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Nursing test scandal sparks Baguio street protests

Nursing test scandal sparks Baguio street protests

By Vincent Cabreza
Last updated 00:59am (Mla time) 07/12/2006

Published on Page A16 of the July 12, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

BAGUIO CITY—Nursing students and their parents braved heavy rains on Tuesday to march against a perceived cover-up of alleged cheating during last month’s licensing examinations for nurses here.

About 60 marchers stopped downtown traffic, carrying banners that pose the question: “Are we producing incompetent nurses nowadays?”

Among the marchers were representatives of the 91 nursing school graduates, who asked the Professional Regulation Commission to suspend members of the Board of Nursing until the PRC could determine who leaked the answers to the June 11 and 12 licensing examinations here to a nursing review center.

Mary Grace Lacanaria, chapter president of the Association of Deans of Nursing Schools in the Philippines, said the rally coincided with a PRC notice that a fact-finding team had started looking into their complaints.

But the complainants refused to testify before this body, until the PRC referred the matter to an independent fact-finding group, their lawyer, Cheryl Daytec-Yangot, said.

Yangot said they wanted the PRC to hold a transparent investigation.

Pressure from top officials of the Philippine Nurses Association to suppress the complaints and contain the scandal compelled the nursing students to go to the streets to draw public support, said Lacanaria, the dean of the Saint Louis University’s nursing school.

The PNA wants to avoid jeopardizing negotiations with the American National Council of State Boards of Nursing for a Philippine testing center that will offer migrating nurses the United States National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEx), she said.

The demand for nurses is highest in the United States, but the NCLEx requires additional expenses for migrating nurses.

“But the NCLEx can come later. We must focus on our own [industry],” Lacanaria said.

She said the alleged cheating revealed that the Philippines has been exporting incompetent and unreliable professionals.

Cleaning up the licensing examinations today will keep the nursing industry’s reputation of reliability and efficiency intact, Lacanaria said.

Parents who joined the march are organizing themselves into support groups to help restore their children’s faith in the industry, said Elisa Peralta, mother of one of the complainants.

She said her son graduated with honors and had devoted most of his energies to reviewing for the board exams only to have his faith shattered by the reported cheating.


after the street protest, two parties remained: tired people and people laughing at tired people, wahahahaha!

although tired..i think the Lord would strenghten them because of their courage and honesty..these people will stand still to fight for least integrity reflects within them and nobody can take that away from them along with those people who have been cheated...i think sa mga taong NANDAYA...MATAKOT na kayo!!!!

if someone is fighting for a nobel cause, he/she will not easily get tired in searching for the truth. they are principled individuals who are catalysts to change the rotten system.

-- a concern mother --

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