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For releasing exam results despite pending leakage investigation, NURSING BOARD EXAMINEES SLAM PRC

For releasing exam results despite pending leakage investigation
Nursing Board Examinees Slam PRC


Complainants of the alleged leakage of the recently conducted nursing board examinations denounced the Professional Regulations Commission’s (PRC) decision to release the results even without digging deeper into the controversy. Even if most of them passed, the more than 100 are questioning the integrity of the regulations body because even as it confirmed the leakage, it failed to name those responsible.

BY ACE ALEGRE
Bulatlat

BAGUIO CITY – Complainants of the alleged leakage of the recently conducted nursing board examinations denounced the Professional Regulations Commission’s (PRC) decision to release the results last July 19 even without digging deeper into the controversy.

Even if most of them passed, the more than 100 are questioning the integrity of the regulations body because even as it confirmed the leakage, it failed to name those responsible.

“It seems that all that the PRC has been doing is a sham. First, it conducted an independent investigation that concluded with an almost empty outcome,” said Karen Calderon, speaking for the 192 complainants.

Although it confirmed the leakage, Calderon said, the public now questions the integrity of the entire Board of Nursing (BoN). “Now, it released examination results whose credibility can hardly be established because the leakage has not yet been adequately addressed and thoroughly investigated,” she said.

The PRC however stressed that keeping the 42,000 examinees waiting for an indefinite period would be unfair, hence the release of the board results. However, the PRC later clarified that the passers’ licenses could still be revoked if the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) find “evidence of a leakage.”

“It appears that the PRC has been carrying out actions that are either not at all rationally informed or tainted with intentions to conceal the truth,” Calredon said. “In the first place, why did the PRC release the board results while investigation into the leakage is still pending? How can it guarantee the credibility of such results without spelling out how the leaked questions were treated?”

Calderon however explained that they did not want to delay the release of the examination results if only to keep themselves and the many other examinees waiting. “We simply wanted to make sure that the results would be reliable,” she said. “The PRC should have at least explained how it came up with the results despite the leakage. The board results are useless if they are not credible.”

On July 27, Baguio-based nursing leaders together with their counsels went to the PRC national office in Manila to ask the agency to explain how it came up with the results. They met with the four BoN members who promised, as advised by the complainants’ counsel Cheryl Daytec-Yangot, to issue a resolution that would explain to the public how they treated the examination questions that were proven to be leaked and how they came up with the results despite the leakage. (The two others who were implicated in the leakage were asked to inhibit themselves from BoN matters.)

Calderon said the BoN explained that scientific statistical procedures were employed to analyze the overall effect of the leakage on the result of the examinations. It said that the whole of Test V was invalidated as there was some evidence which showed that almost all of the questions in the test were leaked, Calderon said.

What was startling was that despite the invalidation of all the questions in Test V, the examinees were still given scores for the said test, Calderon said. “How could there be a score for a test that in effect had no questions? More importantly, how was the examinees’ aptitude in the particular area of competency measured by Test V assessed when Test V was totally nullified?”

Each of the five tests in the nursing board examination was supposed to measure the examinees’
competence in a particular field of nursing practice. Test V of the June 2006 nursing board pertained to Psychiatric Nursing. “Certainly, statistics is not the correct basis for evaluating the examinees’ competency in Psychiatric Nursing,” she said.

”The two Board of Nursing members who were identified to be involved in the leakage were already named. But it seems that the PRC has lost much of its intelligent judgment for it to be easily persuaded by the two BoN members’ incredible excuses,” Calderon added.

One of the two BoN members, she said, explained before the PRC fact-finding committee that the questions she prepared were taken away from her bag unnoticed. The other testified that a copy of her exam questions was taken without her knowledge when she photocopied the list of her questions.

These are far-fetched alibis, to say the least, Calderon said. “And all that the PRC could do was to advise the two to inhibit themselves from matters concerning the BoN while the investigation is pending,” Calderon said. This, she added, demonstrates “that the PRC is a toothless
commission which does not have the political will to pursue its investigation with resoluteness.”

Earlier, lawyer Kissak Gabaen, also speaking in behalf of the complainants, called for the suspension of the two BoN members. However, Calderon said that the PRC cannot even recommend their suspension.


The PRC filed an administrative charge against the two BoN members for “neglect of duty that gave rise to the leakage of test questions,” a charge criticized as based solely on the latter’s alibis.

“The PRC fact-finding committee was pathetically incompetent to establish whether there was only a neglect of duty or there was a deliberate act of leaking exam questions,” Calderon said.

This, she added, has resulted in a “crisis” in the country’s nursing profession.

This week, Calderon added, the Baguio-based nursing leaders, examinees, nursing students and concerned members of the nursing profession are launching the Baguio chapter of the Coalition of Concerned Nurses (For Truth, Integrity and Justice). Bulatlat



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