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New Nurses in Limbo

New Nurses in Limbo
New nurses in Leakage controversy puts successful examinees’ oathtaking on hold

By Francis Earl A. Cueto, Researcher

The 17,871 new nurses who passed the board examinations in June that was marred by allegations of a leakage will not have their oathtaking as scheduled next month.

The Professional Regulation Commission, which gave the tests, on Friday said the oathtaking ceremony on August 22 has been postponed “until further notice.”

The PRC released the results of the exams on July 19 and its chairperson, Leonor Rosero, said the successful examinees could take their oath even before the National Bureau of Investigation finishes its inquiry into the leakage. But she added that once a leakage is determined the licenses of the examinees could be suspended or revoked.

That was before Eufemia Octaviano, chairperson of the PRC’s Board of Nursing, issued Friday’s order.

Octaviano said she made the decision after meeting with the deans of the colleges from prominent nursing schools such as the University of the Philippines, the University of the East and the University of Santo Tomas.

She said the postponement was meant to allow the PRC to hear the concerns of other deans and await the results of the NBI inquiry.

Nearly 43,000 took the exams. The controversy arose after several examinees reported that copies of the test questions were distributed at a review center in Baguio City.

The PRC said the two employees, Anesia Dionisio and Virginia Madeja, who were identified as the source of the leakage were “inhibited” from their functions and were under investigation.
Determining who among the examinees had received the leaked questions would be the job of the NBI, Rosero said.

“It’s now the job of the NBI to establish if there was really a leakage. The only evidence that we have is the manuscript of the 500 test questions. How this manuscript landed into the hands of the students we really don’t know,” she said.

The board topnotcher came from the University of Pangasinan, with an 83.20-percent score. The second placer was from the University of the Philippines in Manila.

Of the schools with more than 100 examinees, Saint Louis University in Baguio City topped the performance list.

Rosero also dismissed criticisms that the integrity of the board exams had been compromised by the leakage.

Sen. Richard Gordon called for a Senate investigation of the nursing tests.

In a Senate resolution he introduced, Gordon stressed that the “allegations could taint the credibility of the entire government-sponsored testing system and affect the image of all Filipino professionals going out of the country.”

He said the rest of the world looks to the Philippines to fill the nursing shortages in many countries due to the reputation of Filipino nurses for their competence, diligence and compassion toward their patients.

“The nursing board leakage is just the latest scandal that undermines public trust in the nurses produced by Philippine schools, following allegations of loose accreditation of nursing schools and the Commission on Higher Education’s feeble enforcement of academic standards in nursing schools,” the resolution said.

“Since nurses are charged with the health, medical needs and life of their patients, here and abroad, it is essential that the PRC ensures that licensed nurses are competent and fully equipped to perform the responsibilities of the nursing profession.”
Source: The Manila Times
- brewed

It's been a roller coaster ride. I recently passed the very controversial june 2006 board exam. When i found out I passed, I was so ecstatic, I thought, this is it!! I passed without any leakage,so I was so happy. I am looking forward for the oath taking... only to find out that it was postponed...whew... what else is in store for us, the newly passed nurses whose conscience is clear?

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