Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos is proposing reforms to further bolster the quality of nursing profession in the country and provide our nurses more protection from exploitation.
Marcos noted that the Philippines takes pride in producing quality nurses, whose services are much sought after not only in the country but also elsewhere in the world.
“It is therefore, imperative that we continue to open the windows of improvement into this noble profession, and be instruments of a healthy and wholesome society,” Marcos said.
In Senate Bill No. 1237, Marcos pushed, among others, for a more stringent screening process for nursing students as well as higher educational requirements for deans and faculty members of nursing schools in the country.
Under the bill, a student can only be admitted to a baccalaureate nursing program if he passes the National Nursing Admission Test (NNAT).
The bill also requires a general average of 75% for passing the Philippine Nurse Licensure Examinations (PNLE), which a student may only take for a maximum of three times.
Anybody who failed twice needs to take a refresher course before being allowed to take the board exam for the third and final time.
Deans and faculty members of nursing schools are likewise required to have at least a master’s degree in nursing education or other allied health sciences.
To further enhance the important contribution of nurses to our country, Marcos likewise proposed to allow them to provide services beyond the general practice, such as specialized, expanded, and advanced nursing care services.
The bill also calls for the institutionalization of a National Nursing Career Progression Program (NNCPP) that will allow Filipino nurses to move up to varying levels of professional nursing practice by providing certifications or credentials based on national and international benchmarked standards of education and practice.
To enhance the general welfare of nurses, the bill provides that the minimum base pay of nurses working in both public and private health and health-related institutions “shall be in accordance with prevailing salary standards set by law,” which shall be regularly appraised by Congress.
The proposed law also prohibits volunteer service of nurses in any health institutions to address numerous complaints that some health institutions require new nurses to pay fees, under the guise of training, when they work there to gain experience.