ONLY MINIMAL changes will be made on the College of Nursing’s curriculum after the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) revoked an earlier memorandum order seeking to transform the country’s nursing course to a “five-year program.”

Issued last year, Ched Memorandum Order No. 5 (CMO 5) or the “Policies and Standards for Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program” ordered the addition of two subjects for first year nursing students, “Theoretical Foundations in Nursing” and “Fundamentals of Nursing Practice,” and stretched the required hospital duty hours from 2,142 to 2,499.

But after school owners and nursing deans from different academic institutions expressed opposition to the order last January, the Ched revoked it, only to be replaced by an “Enhanced Bachelor of Science in Nursing Curriculum.”

As of press time, Ched has not yet released any mandate for the official implementation of the new curriculum, but is expected to do so anytime before the next academic year opens.

Nursing Dean Glenda Vargas said the adjustment in UST’s nursing curriculum would only be minimal since the new mandate is just an “improved version” of the CMO 5.

“UST offered the CMO 5 last year, hence it is easy for us to adopt with the new curriculum,” Vargas told the Varsitarian.

“The CMO 5 requires four years and three summers, while the Enhanced Nursing Curriculum requires four years and only two summers – after first year and second years,” she added.

Vargas said that unlike the CMO 5, the new curriculum treats the new subjects as only elective courses.

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The new curriculum wil be adopted in all levels.

The earlier order, meant get rid of substandard nursing schools, was revoked because many school owners were against it, Vargas said.

The CMO 5 took effect last year after member-schools of the Coordinating Council of Private Education Associations (Cocopea) failed to get a temporary restraining order from the court to block its implementation.

Cocopea, the biggest consortium of private schools in the country, claimed the CMO 5 would be a burden to nursing students because it would raise tuition by 24 percent.

But the new curriculum will also increase tuition since there will still be additional hours in students’ clinical duties, Vargas said.

All colleges and universities with nursing programs are required to implement the new curriculum next school year after it is published in newspapers of general circulation, Vargas said.

An orientation will be held for the proper implementation of the new curriculum, which “will set a standard in the nursing program in the Philippines,” she added.

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