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Stigma of nursing test leak haunts jobseekers

Stigma of nursing test leak haunts jobseekers

By Christian V. Esguerra
Last updated 05:15am (Mla time) 08/22/2006
Published on page A1 of the August 22, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

FOLLOWING reports that test questions in the nursing board exams in June had been leaked to probably thousands of examinees, quite a number of those who passed the licensure exams are having a hard time landing jobs in hospitals, particularly in Metro Manila.

Some hospitals are reportedly rejecting outright job applicants who earned their right to practice nursing after passing the controversial exams. In other hospitals, some trainees from the same batch reportedly got kicked out following complaints from patients who refused to receive nursing care from them.

“We can’t really blame the patients or the hospitals because they have reason to be worried,” said Jerome Mansibang, a nursing graduate of the University of the Philippines and owner of the 3-year-old Edgeworth Review Center in Manila.

Mansibang said at least 15 nursing graduates, who had enrolled in his review center to prepare for the June exams, had been turned away by various hospitals.

The scandal has sullied the integrity of the licensure exams that hospitals and patients aren’t taking any chances even if the new nurses had been given provisional certificates to practice by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

The PRC certificates allow these nurses to mainly assist doctors, according to Marilyn Yap, president of the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA).

“They just can’t be involved in the administration of medicine because they still don't have a license,” Yap explained.

The Court of Appeals last week issued a temporary restraining order on the PRC after the commission decided to approve the licenses of some 17,000 nursing graduates who passed the board exams despite the cheating controversy. Some of the graduates, however, were able to take their professional oaths before the issuance of the TRO.

Joining the PNA in its call, Mansibang said the best way to break the impasse was to nullify the results of the June exams and ask those who passed to retake the tests.

Mansibang is a member of Answer, a new coalition of health workers, educators, students and nursing organizations. The group is demanding an “overhaul of the PRC’s Board of Nursing and the prosecution of those behind the cheating,” he said.

“We really need to clean the names of the June 2006 passers,” Mansibang told the Inquirer. “We have to wipe out the stigma.”

Threat to industry

Mansibang echoed the warnings of officials and industry experts that the country’s status as one of the world’s top producers of nurses could be threatened.

The PRC has confirmed that questions in the board exams taken by more than 42,000 nursing graduates in June had been provided in advance to hundreds of examinees. The initial accusations were made by students, who said that the PNA president, George Cordero, had provided the answers to students who took his coaching classes.

Although he has resigned, Cordero has denied the allegations and has threatened to sue his detractors for libel. Industry groups are calling on the PRC to compel the students to retake the exam to repair, according to one of the groups, the “tainted credibility of Filipino nurses here and abroad.”

Those who passed the June exams said it would be unfair to force them to retake the exam or to delay their certification.

The Philippines is the top supplier of nurses to the United States, sending several thousands a year. Earlier this year, a change in American immigration law lifted the cap on the number of foreign nurses that American hospitals and clinics could hire. The move created more opportunities for Filipino nurses, who are also in demand in Europe, Japan and other more affluent Asian countries.

Great damage

According to officials, the scandal could greatly damage this status of Filipino nurses abroad. Already, Philippine officials said that American recruiters were turning away nurses who had taken the questioned board exams.

Questions also have been raised about the integrity of previous nursing board exams.
The Senate has started investigating the scandal.

“American hospitals, Japanese hospitals, European hospitals are watching us,” Sen. Richard Gordon said during a Senate hearing last week.

Health experts at the hearing said they feared a moratorium by other countries on the hiring of Filipino nurses.

Although officials contend that the quality of Filipino nurses hired in other countries would not be affected in the long run because the new nurses generally must pass tests in destination countries, the credibility problem could persist.

“The credibility of the Filipino nurses has been tainted,” said Rosalinda D. Baldoz, administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. With a report from the New York Times News


Above statement(s) is/are not true... Wala pang June NLE passers ang naka apply sa kahit ano man hospital... So stop, it...


kakinterview lng po sa isan american owned agency here, na nagrecruit ng nurses is us na "ANG IMPT MAPASA NATIN ANG NCLEX,CGFNS,TOFEL, ETC... final inteview from the employer..para mahire tau mga nurses..wla kinalaman ang mga bwisit na leakage sa pag accept nila sati kce "SKILLS" ang pinguusapan d2...hay naku...buti pa un mga nde kalahi ganyan..pero un mga unltimo dean na "catholic school" babansagan na "incompetent tau"
heller!!!! 2yrs kaya kame nagduty sa hosp at 4years namin pinagaralan ang nursing.. don't ruin our dreams en dignity.. pra kau mga pharisees... BUNCH OF HYPOCRITE...

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