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Bid to open US nurse test center in RP kept alive

Bid to open US nurse test center in RP kept alive

Last updated 02:19am (Mla time) 08/04/2006

Published on Page A19 of the August 4, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

BAGUIO CITY—The cheating scandal in the recent nursing licensing examinations has not yet cost the country its bid to establish a local testing center that will offer American licensure exams, a Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) official said here on Thursday.

Before licensed Filipino nurses can work in the United States, they are still required to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEx) so they can practice their profession there.

Ruth Thelma Tingda, PNA Cordillera governor, said the US National Council of State Boards of Nursing had been monitoring the controversy because one of its prerequisites for offering the NCLEx here was that the Philippines “must be able to assure complete security of information.”

Tingda, dean of the Easter College’s School of Nursing here, helped three other Baguio nursing school officials and more than 90 examinees expose the distribution of test leakages to clients of a nursing review center during the board exams.

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), which administered the exams, said the test leakage attributed to the review center was traced to two members of its board of nursing. The PRC released the test results on July 19.

Tingda, former PNA Ilocos governor Erlinda Palaganas, PNA Baguio chapter president Norenia Dao-ayen, and Dean Mary Grace Lacanaria of the Saint Louis University sued PNA president George Cordero before a Baguio court last week for ordering them to suppress the exposé.

Cordero had told them that he wanted to protect the country’s NCLEx application, Lacanaria said.

Nurses seeking employment in the United States end up going to Guam or Hong Kong, where the closest NCLEx centers are located.

Lacanaria said her group had asked the PRC to revoke Cordero’s nursing license for violating the professional code of ethics.

Cordero and top PNA officials met with the deans last week, but they failed to settle their differences over the exposé.

Instead, the deans and members of the PNA American chapter asked President Macapagal-Arroyo to intervene in the leakage scandal.

The deans said Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza and Eastern Samar Rep. Marcelino Libanan had already sponsored resolutions for congressional inquiries into the integrity of the country’s nursing education and profession.

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