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New nurses take oath despite test scandal

New nurses take oath despite test scandal

The Professional Regulation Commission on Thursday ordered the oath-taking of new nurses who passed the June 2006 board examination despite an ongoing investigation into an alleged test leakage, ABS-CBN's Bandila reported.

"The Board of Nursing, with the approval of the commission, shall be the one to announce when the oath taking should take place. With this memorandum order, I think this is very irregular," said Nila Llanes, a former member of the nursing board.

In a surprise move, however, PRC issued Thursday morning Memorandum Order 2006-02 ordering the oath-taking of new nurses, some of whom are believed to have benefited from the leakage. The memorandum was signed by Leonor Tripon Rosero, PRC chairwoman.

"Please be informed that the conduct of oath-taking for those who have passed the June 2006 Nursing Board Examination starts today, August 17,2006, at your respective regions," the memo said.

In Manila, new nurses took their oath in several locations. The oath-taking in Bacolod and Iloilo cities, meanwhile, is scheduled Friday.

Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate education committee leading the probe, cannot help but comment on the hastiness of PRC to order an oath-taking.

"Tila minamadali ng Professional Regulation Commission, bina-violate nila na itaas ang antas ng integridad at standard ng licensure exams(The Professional Regulation Commission is violating the integrity and standard of the licensure exams by fast-tracking [the oath-taking])," he said.

TRO sought

The oath-taking took place despite opposition from several groups of nursing graduates and teachers who filed a temporary restraining order before the Court of Appeals Thursday morning.

Members of the UST College of Nursing Faculty Association, League of Concerned Nurses and Binuklod na Samahan ng Student Nurses had filed their 16-page petition for a temporary restraining order to stop the oath-taking of those who passed the controversial board exam.

The groups said that the interest of public health and safety are at stake unless the controversial issue on the leakage is resolved.

"The interest of public health and safety as well as the prospects of locally trained nurses of getting overseas work to help their families and country will suffer irreparable damages," the groups' petition said.

The National Bureau of Investigation, meanwhile, is set to include in its probe 22 deans of nursing colleges who allegedly participated in the review and coaching session held on June 8 and 9 at a cinema in Manila.

Testimonies from at least two examinees, including Dennis Bautista and a graduate identified only as "Jun," are also being eyed as basis for the NBI probe.

Bautista faced the Senate probe to confirm that the test leakage place. Jun, meanwhile, made a similar statement in a previous ABS-CBN interview.

Other witnesses, meanwhile, said they are willing to come out and provide information.

"Gusto nilang magsalita but dahil natatakot sila o ninenerbiyos na baka makasuhan sila...but in due time lalabas pwedeng isa o dalawa ang magsasalita anytime now at bibigyan nila ng justice integrity ang mga nangyayari ngayon sa ating licensure examination(They want to come out but they are afraid. In due time, they will provide information," Carmelita Divinagracia, a member of the association of deans of Philippine Colleges of Nursing, said.


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