RP to send nurses to China

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE government will send 1,000 student-nurses to China to share their knowledge and expertise in hospital work with their Chinese counterparts, the Commission on Higher Education said yesterday.

“This is part of a cross-border education program between our country and the education ministry of China,” said CHED Chairman Carlito Puno, who recently visited China where he met with 41 education ministers from all over the world to discuss trends and improvements for cross-border education programs.

Puno said there are two big schools in China that expressed interest in getting Filipino student-nurses to undergo a one-year practicum in their hospitals.

“I can’t disclose yet the names of these schools pending the signing of an agreement between our government and China,” Puno said, adding that China has a high regard for Filipino nurses.

“China admitted that the quality of their nursing education is not good compared to other countries such as the Philippines. China ‘s nursing graduates could barely pass the National Licensure Examination,” he said.

“These nursing students will spend their last year of practicum in different hospitals in China. That’s the initial agreement that has to be signed by both governments. CHED is already considering two top schools where the fourth year nursing students will come from,” he said, but refused to name the schools.

He expressed confidence that the nursing profession in the country will continue to produce more competent and qualified nurses in the future.

“Despite the controversy wreaking havoc on our nursing profession, some countries are still interested in sharing knowledge with us. This is a very positive development for our Filipino nurses to also try some other countries other than the United States and Europe,” he said.

Puno believes that the controversy arising from examination leakage last June will “die down naturally.”

“I’m hoping the issue will be resolved soon so that our new nurses can move on with their lives,” he said following reports that the Professional Regulation Commission has already administered the oath on a batch of new nurses.

A total of 17,323 passers, or 41.24 percent of the total number of nursing examinees, are set to be sworn in by PRC as ordered by the Court of Appeals.

But Puno reiterated that CHED is keen on cracking down on review centers involved in irregularities, such as leaking test questions in board examinations.

“The days of these unscrupulous review centers are numbered,” he said, adding that CHED has to come out with a final decision on regulation of review centers.