The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has proposed a new nursing curriculum that aims to boost the number of nurses working in the country by allowing undergrad nursing students to work already, ABS-CBN reported Thursday.
The proposed “BS Nursing Curriculum with Exit Credentials” will allow first-year nursing student to attain a certificate that would certify that the student has “basic nursing skills in rendering safe and appropriate care,” and work as a nursing aide and nursing assistant, the report said.
Those in their second or third year may receive a diploma that would certify that the student can “demonstrate safe, appropriate and holistic care” to people and work as a nursing associate, community health nurse, and associate maternal and child nurse.
Those who reach their fourth year will receive their Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.
“That means if we run this program, in one to two years you haveadditional nursing manpower, which can already be employed in our health facilities. Because the need for nursing professionals is not all nursing graduates. There are intermediate individual credentials that can be used,” CHED Chairman Popoy De Vera said in an online press conference.
De Vera said the proposal was discussed with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the private sector, and it has generated “significant interest” from healthcare providers in “teaming up with schools.”
“The President instructed CHED to proceed with the proposals we have presented,” he said.
While the shortage of nurses is “not a new” issue, the shortage of nurses in the country has been more apparent or “highly visible” due to the COVID-19 pandemic that “adversely affected health care delivery.”
There is also a nursing shortage around the world, prompting countries to “relax” their rules on the movement of professionals, De Vera added.
Figures from the Professional Regulation Commission show that the percentage of passers of the Nursing Board exams is lower than non-passers from 2017 to 2021, wherein those who passed were 42,674 while 46,355 failed.
Moreover, 51.2 percent of qualified nurses choose to work overseas.
“The shortage is very clear, so we have to address it as a country,” he said.