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Our Cutting Edge

With all due respect to the Department of Health SecretaryTeodoro Herbosa, his recommendation to give temporary licenses to Nursing graduates who failed the recent board exams with scores from 70-74 percent and employ them in government hospitals is ludicrous. I see no need for such desperate measures, since we still have 10,764 nurses available for appointment. It is not that we question his authority as DOH Secretary, but doing what he suggests would be not just one, but two steps backward. It will sacrifice the excellent quality of nursing education that our country has so painstakingly worked hard to establish, and for which we are known all over the world. The field of Nursing is our cutting edge, and the Philippines has been known for its excellent Nursing colleges and universities, When employers abroad need nurses to hire, they often specifically look for Filipino nurses.

A more realistic proposal that does not sacrifice the quality of Nursing education is to let these graduates who failed to earn their licenses take refresher courses to enable them to pass, with the government’s support and in partnership with the private sector. Another possibility would be to offer them 1-2 years short courses to become nursing assistants.instead. But the standards in permitting nurses to practice their profession cannot be lowered, to ensure that our hospitals have nurses with the vital entry-level skills to provide competent care to patients whose lives are entrusted to them. The Professional Regulatory Board of Nursing in the Philippines should seriously look into this contentious recommendation by the DOH and take action on it.


“When test scores go up, we should worry, because of how poor a measure they are of what matters, and what you typically sacrifice in a desperate effort to raise scores.

— Alfie Kohn


“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge.

- 2 Peter 1:5

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