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Old nursing schools to blame for bad quality

‘Old nursing schools to blame for bad quality’

By Florante S. Solmerin

THE deteriorating quality of nursing education in the country may be attributed to the performance of older schools, according to an official of the Commission on Higher Education.

“The old ones should be evaluated because I think [they’re] causing the deterioration of nursing education,” the commission’s deputy executive secretary, Julito Vitriolo, said in a round table discussion with reporters.

Vitriolo believes that since it is too early to assess the performance of nursing schools established from 2004 onwards, the older schools are the ones that have accounted for the lower passing rates of examinees in recent years and the inferior English proficiency of the students who have taken nursing exams.

“It’s too early to tell [if] the new nursing schools were contributing to the deterioration of nursing schools because they [have not produced] graduates yet and thus have made no qualitative impact,” he said.

“It’s the old schools that were still providing profiles in terms of board exams performance.”

But Vitriolo declined to name the schools that he feels have failed to develop the skills of nursing graduates.

“I don’t want to mention the names of the old schools. This is just my personal assessment, not CHED’s opinion,” he said.

He claimed that nursing schools founded before 2004 were not complying with the commission’s more stringent regulations.

“Based on the evaluation of the Board of Nursing and CHED, the newer schools are following the new processes and mechanisms. I don’t think the older schools are doing that,” he said.

Under the old scheme, schools had to comply with standards for each tertiary year level separately.

“If you apply for first year, you must comply with first year’s requirements. If you apply for second year, you have to comply with its standards and so on,” Vitriolo said.

“But under our new regulation, you have to comply with all the requirements—including a base hospital—for four years the moment you apply. If you don’t have money and aren’t serious, you won’t pass,” Vitriolo said in Pilipino.

He said the commission had already closed down at least 23 schools for failing to meet its standards.

He emphasized the importance of improving the quality of nursing in the Philippines so the country could produce globally competitive nurses, proposing an interagency committee composed of officials from the Higher Education, the Board of Nursing, Department of Education, Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, Department of Labor and Employment, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and representatives from various schools to come up with a “worldwide integrated position” to address the problems the industry is facing.

The country remains one of the world’s top sources of nurses.

According to former Senator Ernesto Herrera, secretary general of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, the Philippines produced the most number of examinees in the world that took the National Council Licensure Examination, a prerequisite for working in the United States, with 6,171 taking the test from January to June this year.

There are 410 nursing schools nationwide, and some 100 of them were founded after 2004.

The nursing profession has been under scrutiny amid claims that test questions might have been leaked in the last nursing exams, delaying the oathtaking of more than 17,000 new nurses.


FROM:http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=news05_july31_2006



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