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Chief nurse urges docs to stay in RP

The president of the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) made a personal appeal to Filipino doctors who want to take up nursing to be able to work abroad.

Dr. Leah Paquiz said the PNA cannot control the number of people who want to take up the nursing profession because it is the right of every individual.

She, however, said: " Makikiusap po ako sa kanila: Huwag na po kayong mag-nurse para naman po mayroong mga doktor na maiwan sa Pilipinas (I'm appealing to them: Please don't take up nursing. We need doctors in the Philippines).”

Paquiz admitted that more doctors are determined to leave the country to work overseas as nurses because of the bigger pay and incentives.

The PNA chief also said that she is concerned over the exodus of doctors to other countries to look for work as nurses.

“Madami kasi. Nawawalan na po tayo ng doktor. Iyon ang nakakalungkot, nawawalan na tayo ng doctor na titingin sa atin (They're too many. We're losing our doctors. It's sad because we're losing the doctors who should take care of us),” she added.

Paquiz appealed to the government to include health care in its list of priorities and look into the salaries of doctors and health workers to prevent them from going abroad.

The PNA official also urged the full-implementation of the nurses' Magna Carta as well as the Republic Act 9173 or the Nursing Act of 2002.

Paquiz said there is no rule barring the new nurses from taking up the National Council Licensure Examination, the test for those who want to work for hospitals in the United States.

"Pwede po silang mag-NCLEX pero kinakailangan naman po sana na magkaroon muna ng experience dito (Nurses can take the NCLEX immediately but they should at least obtain local experience)," she said

The Philippines began its maiden hosting of the NCLEX last week for nurses who are planning to work in the US. The exam is ongoing and the results have yet to be released, Paquiz said.

New nurses known
Paquiz's appeal came after the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) released the results Sunday of the 2007 Nursing Licensure Examinations (NLE).

A total of 31,275 students (48.18%) out of 64,909 examinees passed.

The Department of Labor and Employment said it will release the list of new nurses on Tuesday.

Darlene Chutuape of Our Lady of Fatima University topped the exams with 88 percent.

Close at second place was Romeo Pangilinan (87.8%) from De Ocampo Memorial College of Nursing. Pierre Florendo from Mount View College and Mona Lisa Pua from the Chinese General Hospital School of Nursing were tied at third place with 87.2 percent.
Last year, the nursing exams were marred with controversy after some of the review centers were found to have been involved in leaking the answers to some of the test questions.

Following almost a year of investigations, justice department prosecutors announced Thursday last week that they will file criminal charges against the officials of two nursing review centers linked to the June 2006 Nursing Licensure Examination test leakage.

Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño signed a resolution finding probable cause to indict George Cordero, Inress Review Center president; Ricarte Gapuz Jr., R.A. Gapuz Review Center director; Elena Gapuz-Altarejos, R.A. Gapuz Review Center vice-president; and Jonna Bucud, R.A. Gapuz drill master, for violation of Republic Act 8981 or An Act Modernizing the Professional Regulation Commission.

They could face imprisonment of between six and 12 years and be fined P100,000, or both, according to the Department of Justice. With a report from Ricky Velasco, DZMM


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