February 18, 2012
Congratulations to all new RNs! However, the passing rate of the recently concluded NLE (December 2011) again needs to be reviewed. A mere 30% or so of examinees were successful which is a disturbing trend. This indicates that there are many schools of nursing that have milled graduates that are not prepared. And I submit that the fault lies not on students but that of schools and faculty.
Schools of nursing that do not perform well should be closed. I know of one school in Baguio who have never reached the 40% mark, yet they continue to be in existence. They should have been closed long ago. As I asserted numerous times, the success of a school of nursing depends on its faculty. And in reviewing faculty, let us begin with the Dean. The dean should be doctorally prepared and demonstrate experience in the clinical setting. The dean should also possess leadership qualities to guide the nursing faculty. This leads me to an experience when I applied for a Dean position here in the Philippines not too long ago. The interviewer told me that “you are too qualified”. Well, isn’t this the quality they should look for?
The faculty should be clinically adept and well educated in pedagogy. In the US, faculty must possess an educational title higher than the degree program they are teaching at. Which means that BSN faculty should have a master’s degree; master’s faculty should be doctorally prepared, and doctoral faculty should be fellows. This should be emulated here in the Philippines. If you look at some nurse faculty, they have not been trained to educate. A good clinical-nurse does not necessarily yield an excellent teacher. Teaching requires art and skill, some learned and some acquired. Thus, nurse faculty should be schooled in pedagogy and andragogy to be effective at teaching. Regular staff development programs should be offered to them. The University of Baguio once had me do a seminar on “developing multiple choice questions that measure and promote critical thinking”. Such activities are imperative to make faculty current and innovative.
I hope that the next NLE results will be better. All nurses must be concerned about this issue and every effort must be made for nursing schools to get their act together. Make your voice heard. Call on the PNA and CHED to mandate improvement of nursing schools.