretary Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan has urged the government to ensure a win-win bilateral agreement with countries who take interest in hiring Filipino health professionals.

In his keynote speech during the 27th anniversary of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD-DoST), Tan said there is a need for international support for ethical framework of recruitment, citing the high demand for Filipino nurses abroad.

“There should be win-win bilateral agreements to ensure an ethical recruitment (of Filipino health professionals),” he said.

This, Tan said, may be done by having a trust fund for health human resource development by the importing country.

“(The Philippine government) is forging now a joint or multi-country research data and action program on health human resource development among importing and exporting countries,” Tan said.

“This year, we hope to establish a Philippines-Canada, Philippines-Finland, and Philippines-Bahrain trust fund for human resource development,” he said, adding that these countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Philippine government as equity partners in International Health Care in 2007 to 2008.

Tan lamented that in Central Luzon alone, there are three towns in Bulacan and two in Pampanga that do not have a doctor. He added that in a visit to Samar, he found that some hospitals have already closed down due to lack of doctors in the area.

“Migration has moved to greater heights. This year, 50,000 nurses are predicted to migrate out of the country,” he said.

In the country’s agreement with Canada’s Saskatchewan province and Finland, Tan said for every 10 nurses, the importing country has agreed to improve the nursing center and for one Filipino nurse hired, three more nurses will be educated. Joint researches, linkages and graduate scholarships with their universities for improved research were also included in the agreement.

WNU incorporates VITAL to Nursing Curriculum

BACOLOD CITY -- West Negros University (WNU) does its best to improve the quality of education of their valued-WESNECANS.

It will incorporate Virtual Integrated Teaching and Laboratory (VITAL) in its curriculum for the Nursing Course.

VITAL has been introduced by Health Care Advantage Institute which is intended for Nurses and Allied Healthcare professionals and undergraduates.

Mr. Armand Del Rosario, President of Health Care Institute has introduced VITAL to WNU and they agreed to include this to the Nursing curriculum of the university.

Through this VITAL, a virtual simulation-based training will be made available to WNU Nursing students.

The global trend among health care institutions including the Philippines is to adapt an approach to patients which is based on international standards. Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO) is the leading accreditation body of health care organization within the United States. Joint Commission International Accreditation (JCIA), a division of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO), is the largest accrediting body for health care organizations outside the U.S.A. Both bodies mandate that staff of JCAHO and JCIA accredited institutions be intelligent on their standards and practice in caring for their patients. To achieve optimal performance, the professional must be possessing impeccable cognitive, technical and behavioral skills of this international-based standards and practice.

Health Care Advantage Institute has comprehensive training curricula which incorporate simulation-based training on human performance in both basic and high- risk domains with the standard and practice of the JCIA as its framework. It focuses on improving quality health care delivery and ensuring a safe environment for patients and staff through knowledge and skills-based competencies. 

Participants carry out and exponentially refine their skills using the facility’s state-of-the-art equipments and lifelike mannequins. 

The constructive environment allows the learners to work at their own pace in convincingly replicated clinical settings without undue pressure from multiple factors like fear of committing errors from lack of knowledge and mastery of skills. “As you make a journey to perfection, HCAI’s team of dedicated and competent instructors and staff will guide you every step of the way. HCAI is the gateway to global competitiveness. Take the Nursing profession to the next level.”

Dr. Helen Villarico-Correa, WNU Acting Dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health Services, said that this will advance the teaching methods and fast track strategies in coordination with HCAI which will assist future nurses through the actual hands-on on the state-of-the-art facilities. She initiated the latest Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA) visit to upgrade the quality of nursing education of the university.

Mr. Jay Reuben A. Delfin, WNU Skills Laboratory Supervisor is an Expat with a mission. He worked as a nurse in the United States with concentration in real-time hospital equipment. His broad experience in different modern machines and instrumentations made him a much valued resource person in the hospitals of El Paso, Texas. With the dawn of the high technology-driven hospital facilities during the early 1980’s, he was already at the forefront of operating the said equipments in Texas’ Providence Memorial Hospital.

Moreover, this is this first university in Western Visayas to have VITAL in its curriculum including the state-of-the-art equipment now at WNU, said Mr. Del Rosario.

This is a step in the right direction for WNU, said Dr. Correa.

New Zealand: Luring or repelling Filipino nurses?

By Kimberly Jane T. Tan
Amid speculations that New Zealand is cutting down on foreign workers, the island country is still marketing itself to be a “choice” destination country for overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

Currently, OFWs in New Zealand are faced with the alleged tightening of registration for foreign nurses, taking into account the country’s assumption that Filipino nurses are not “at par” with their standards.

