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Health chief favors nurse exam retake

Health chief favors nurse exam retake
http://www.philstar.com/philstar/News200608240404.htm

The Philippine Star 08/24/2006

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III believes new tests should be held following the scandal-marred nursing licensure examinations in June.

Contrary to the Professional Regulation Commission’s position, Duque said it was not enough for the PRC to exclude the cheating-tainted portions of the five-part examination in computing examinees’ overall scores.

"Test 3 and Test 5 should be retaken… also to recoup whatever lost credibility it might have created on account of the leakage," Duque told reporters, adding that it was necessary to "preserve the integrity of the nursing profession."

"For me, if you remove those questions, you may not know their competency in those particular components. How can you determine the overall competency, if you remove parts of the questions?" he asked.

But Duque acknowledged that the licensure test is only one of several standards in gauging the competence of those who want to enter the profession.

"Why should you be judged by just one parameter? There are other parameters - your overall standing, your general weighted average, your school. All of that have to be balanced," he said.

Duque is hopeful that the episode will not taint the image of Filipino nurses in the global health market.

Other countries also have their own requirements that nurses need to meet because they could be employed in their hospitals, he said.

Those who passed the June licensure examination should not be stigmatized because many of them are innocent, he said.

Duque intends to issue a memorandum to over 70 hospitals under the Department of Health (DOH) "to destigmatize the passers" of the June examinations.

"We want to make it clear to DOH hospitals not to use the licensure exam (as the only basis for hiring). In screening applicants for nurses, this exam is only one of the requirements that they have to meet," he assured.

Dr. Tiburcio Macias, president of Philippine Hospitals Association (PHA), said he strongly believes that those who passed the exams would still be able to land a job in hospitals after the dust has settled.

"I don’t think local hospitals, and even foreign hospitals, will be affected by this issue. As long as they have a license and they meet the academic requirements and passed the qualifying exam, the interview and other qualifying procedures, they will be accepted," he told The STAR.

He cited the case of doctors, saying that passing the board examination was not a "determining factor of what kind of doctors they will be."

If ever, the scandal was only a temporary setback for those who passed the examinations, Macias said.

He had discussions with many of their members during a regional conference and many shared his opinion although the organization has made no official stand on the issue, Macias said.

The PHA is made up of executives of over 2,100 government and private hospitals.

Macias added that with or without the leakage issue, the June batch cannot expect to be immediately accepted by hospitals because they have not taken their oath as nurses and there are previous applications that hospitals are considering.

"Maybe the big medical centers will not accept this batch. And that is also because there are so many applications (pending) there. But they can apply in other hospitals," he said.

Amid mounting criticism, the PRC remained pat on its position not to order new nursing licensure examinations even though the last one was allegedly marred by cheating.

PRC chairwoman Leonor Rosero maintained it was no longer necessary to hold new tests because the PRC did not include scores from the two scandal-tainted tests of the five-part examinations in computing the examinees’ overall scores.

Last week, the Court of Appeals issued a 60-day temporary restraining order, calling on the PRC not to swear in the new nurses until the issue is resolved. The oath-taking was originally scheduled last Tuesday.

The court has scheduled a hearing on a petition filed by the faculty of the University of Sto. Tomas and two nursing groups demanding that new tests be held to ensure the integrity of the examinations and the profession.

The scandal resulted in the resignation of George Cordero from his post as Philippine Nurses Association president following allegations that he leaked the exam questions mostly to examinees from two review centers, including one that he owns, and a school that he also runs.

Cordero, who had earlier refused to comment on the scandal without first consulting a lawyer, denied yesterday any involvement in the alleged leakage.

"I’ve been used as a scapegoat," he said in statement issued to the media, insisting that he had "no connection whether direct or indirect to the alleged leakage."

"I myself would like to see this matter settled once and for all and let the original perpetrators face the court of justice so that the country can finally move on from the shame the scam has brought upon it," Cordero said.

"Motivated by professional jealousies, it is sad that some camps used this issue as an opportunity to besmirch my reputation and advance their interest. This is clearly spawned by some quarters that have always harbored ill feelings towards my accomplishments as shown by their previous actuations." He did not elaborate.

Meanwhile, Bacolod City Rep. Monico Puentevella said the House of Representatives should make policy reforms to prevent a repeat of the scandal.

