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48% pass nursing exams

By Leila Salaverria
First Posted 00:49:00 08/27/2007

Filed Under: Hospitals & Clinics, Health

View list of successful examinees

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippines has more than 31,000 new nurses, including those who retook the nursing licensure examination to remove the stigma that they benefited from a leak of test questions last year.

A graduate from Our Lady of Fatima University-Valenzuela topped the exam conducted in June in Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Legazpi, Lucena, Tacloban, Tuguegarao and Zamboanga cities.

Of the 64,909 takers, who included first-timers, repeaters and voluntary ?retakers,? 31,275 -- or 48 percent -- passed the exam given by the Professional Regulation Commission?s Board of Nursing (BON).

The voluntary ?retakers? were those who had passed the June 2006 nursing board exam but decided to retake all the five tests. They signed a waiver in order to give up their 2006 licenses so they could take the tests again.

But the results of Test III (Medical-Surgical Nursing) and Test V (Psychiatric Nursing) taken by some 13,000 nursing graduates from the June 2006 batch were not announced by the PRC. The two tests were the ones affected by the leakage.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will announce the results Tuesday, according to a DOLE information officer.

The 13,000 nursing graduates, who passed the June 2006 licensure exam, voluntarily decided to retake Tests III and V in order to comply with a requirement of the United States-based Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS).

The CGFNS, which screens applicants to the United States, had said that it would not issue VisaScreen certificates to June 2006 nursing board passers unless they retook Tests III and V.

Most of the nursing graduates in the country aspire for employment in the United States.

Of the 336 nursing graduates who retook the two tests because of a court order, 248 passed, according to the PRC.

The 336 were among the 1,687 nursing graduates whom the Court of Appeals had required to retake Tests III and V.

The 1,687 graduates were those who had benefited from the PRC recomputation of the scores the commission undertook in a bid to remove the effects of the leakage. The appellate court struck down the recomputation.

The results for two examinees were withheld while the BON determines whether they were liable for violations under the rules and regulations governing licensure examinations.

Topnotcher and top schools

Darlyn Chutuape of Our Lady of Fatima University-Valenzuela got the highest score of 88 percent.

The top-performing schools with 30 to 99 examinees were University of the Philippines-Manila and Philippine Christian University-Manila, which both got a 100-percent passing rate.

Rounding out the top performers in the same category were University of Cebu in Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue, and Universidad de Manila (City College of Manila), which got passing rates of 92 and 90 percent, respectively.

Of the schools with more than 99 examinees, Trinity University of Asia, Saint Louis University and St. Paul University-Iloilo all had a 99-percent passing rate.

These were followed closely by University of Santo Tomas (UST), with a 98-percent passing rate. Of the top-performers, UST also had the highest number of examinees at 587.

University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center, West Visayas State University-La Paz and Saint Paul University-Manila all got a 97-percent passing rate.

Oath-taking on Oct. 2

The oath-taking for the passers is scheduled for Oct. 2 at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City -- 8 a.m. for surnames starting with A to J; 1 p.m. for surnames starting with K to Z.

The leakage controversy that marred the June 2006 nursing licensure exam had divided the graduates, schools and licensed nurses into those who called for a retake, and those against it.

A group of nursing students and nursing schools had asked the court to stop the oath-taking of those who passed the tainted licensure exam and order a retake of the exam.

The leakage also put a stigma on the June 2006 passers, with some hospitals refusing to accept them.

The CGFNS requirement for the retake was a result of the controversy.

A CGFNS representative was sent to Baguio in June to monitor the conduct of the examination. Representatives of the US-based group also monitored the exams in Manila.

Criminal charges

Last week, the Department of Justice recommended the filing of criminal charges against four officials of the R.A. Gapuz and Inress review centers for allegedly leaking questions in the June 2006 licensure exam.

On Aug. 31, 2006, the National Bureau of Investigation recommended the filing of charges against former BON members Anesia Dionisio and Virginia Madela for their alleged involvement in the leakage. With PDI Research

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