New Zealand Nursing Council chief executive Carolyn Reed has even previously expressed concern that the rapid increase in nursing programs in the Philippines has compromised the quality of nursing, prompting them make the registration for overseas-trained nurses stricter.

But Filipino nurses in New Zealand have branded the Nursing Council’s new registration rules as “prejudicial” and “unfair,” saying that it reportedly forces them to settle for unskilled jobs with minimum wage even when hospitals there are supposedly facing an acute shortage of nurses.

The new requirements, which took effect early January, requires all overseas qualified nurses – including those from Britain and other English-speaking countries – to face a tough English language assessment.

The Nursing Council now reportedly requires a score of 7 in each band of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test, higher than the current university entry requirement of 6.

However, the biggest problem for many Filipino nurses is the decision made by the council that those with nursing degree courses of less than four years will no longer be deemed eligible for employment in New Zealand.

Many Filipinos have taken nursing as their second course, shortening the time that they needed to complete it as they have already taken some subjects for a previous degree.

Fair assessment

Philippine Nurses Speak Out – a network of Filipino nurses and their advocates – has already started a campaign for the New Zealand Nursing Council to “recognize” the knowledge and skills of Filipino nurses.

It reportedly aims to unite Filipino nurses to speak out for their rights and build a “broad-based support” from the New Zealand public and concerned agencies in order to guarantee the rights of Filipino nurses to equal employment opportunities.

For its first project, the network set up an online petition where Filipino nurses can appeal for fair assessment from the council.

According to the statement posted on the site, many Filipino nurses were “dismayed” that many of them who took up nursing as second degrees have been rejected, despite some having served New Zealand’s health care industry “adeptly.”

“We note that some second coursers who applied before 2008 were approved by the NCNZ. Since 2008, second coursers who were declined are frustrated that their competence was questioned when they hold essentially the same qualifications as those whose applications were approved in the first quarter of 2008, 2007 and previous years,” it said.

The petitioners added that they do understand the council’s move to restrict the entry of Filipino nurses applying for work in New Zealand because they need to “protect” their local nurses amid the current economic crisis.

However, they still request that the council give consideration to Filipino nurses who have already gained relevant work experience in New Zealand and applied for registration before the changed in application process were made.

Moreover, the petition urged it to reconsider the registration of second coursers who graduated from schools that have a good track record in producing qualified nurses and that they offer training for these nurses currently in New Zealand as student nurses and consider the registration of those who are shown by this process to be competent to practice.”

On the other hand, supporters of the appeal of Filipino nurses may sign up for a separate online petition.


Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Jennifer Manalili has already pushed for a more stringent screening and thorough training amid complaints made by Filipino nurses over New Zealand’s tougher policies.

“[We have a] problem of access to training facilities. We [also] have to adjust the [nursing] curriculum,” she said in a previous interview.

She said that this is important because sometimes receiving countries demand workers with more training or work experience.

“You want nurses hired to be familiar with the equipment,” she said, adding that countries like New Zealand and Australia have high standards for the kind of workers that they hire.

Moreover, she said that nothing can be done against such decisions made by other governments.

Manalili added that the move to make registration stricter might have been done to give priority to other local and foreign workers with better qualifications.

“Just like in the Philippines, you have to compete with other applicants,” said Manalili.


However, some recruiters have found the new rules to be a “liability” to New Zealand. 

Rodney Faulkner, director of A1 Care 24-7, which recruits foreign nurses for hospitals and district health boards in New Zealand, has said in a previous report that the new registration is “stupid and will just add to New Zealand’s loss.”

He said that there was “a huge miscarriage of justice” when a trained nurse he recruited was not considered “good enough” for their country, even with the recruit apparently holding a doctor’s degree in medicine and topping his university in the Philippines.

On the other hand, the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) told GMANews.TV on Tuesday that it has yet to receive any formal announcement from the council itself regarding the matter.

Still a ‘choice” destination 

Despite hiring issues surrounding it, New Zealand is still positioning itself as a “choice” destination country for highly skilled OFWs. 

According to Philip Burdon, chairman of the Asia- New Zealand Foundation, “there is a rapidly expanding Asian population in New Zealand and the country is definitely opening up to more Asians.”

He said in a recent interview that 11 percent of New Zealand’s population is currently composed of Asians and that by the year 2026, 25 percent of its whole population would be Asians.

Data from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas showed that there were about 23, 023 Filipinos in New Zealand in 2007 – which the POEA said was expected to have doubled last year. 

