State of RP nursing profession in jeopardy

The state of the nursing profession in the country is in need of government assistance to prevent the deterioration of the quality of education and to handle the surplus of nurses that are jobless.

“The nursing profession has provided our country with a major source of income from the numerous nurses that have sought employment abroad. But now there are major issues that are threatening the stability of this noble profession that we need to address swiftly,” said Sen. Edgardo J. Angara, who has recently been meeting with the heads of schools and nursing associations.

Dr. Ruth Padilla, former President of the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA), approached Sen. Angara for assistance in dealing with the current surplus of nurses in the country as well as dealing with the challenges of regulation of nursing review centers.

Sen. Angara, who is Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), tasked the Health panel of the commission to assist in formulating innovative ideas to handle these challenges.

“Our reports from COMSTE show that the number of nursing schools has jumped from 189 in 1998 to 424 in 2006. This is obviously because of the major rise in enrollees eager to avail of the many job opportunities abroad. However, the performance of these students in the board exams over the same period has been deteriorating,” noted Angara.

Dr. Marilyn Lorenzo, a Professor at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) presented Sen. Angara and the members of COMSTE with data showing that the NLE passing rate from 2005 to 2009 has steadily decreased from 51.6 % to 40.7%.

Sen. Angara said, “in our meetings with the heads of the nursing profession, the numbers show that one cause of this problem is the lack of accreditation for nursing schools and colleges, as only 77 out of 466 are accredited. This standard is unacceptable and we are working to find a long term solution.” (COMSTE) – via www.pia.gov.ph

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