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Timely solution to the nurses’ plight on retaking the exams

Timely solution to the nurses’
plight on retaking the exams

By Jaime N. Soriano

After more than two and a half months since the official results of the June 2006 nursing licensure examinations were released on July 17, 2006, by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), the leakage controversy is still brewing. If the period is counted from the last day the examinations took place, it has been almost four months.

In law, it is axiomatic that justice delayed is justice denied. The longer time the issue is settled by government authorities, all those who took the board examinations suffer from much injustice.

Those who passed the examinations legitimately cannot take their oaths, move on with their lives, and perhaps start seeking greener pasture elsewhere, which in the first place is the primary motive why they chose the profession.

Those who did not make it are also in the waiting mode following the recent pronouncement of Labor Secretary Arturo Brion that everyone should take a re-test of Tests 3 and 5 of the leakage-marred examinations. This retake policy would give them a semblance of hope not to repeat the entire tests and the usual burden of time and expense entailed in preparing for another round of a complete board examinations.

Meanwhile, unless the scandal is resolved steadfastly, fairly, and immediately, the integrity of the nursing profession continues to be on the chopping board.

From all indications, it seems that a retake of Tests 3 and 5 is the most reasonable means of resolving the stir. But the next question is: who should take the retest?

Those who did not benefit from the leakage and truly passed the examinations with their own sweat and tears argue that a retake is unfair, if not unjust. Why do they have to suffer from the intellectual dishonesty of the few?

Some says that only those who benefited from the leakage should retake Tests 3 and 5. And this can be easily determined by finding out in which areas and review schools, or even nursing schools that were exposed to the leakage. But the problem with this argument is that there is no assurance that those who took the test in other places or areas did not benefit from the leakage especially with the modern means of communication. In the same way, it cannot be conclusively presumed that all those who took the examinations in these areas and schools profited from the leakage.

The Philippine Nursing Act of 2002 (Republic Act 9173) provides that to pass the licensure examinations, an examinee must obtain a general average of at least 75% with no rating of below 60% in any subject. Those who obtained a rating of below 60% in a subject but still got an average rating of 75% need to take only the subject or subjects where he or she rated below 60%. In re-taking or repeating the said subject or subjects, the examinee must obtain a grade of at least 75%.

Perhaps, to be fair, reasonable and acceptable to all the parties, it might be wise to anchor the policy for the retake of Tests 3 and 5 on the basis of the foregoing provision in the Nursing Act.

The following formula for the retake of the examinations is thus proposed:

First, based on the original test scores of all the examinees, PRC may tentatively recompute the general average of all the examinees by assuming that all of them obtained a grade of 100% in Tests 3 and 5 (because this assumes that whether or not the examinee benefited from the leakage, there is no possibility that he would pass the nursing board after all). On the basis of the results, all those who obtain a general average of below 75% should be deemed as having failed the June 2006 examinations, and need not retake Tests 3 and 5.

Second, from among those who obtained a general average of 75% (after applying the 100% rule) but excluding those who failed the subject covered by Test 3 and 5, PRC may again tentatively re-compute the general average of the examinees by assuming that all of them got a grade of 60% in the subject that included Tests 3 and 5 (because this assumes that the examinee did not benefit from the leakage). To be sure though, a lower assumed threshold of say 50% (instead of 60%) is recommended. Based on the results, all those who would still obtain a general average of at least 75%, without any failure in any subject, should be allowed to take their oaths as nurses. Those who garnered an average of 75% but failed in other subjects, including the subjects covering Tests 3 and 5, from this batch should take the subject examination and must obtain a subject rating of 75% in accordance with law. This batch does not need to take Tests 3 and 5 again.

Third, only the remaining examinees from the list (after applying the 100% and the 60% or lower thresholds) should be allowed to retake Tests 3 and 5 to determine their final fate. But the examinee should be given the option to make that decision within a prescribed period because it may be more practical for him or her to just take the entire licensure examinations again in subsequent schedules.

Thereafter, all the stakeholders must be convened in a meeting to agree on the formula and call for the dismissal or withdrawal of the pending cases in courts.

When the future and the lives of people are at stake, time is always of the essence.


first... there is a real leakage in the june 2006 local board exam! that was proven... Second, did everyone who took the exam saw or even benifited on the said leakage? no! So i suggest the only win win situation here is that is to recompute the entire examination from test 1 to test 5 without removing the leaked questions. Why? to be fair to those students who would pass because of the new computation. There are student (if this is true) failed because of the possibility of a decreased of their score because of removing some questions. So to remove that doubt compute the exam as is. Second after knowing all the possible passers of the new or i may say original computaion the nbi should get all the list of students who enrolled on there center and those who passed and there names appeared the master list of the questioned review center should only have a re take exam! Question? can we get a copy? yes if the center would not cooperate they can be sued with obstruction to justice..... and the rest who passed and didn't benifited on the leakage can go on with there lives..........


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