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I DON’T know if it’s going to be an advantage for me, having graduated already. But I guess it’s premature to make a generalization.

I am trying to analyze the overhauling of the nursing education curriculum. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has already released a memorandum making changes to the nursing education curriculum a month before the opening of classes.

Under the CHED memorandum circular no. 5, or the enhanced Four-Year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, another 33 units will be added to the present nursing curriculum’s 169 units, adding three summer classes to the present eight-semester course. The number of hours for practicum will also be increased to 2,499 from the present 2,142-hour requirement.

A primary reason behind this move by CHEd was to check the seemingly deteriorating quality of service and skills rendered by our Filipino nurses. While a growing number of students graduate from nursing schools, not even 50 percent pass the licensure exams. As a matter of fact, the Professional Regulation Commission announced a few months ago that only 28,924 out of 67,228 passed the nursing licensure exams given in December 2007 – or a 43.4% passing rate.

Various agencies concerned voiced out opposing reactions.

The Philippine Nurses Association backed up the CHED memorandum, saying that the new curriculum will create affirming improvements on the quality of nurses being produced by schools and universities.

The group released its position paper as leaders of the largest consortium of private colleges and universities in the Philippines, as well as the umbrella organization of five educational associations, described the CHED order as “disastrous” and called on the government agency to defer the implementation of its order.

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The move may be abrupt and drastic, but the need for such intervention is strongly advised to be implemented. Like all privileges, education (and to be specific nursing education) needs utmost attention for improvement and proper delivery. There is a need to do quality control and the alarming signals of what seems the deteriorating quality of Filipino health care needs immediate action.

Of course, the success of such intervention lies in the proper implementation of the people tasked to execute them. Looking into the various changes made to the curriculum, nursing educators need discipline, wisdom, and proper judgment to be able to discern and make the right decisions to bring out positive results in line with the curriculum change.

For nursing students, dedication is a virtue they will need to learn. Taking from my experience, being a nursing student requires more than just intellect and skills. Toiling and pushing through your limits are needed in acquiring the best out of the nursing education. Make the most out of your nursing education because it’s an opportunity that you should grab.

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This is where I rest my pen and my articulate search for the universal cure.

But before I put a stopper to everything else, I would like to express my deepest and endless gratitude to the whole staff of the Varsitarian for giving me a once in a lifetime opportunity to serve the Thomasian community through a medium I highly regard for its power to influence and effect changes in the University, the newspaper.

I may have regrets of not fulfilling every plan I imagined for the publication but nevertheless, I still am proud of the decisions I made for the ‘V.’ I wish the succeeding batches of Thomasian writers and artists the best of both worlds–in their studies and in their Varsitarian work.

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Once a ‘V’ staffer, always a ‘V’ staffer.

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