Cebu City (3 October) -- A proposal to extend the clinical exposure hours and add more units to critical nursing subjects aimed at uplifting the quality of nursing graduates today will be the subject of a public hearing for the Visayas Region on October 24 in Cebu City.

Dr. Jucel Ann Jumao-as, education supervisor II of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED-7) said the public hearing later this month will tackle the new Nursing Policy Guidelines and Standards where stakeholders from Region 7, 8, 9 and 10 are expected to attend.

Jumao-as in a recent PIA Kapihan in celebration of Nurses' Week from September 28 to October 3 said the products of nursing graduates today are not so competent compared with the nursing graduates in the 1980s and the previous years.

New nursing graduates today lack competence even in the command of English and more importantly, in skills and knowledge, according to Juamo-as.

Out of a scale from one to 10 with 10 as the highest score, Jumao-as rated today's nursing graduates to six in terms of quality and the same score in the communication skills. The score of seven on the other hand, is the passing grade for the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam where most Filipino nurses also fail.

The new policy guidelines and standards will address the deteriorating quality of nursing graduates by exposing them more to clinical settings through hands-on experience and giving more weight to critical nursing subjects enhancing students' knowledge and promoting critical thinking, this is said.

Belen Gabato, a Cebuano registered nurse and the only Filipino member of the Board of Nursing in Nevada, USA said the focus of the health care services in the states today is patient's safety.

"How can you provide quality care to a patient if the nurse is not competent enough?" because she lacks clinical training skills and the theoretical knowledge needed in critical thinking, Gabato stressed.

Gabato also said speaking English well is very important because how can the nurse understand the doctor's order if she cannot understand and speak the English language proficiently.

There is a need to uplift the quality of nursing graduates so they can be competent nurses, Gabato added.

Jumao-as however, proudly bared there are two schools in the region that are considered as centers of excellence by the Philippine Nursing Board based on record in producing quality nursing graduates. These schools are Cebu Normal University in Cebu City and Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.

Jumao-as likewise said she received a feedback that most schools in Cebu even non-medical institutions offering nursing course are reputable as she credits this to the schools' compliance to CHED requirements as well as the seasoned deans of the different colleges of nursing in Cebu.

CHED-7 is always monitoring and tracking those schools that does shortcuts in finishing the nursing course or is not compliant to the requirements of CHED-7, Jumao-as said.

The Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) – Cebu Chapter meanwhile, recently opened a 'Botika sa Barangay' (BnB) in Bulacao, Pardo, Cebu City where the Department of Health (DOH-7) provided them P25,000 worth of frequently-used medicines by the poor.

PNA-Cebu Chapter President Elena Rodriguez said the BnB also serves residents of nearby barangays. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]



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