IS IT JUST BASIC EDUCATION?
By: NOEL D. DE OCAMPO, MSN/ED, RN
August 11, 2010
Now that the Philippine Senate is shifting focus, or at least paying a little bit of attention to our country’s education system, it is time for everyone to get involved and join the discussion. With the new administration, perhaps something positive will come out. It is true that the Philippines’ 10-year basic education system is much shorter than the international norm of 12 years. Maybe it is a good idea to adopt such education system. But is it the only system to blame?
It is common knowledge that passing rates in the Philippine Nursing Licensure Examination has been in the decline for the past five years. Many fly-by-night nursing schools, as well as questionable nursing review centers, are continuing to open and many nursing schools not showing improvement in their passing rates are continuing to operate. Shouldn’t there be some form of policy enforcement done by government regulators regarding this problem?
There are too many nurses, but not many places to practice. Many nursing graduates are resorting to the now norm of paying “unscrupulous hospitals” that are taking advantage of the system. It is now common for new graduates to pay hospitals in exchange for “clinical experience”. After these so-called clinical terms, many nurses are still faced with the dilemma of not getting jobs abroad because many of the prospective employers rarely consider “unpaid clinical experiences”. There are too many nurses, a plethora of deficient nursing education programs, and very few chances to get legitimate and paid employment; where will the predicaments end?
The global Filipino nursing workforce positively affects our country economically. If Filipino nurses show greater clinical competency around the world, more job opportunities for future nurses will come with it, resulting in more foreign money coming into the country. It is just fitting that the nursing profession in particular be included in the discussion about education in the Philippines. Many people has been calling for a review of our country’s nursing school systems for many years, or maybe a review of how regulations are enforced. It is time to stop the bureaucracy and time to change the system. Limit the quantity, and instead focus on improving the quality of nursing education with the hope of producing much more competent nurses. It’s time to do the clean-up. Check the system, and check it properly. Close the worst-performing nursing schools. Isn’t it time?
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