"Among the policy reforms we want legislated are that review classes be made a part of the curriculum before graduation, if only to make sure that no leakage will happen again," Puentevella said.

He said the alleged involvement of at least two review centers in the episode has made it necessary for the government to regulate review centers and require them to submit the names of their reviewees.

Puentevella also shares the PRC’s opinion that those who passed the exams should be allowed to take their oaths as nurses.

"There is another side to the coin. We should allow those who passed the board to take their oath and be given their life. These 17,000 nurses, nobody speaks for them," Puentevella said, taking up the cudgels of the first five topnotchers who came from his province.

"This year’s passing percentage, at 42.42 percent, is the lowest in the history of nursing for the past five years. How could there be widespread leakage? If indeed there was cheating, it should have been higher," he emphasized.

Catanduanes Rep. Joseph Santiago earlier called on the Commission on Higher Education to close down nursing schools and review centers that were allegedly involved in the leakage.

"Schools and review centers that have been directly or indirectly implicated in the alleged cheating have forfeited the privilege to continue to provide educational services. They have no right to stay in business a minute longer," he said.

Davao del Sur Rep. Douglas Cagas said those who passed should be allowed to take their oaths.

"The deferment of the oath-taking of the new nurses is unfair to the innocent ones who strived hard to pass the exam. It is better to free 100 guilty persons than to declare guilty one innocent person," he said. — Sheila Crisostomo, Delon Porcalla


http://www.philstar.com/philstar/News200608240404.htm

"For me, if you remove those questions, you may not know their competency in those particular components. How can you determine the overall competency, if you remove parts of the questions?" - Health secretary Duque

Sir Duque, before you make your statements & suggestions, please check those parts removed from the exam & study them very well if they are really important to be included. Sa NCLEX po, at the minimum 75 questions, they could determine an examinee's competency. Nakakhiya, health secretary pa naman kayo e parang di nyo alam how to assess.

"I don’t think local hospitals, and even foreign hospitals, will be affected by this issue. As long as they have a license and they meet the academic requirements and passed the qualifying exam, the interview and other qualifying procedures, they will be accepted," he told The STAR.

He cited the case of doctors, saying that passing the board examination was not a "determining factor of what kind of doctors they will be."

If ever, the scandal was only a temporary setback for those who passed the examinations - Dr. Tiburcio Macias, president of Philippine Hospitals Association (PHA)

Salamat po Dr. Macias, for being sensible, logical, truthfull & just for our cause. Dapat kayo ang Health Secretary :)

Meanwhile, Bacolod City Rep. Monico Puentevella said the House of Representatives should make policy reforms to prevent a repeat of the scandal.

Puentevella also shares the PRC’s opinion that those who passed the exams should be allowed to take their oaths as nurses.

----------------------

Thank you Sir Puntevella! Finally, one of the rare gentlemen from the conggress who has good common sense!

Simple lang, mag oathtaking kayo, parusahan ang dapat parusahan, at repormahin ang sytema para huwag na maulit. Mahirap ba intindihin yon?

"Schools and review centers that have been directly or indirectly implicated in the alleged cheating have forfeited the privilege to continue to provide educational services. They have no right to stay in business a minute longer," he said. - Catanduanes Rep. Joseph Santiago

=============================

This congressman is one of the many dangerous politicians we have at the house. Imagine, ipasara kaagad basta na involve ang school/review center. So dapat ipasara na din ang conggress sa dami ng kalokohan nyo diyan? HA?! Para kang dictator, imbestigahan mo muna at baka janitor lang ang me pakana ng leakage ng school/review center, sinara mo na agad. Ang bobo mo, siguro nandaya ka sa election, kasi hindi ka competent eh, hehe. "No right to stay in business any longer" daw, naisip mo ba yung mga undergrads kung san pupunta kung ipasara mo agad yon? Nag-iisip ka ba o puro putak ka lang diyan? Me isip ka ba o wala? Hay naku, kawawa ang Catanduanes

Davao del Sur Rep. Douglas Cagas said those who passed should be allowed to take their oaths.

"The deferment of the oath-taking of the new nurses is unfair to the innocent ones who strived hard to pass the exam. It is better to free 100 guilty persons than to declare guilty one innocent person," he said.

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Very well said sir! you indeed are honorable & respectable. Iilan lang kayona pwedeng pagaktiwalaan ng mga tao. :)

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