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December nursing board to take place after all -- PRC

December nursing board to take place after all -- PRC

Exam may be prepared by non-nurses

By Veronica Uy
Last updated 05:09pm (Mla time) 09/07/2006

AFTER warning the Senate that a vacant Board of Nursing (BON) may postpone the scheduled nursing licensure examination this December, Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Leonor Tripon-Rosero on Thursday gave assurances the test will push through after all.

“Test item writers,” not all of them necessarily nurses, will prepare the 2,500 questions for the December board exams if the BON, whose members resigned after the leakage scandal surrounding the June licensure test went public, remains unfilled, Rosero told in a phone interview.

Rosero having non-nurses prepare the nursing board questions is normal. “We've done that before, in 1997, when there were no board examiners for teachers,” she said.

However, she said they would prefer the writers be nurses “so that they have the technical know-how.”

She acknowledged that the normal six-month lead time to prepare the exams would be reduced to only about a month-and-a-half if the PRC used test item writers but stressed that “it is possible to do this.”

Rosero said six-month lead time includes interviewing the nominees to the BON and their appointment by the President.

Explaining the process, Rosero said each of the five test item writers is required to come up with 500 questions.

If they complete 10 questions a day, they can achieve the required number in 50 days, after which the PRC has the 2,500 questions validated.

Finally, the 500 questions actually used for the test are randomly picked.

This time, Rosero vowed, no leakage of test questions would happen.

“We will be strict. We will make sure that the manuscript or databank will not get in the wrong hands,” she said.

Rosero insisted the leaks did not come from the PRC but from the BON. “They neglected their duties even after they signed a security declaration,” she said.

The PRC chief said she is still hopeful that enough of the 33 nurses and nursing professors invited to fill up the seven BON seats would accept, although with just a week before the self-imposed September 14 deadline for filling the board, there are still no takers.

Informed that some of the 33 were hesitant to accept the invitation for fear they would be forced to clean up the mess left by the June exam scandal, Rosero said: “We will do this, as long as everybody will help out, as long as there is no TRO (temporary restraining order).”

She said some 20,000 nursing graduates have applied for the test this December. “Kawawa naman sila (Pity them). We will push through the exam for them.”

Earlier, she estimated that 60,000 examinees, including the 27,000 who flunked the June 2006 test, will take the exam this December in 10 testing centers nationwide, including the one at the central office.


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