Nursing Controversy


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What’s up with Dipolog Medical College’s nursing graduates?

May 08, 2007 14:12:00

My name is Darren Smith, an American college professor based in Florida USA. As a college educator for the last ten years, I have followed nursing education in the Philippines very closely. Of foreign nurses, 40% are from the Philippines.

I would like to share the case of nursing students attending Dipolog Medical College in Dipolog City who are being prevented from taking nursing licensure exam in June 2007.

This particular school has a passing rate below 30% in the nursing board exam, consistently ranking in the bottom 20% of nursing schools in Philippines. For schools with more than 30 students, DMC is 12th from the bottom, with a passing rate of 25% last December and 28% last June. From 2000 to 2004 DMCCFI had a passing rate below 40% - a long history of poor performance.

I applaud the new CHED plan to close schools with a passing rate of less than 75%. American nursing schools would immediately lose their accreditation and be closed after just a few years of poor performance. DMC-CFI has been put on notice in this regard.

As such they are restricting students from taking the upcoming June license exam unless examinees are willing to undergo a P40T review course. This puts up a barrier to students taking their license exam, but the students at this particular school are powerless because it will not release their TOR with sufficient time to qualify with PRC in order to take the June exam.

I know of a particular case where the student scored well on a "pre-board" exam and feels very prepared to take the Nursing Board Exam but will be prevented from taking the exam in June.

There are 366 graduates as of March 31, 2007 but, as I understand it, only 100 handpicked students who passed a "pre-board exam" and were willing to pay P40T were permitted to take the June exam. Many of those 100 were doing it for the 2nd time - that means about 300 students were denied the right to take the test in June 2007.

Some may ask, how can we let this happen? I suspect it was never the intention of CHED or of PRC for a school to legislate a P40,000 payola to review centers (the source of the last nursing scandal) as a condition to taking a board exam. This is not good for either these students or the country. It will become the next nursing scandal: payola to review centers as a condition to take a board exam.

Furthermore, a poor performing school like DMC is manipulating the statistics with this action. I wish to share this with the right person so this practice will be stopped before it affects nursing students nationwide. If they thought about it in
Dipolog, other schools may well be doing the same thing. These are powerless students who have no voice. I’m attempting to help correct a terrible situation.

In the case of Ms. Nesnia, BSN graduate as of March 31, 2007, when her case was brought to the attention of CHED on April 11th and I tried to resolve it with the Vice President of the school on April 16th, they retaliated and put a hold on her records, not only to prevent her from taking the board exam, but from receiving her earned diploma and TOR.

I specifically seek the following:

1. I wonder if a legislative solution could be found that might require schools to release the TOR and other transcripts within 10 days of meeting all financial and academic requirements. This will eliminate this from ever happening to other students, regardless of their course.

2. To rectify an injustice to those students of Dipolog Medical College who wish to take the June exam, those records [should] be released immediately to the students, assuming they have met the academic and financial requirements so they may take the board exam they choose - June or December. Put an end to schools handpicking the students, which alters the statistics and doesn’t give a true representation of how the school performed its job of training the student.

3. With respect to Ms Nesnia, I would seek an advocate on her behalf to assist her in resolving the punitive action the school has undertaken. She lives in a nipa hut with eight of her family members. She is not only the hope of her family’s future but of all Filipinos.

Can we afford to allow students who speak out on such issues to have their reputations ruined?

Thanks for your time and consideration.

Professor Darren Smith, M.S.

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