AS A RESULT of the rising global demand for nurses, the College of Nursing (Nursing) has joined the bandwagon of hiring and “pirating” faculty members.

According to Nursing Dean Glenda Vargas, the College has been hiring recent graduates, instructors, and professors from other schools to replace about 20 faculty members who left the University for greener pastures.

She said although the hiring of Thomasian nurses and professors abroad affirms the high regard of local and international colleges for the quality for UST graduates, the College is threatened by the situation as the University risks facing “brain drain” of its professors.

“(As much as possible), we want them to stay,” Vargas said. “But, we cannot deprive them of the opportunities for themselves and for their families. The peso cannot compete with the dollar.”

Nevertheless, she said the College still has a solid “core group” of senior Nursing professors who train and orient the newcomers to maintain the standard of quality instruction and “the continuing existence of the College.”

Prof. Elizabeth Cortez, a Nursing faculty member since 1982, is one of the “core group” who chose the University over “sweet” offers from other countries and schools.

Cortez said some local colleges entice them with offers of deanships and directorships, while international institutions offer “generous” salaries in lump sum or by-the-hour compensation.

“Recently, I was offered to become the director of a nursing service for $52 an hour,” said Cortez. “(But I chose to stay) because of my family and my students in UST.”

Meanwhile, Prof. Shirley Peña, who taught in UST from 1959 to March 2004 and who is now the acting dean of the Nursing program of the La Consolacion College in Mendiola, said she left UST because she felt she was needed more at La Consolacion.

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“Aside from a teaching position, I also work as a program director (in La Consolacion College),” she explained.

However, Peña said she would teach again in UST as soon as La Consolacion gets a replacement for her.

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