EDITORIAL: CMO 5: newer and better?

Cartoon by Arjane Evangelista

Cartoon by Arjane Evangelista

When times change,  so shall we.

Starting first semester of AY 2009-2010, our school will adapt to shifting ages and modify the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) curriculum into a new one as indicated in the CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) no. 5 series of 2008.

The revised program introduces a nursing curriculum in which BSN remains a four-year course with additional 43 units and RLE (Related Learning Experience) hours added.
It is a well-known fact that countries worldwide began to doubt our credibility as a producer of quality nurses when news of the alleged leakage in the June 2006 Nursing Board Examinations shook the world.

With this and their own domestic problems such as the US visa retrogression and the UK policy change, more and more countries started to temporarily close their doors to Filipino nurses.
The problem is, we are producing more and more nurses each year, and we are running out of jobs.
As a result, many licensed nurses in the Philippines are either unemployed or underemployed, but even so, students still flock to the nursing bandwagon.

In addition, we generate less passing rates on the local nursing board exams every year.
Owing to all of these, our global nursing market has been severely traumatized.
Eventually, all authorities involved had to do something: uplift and uphold the nursing education in the Philippines.

Their solution? CMO no. 5.

According to the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA), the revised nursing curriculum aims to “improve the quality of nursing education” as well as ensure a “safe, ethical, and quality nursing practice” in the Philippines.

The need for such measure arose, yet three important questions remain:

Are the students ready?

Are the professors ready?

And most importantly, are the schools ready?

It seems like they have to be.

Philippine nursing schools received a forewarning from CHED stating that their licenses shall be revoked should they fail to implement the revised BSN curriculum.

It is, indeed, not a matter of choice on the part of the schools.

Conversely, taking up the said course is still an option for incoming college freshmen.But do they really need additional subjects and training hours embedded in a seemingly strenuous curriculum?

If they do, shouldn’t they be given more time to absorb what they shall be taught?

Next year, nursing freshmen will barely have time for adequate rest.

At the same time, their parents shall have scarcely enough time to save after they pay for a whole semester, they have to pay for another one again.

With the new curriculum in mind, this is predicted to go on for 12 semesters in close intervals before one can actually graduate.

This only multiplies pressure by a hundredfold not only for students, but also for their parents and relatives who offer financial support in pursuing their studies.

What will it prove?

That we value global excellence and by all means sustain it?

Or that we can live up to our reputation as world-class workers, and prove to the world that the best nurses still are Filipino nurses?

This seemingly congested program may ward off potential students who will take up nursing as a mere stepping stone to another goal.

Good thing? Yes.

Nursing, like all other professions, is a line of work that requires dedication and sincerity for one to succeed in this career.

And even when we think we are already good enough, we can never remain stagnant.

Times change, and so shall we.

A challenge is posed for those who believe that they have what it takes to be good nurses.

The bravest shall be put to test.

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