Bong Go

Bong Go backs hiring of nursing graduates

June 21, 2023 People's Journal 168 views

Who narrowly missed passing licensure exam

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go has expressed his support for the Department of Health’s proposal to utilize nursing graduates who fell just short of passing the Philippine Nursing Licensure Exam, scoring between 70 to 74%, as an additional workforce in the healthcare system.

While they may not have technically passed the exam, Go believes that providing them with temporary licenses will augment the healthcare workforce and create job opportunities for them.

“Sang-ayon naman ako sa rekomendasyon na mabigyan ng temporary license ang iilang mga nursing graduates kahit hindi sila technically nakapasa pa ng board exams,” said Go in a statement.

“Makakadagdag ito sa ating healthcare workforce, mabibigyan sila ng trabaho, at mas rarami ang pwedeng rumesponde sa pangangailangang pangkalusugan ng mga Pilipino,” he added.

However, Go emphasized the need for careful consideration of this proposal, as the lives of patients are at stake. He believes that the tasks assigned to these unlicensed nurses should be commensurate with their abilities and knowledge, and not at par with those of fully licensed nurses.

“Pero dapat pag-aralan ito ng mabuti dahil buhay rin ang nakasalalay dito. Para sa akin, ang mga tungkulin na ibibigay sa kanila ay angkop lang dapat sa kanilang kakayahan at kaalaman, at hindi pantay sa mga tunay na licensed nurses,” said Go.

The senator also urged the Department of Health to thoroughly study the proposal, taking into account the existing laws and regulations that uphold professional standards and safeguard the lives, safety, and well-being of the people.

DOH Secretary Teodoro Herbosa proposes that nursing graduates who achieved a rating of 70 to 74% in the Nursing Licensure Exam be employed as a supplementary workforce in the healthcare system.

Herbosa mentioned that Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma has endorsed the proposal and intends to hold discussions with the Professional Regulation Commission regarding the issuance of temporary licenses for these nurses.

Herbosa, however, clarified that unlicensed nurses will be assigned restricted responsibilities within government health facilities to prioritize the safety and well-being of patients.

“This is a viable temporary solution to meet the country’s health needs. But as Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, our goal must be to continue improving medical education in the country to ensure enough number of qualified healthcare professionals,” Go stressed.

To this end, he has filed Senate Bill No. 191 or the Advanced Nursing Education bill, which aims to provide greater opportunities for nurses by opening up leadership roles, specialization in specific practice areas, and recognition in the fields of research and advanced nursing education.

“Ang pinakamahalaga dito ay itaas natin ang antas ng nursing profession sa bansa para makapagbigay ng dekalidad, abot-kaya at sapat na serbisyong medikal sa mga kababayan natin, lalo na ang mga mahihirap at walang ibang matatakbuhan kundi ang gobyerno,” Go said.

If enacted, the basic nursing education will also be improved by integrating community integration and immersion in the curriculum to encourage them to work in the local nursing community.

“Ito pong Advanced Nursing Education Bill, gusto kong maisama sa kanilang curriculum ang community integration immersion sa kanilang curriculum, upang mahikayat po ang mga nurses na dito na lang po magtrabaho sa ating bansa,” said Go during an ambush interview after aiding poor residents in Nagcarlan, Laguna on June 20.

Go added that this would encourage nurses to work within the country instead of seeking opportunities abroad, as the current program is perceived to focus on overseas employment.

“Kasi ang ating kasalukuyang programa ay nakapokus sa pangingibang bansa kaya po nauubos ang ating mga nurses dahil mas ine-encourage ng kasalukuyang programa ang pangingibang bansa,” he said.

While he acknowledges the allure of higher salaries abroad, Go believes it is essential to incentivize nurses to work domestically by providing additional knowledge, enriching the curriculum, and offering better compensation.

“‘Yun po ang kailangang tingnan nating mabuti, lalo na po sa private hospital na napakababa po ng sahod ng mga nurses, kaya nangingibang bansa sila. Dapat po bigyan sila ng tamang kompensasyon,” concluded Go.

The proposed bill mandates the establishment of standardized basic and graduate programs for nursing education in Commission on Higher Education-accredited institutions.

Under the proposed basic program, nursing students will undergo community integration and immersion to encourage them to serve various communities within the country. The proposed graduate program, on the other hand, will build upon nurses’ experiences and skills, promoting mastery, expertise, and leadership in practice, research, and education.

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