There was also a total of 362,014 Filipinos in Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, Palau, and Papua New Guinea) – majority of whom (about 250,347) are living and working in Australia.

The POEA has said that it is expanding the market where OFWs can go to – including New Zealand – but added that majority of Filipinos still prefer to go to markets like the United Kingdom and the Middle East.

As compensation, Richard Grant, executive director of the Asia-New Zealand Foundation, said that foreign workers would have no problem integrating in New Zealand.

“We are a nation that is in transition, where so many of our young people are moving across New Zealand or outside of the country. So, immigrants and migrant workers can integrate well,” he said.

Burdon also said that New Zealand can be a good choice for OFWs who are in the health care, hospitality, information technology, accountancy, law, and agricultural industry.

“We have high standards and demanding criteria, but that is to ensure that the standards in the country are met,” he said.

‘Pioneer’ carved new life in city

Fe Ryder shows photographs of her first encounter with Winnipeg snow 50 years ago. Ryder was one of the first four nurses from the Phillipines to come to Manitoba and stay. (KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

Fifty years ago, four nurses were the first "pioneers" from the Philippines to come to Manitoba and stay.

Today, just one of them is still around.

Fe Ryder is still nursing, and newcomers are still arriving from the Philippines, adding to the province's largest visible minority community.

"We showed them we're qualified to do the nursing," said Ryder, 74. "We were the stepping stone for nurses who came later to the Misericordia, St. Boniface, the Health Sciences Centre -- they were all over."

The petite dynamo nurses part-time, golfs, cross-country skis and bowls 10-pin in a league with her Canadian-born husband.

They play in the "Mabuhay" league with friends in the Filipino community, which numbers 37,790 in Manitoba, according to the 2006 census.

Ryder and three other Filipino nurses came to Winnipeg by way of Rochester, Minn. They had two-year visas to work and learn at St. Mary's Hospital there. At the end of the two years, they had to exit the U.S. but could reapply if they wanted to return. Near the end of their term, a nun who was a dietitian from Winnipeg also in Rochester told them Misericordia Hospital needed nurses.

"I didn't know much about Canada," said Ryder.

They headed north to Winnipeg, in spite of their American colleagues' warnings.

"They said 'Why Winnipeg in Manitoba? It's cold up there!,'" Ryder laughed. "That didn't scare me at all."

They arrived in Winnipeg by train at the end of November, 1959, and went to work.

"They accepted us, and I've worked there ever since," said Ryder, who retired in 1993, then went back to work part-time. A lot has changed in the burgeoning Filipino community since she arrived half a century ago. There are more professionals, more people elected to political office and more Filipino organizations, which are finalizing the details for 50th anniversary events being planned throughout the year.

What hasn't changed is the strong sense of empathy those who are already settled have for the newcomers, said Ryder.

She recalls Filipino doctors and nurses helping out the wave of garment workers who came in 1968 and others who came later.

She was the first Filipino to get married in Manitoba. Dr. Roland Guzman, the former Philippines consul and medical doctor, gave away the bride.

She thinks the adaptability of newcomers is key to their success in making Manitoba home. Ryder has been adapting since she realized nursing wasn't glamorous when she was training in Manila and told her parents she wanted to quit university.

Her father enticed her into staying in nursing school by promising her a trip to America.

The young adventurer was enamoured with Hollywood movies and magazines and went off to Rochester, Minn. for a two-year nursing stint.

In Winnipeg, she worked as an operating room nurse in the Catholic Misericordia Hospital.

One of the first things she did was look for a church, taking a taxi to the cathedral in St. Boniface where she discovered everyone spoke French.

"I didn't know how to get back."

She joined St. Mary's Cathedral downtown, where she met her husband-to-be, Cecil. At the time, her family in the Philippines did not approve of her marrying an "American."

"My father sent me a ticket to get home," said Ryder.

There was a lot of resentment in the Philippines at that time towards U.S. servicemen posted there, and her parents didn't differentiate between Canadians and Americans.

Her husband's family was another story, she said.

"If I had sensed any prejudice or anything, I would not have married him. But they were so good to me," she said of Cecil's family.

In fact, in the last 50 years, pretty much everyone in her new home has been good to her, she said -- another reason she stayed.

"It was my fate."

November 2008 Nursing Board Exam Results Are Out

At least 39,455 or 44.51% out of 88,649 examinees that took the November 2008 Nursing Board have passed, the Professional Regulatory Commission has announced.

The 2008 topnotcher of the nursing board exam is Jovie Ann Alawas Decoyna of Baguio Central University. She passed the exam with a score of 89 percent.

Xavier university is top among all schools, the results of which were released by the PRC Friday.

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