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MANILA (STAR) Now will they follow the leader?

Nursing school deans have joined the rush for nursing jobs at hospitals in other countries.

Dean Carmelita Divinagracia, a former member of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Technical Committee on Nursing Education (TCNE), said many deans now work in hospitals overseas as nurses.

"Deans actually have the bigger chance to pass the National Council Licensure Examination because of their expertise and experience. They get easily hired," she said. The NCLEX is a standardized examination given to nursing graduates who want to work in the United States.

Divinagracia, also the president of the Association of Deans of Philippine Colleges of Nursing Inc., said the vacuum has been aggravated by the rise in the number of nursing schools in the country brought about by the increasing number of Filipino youths who want to become nurses.

From 310 in 2004, the number of nursing schools in the Philippines ballooned to 410 this year.

"There is a scarcity in deans. What’s happening now is that the experienced deans are being tapped to work in many new schools," Divinagracia said.

This enabled many deans to seek second jobs in other schools, to the detriment of nursing education in these institutions.

"Sometimes, you will find two (nursing) schools having only one dean. In some cases, there are deans who are also members of the faculty in other schools," Divinagracia said.

CHED does not allow "moonlighting" in order to ensure the quality of nursing education in a particular school.

"The dean must be able to physically, mentally, emotionally supervise the school. She should be able to know what is happening in a nursing program in terms of experiences of the students and the kind of faculty she has for that nursing program. She should be able to know what hospitals are being used and I think she should make some ocular visit to those hospitals. In short, a dean must be full-time," Divinagracia said.

She clarified that "moonlighting" was more rampant in previous years because some deans ceased to do this after the TCNE called their attention.

Meanwhile, the R.A. Gapuz Review Center in Baguio City reiterated yesterday that it was not involved in the alleged leakage in last month’s board examination for nursing.

The center, through its lawyer Roderick Salazar III, said that with rumors circulating that the leakage was caused by the "intense rivalry of the review centers, they have just been unduly dragged into the issue."

"The company is ready to answer the baseless charges filed against it and is at the same time, gathering evidence to determine the sources behind the ‘deplorable and malicious’ imputation against it in preparation for the planning filing of charges against those responsible," Salazar said in a statement.

Several nursing students in Baguio City claimed the center leaked questions to its reviewees so they could pass the examination. The questions allegedly came from examiners of the Philippine Nursing Board.

Salazar said it was the first time in the center’s 10 years of service that it was charged with examination irregularities.

The center boasts that aside from being the first and only review center in the Philippines led by an internationally recognized nursing expert, it consistently maintains a 98 percent passing rate for aspiring nurses and has produced 82 board topnotchers since 1994.

Salazar said the center believes that the issue has affected the goodwill it has earned over the years.

"Equally important is the possible negative effect on the overall reputation of the nursing licensure examination in the country and all hopeful Filipino nurses," the statement read. — Sheila Crisostomo


uhm, if they aren't leaving, will they be able to deport some nursing school deans back to hell? i believe some are spawned from hell and weren't licensed to practice as humans.

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