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Leakage scandal doesn’t faze foreign nursing students

Leakage scandal doesn’t faze foreign nursing students

By Christian V. Esguerra
Last updated 04:45am (Mla time) 12/12/2006

Published on page A16 of the December 12, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

UNFAZED by the scandal generated by the leakage in last June’s licensure exams, many Filipinos based in the United States continue to send their children here to study nursing.

They go, of course, to the top schools here like the University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas and the University of the East-Ramon Magsaysay (UERM), according to Rosario-May Mayor, president of the Philippine Nurses Association of America.

Mayor, 58, is currently the director for performance improvement in the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Bronx, New York City. She is in town to help advocate for the improvement of the local nursing educational system.

Very expensive

Mayor said not only was it hard to get into a nursing school in the United States, it was also very expensive.

Last year, 144,000 nursing school applicants were rejected because there weren’t enough teachers, she told reporters yesterday at a press conference.

Once admitted, a student in the US could spend $26,000 (P1.28 million) a year.

Top Philippine nursing schools provide a viable alternative, Mayor said.

At the UERM, for instance, nursing Dean Carmencita Divinagracia said tuition was low compared to US rates. The approximate rate every semester was around P28,000 for freshmen, P38,000 for sophomores, and P40,000 for juniors and seniors.

This semester, the UERM-College of Nursing had 15 foreign students enrolled, including a Korean, a Nigerian and a number of Filipino-Americans.

Divinagracia said Filipino-American students with dual citizenship could opt to take the licensure exams here or in the United States.

Mayor stressed the need to improve the quality of nursing education, especially after the leakage controversy in the June board exams.

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