‘Nursing competence’ in the global market

This article is written by RUSTY L. FRANCISCO, EdD, RNC, CEN, CCRN, CNAA and appeared first in the Philippine Daily Inquirer last May 13, 2009. I have asked for his permission if I can post it here and I am glad that he allowed me to do so. This is a good read for nurses and I hope you get inspired by his words. -Rona RN (admin)

Allow me to share my views on the present nursing curriculum and its impact on our nurses’ education and global competitiveness.

The present four-year nursing program includes three summers. If a summer is equivalent to a semester, then the present nursing program is actually five-and-a-half years long. Therefore, the proposal of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to add one more year to what is at present a four-year course—that is a five-year course without summers—is better for two reasons: (1) nursing students can enjoy a much-needed respite during summer, and (2) their parents will be given time to save money for the following semester.

However, we should not worry so much about the length of the program or the tuition fees to be paid. Let’s rather focus on the proper implementation of the curriculum per se. The present curriculum is a well-researched program that was carefully developed by our country’s dedicated deans and noted nursing academicians in consultation with different nursing sectors and specialty groups. In fact, our nursing curriculum’s conceptual framework has been hailed as a blueprint for excellence and has been adopted by many Asian and western countries. And it has been presented at numerous international conventions and accepted by our nursing colleagues globally. Given its content, the curriculum can be said to be in parallel with the global standards of nursing care and practices.

As one of the many Filipino nurses given the chance to teach nursing subjects in the United States for more than 15 years, this is my observation: even though the US nursing program has two entry levels, the predominant one is the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), a two-year nursing program with barely 600 actual nursing hours in the clinical areas; and it yields amazingly and consistently a very high passing performance in the nursing licensure (NCLEX-CAT) examination.

As to the Filipino nurses’ global competitiveness, to this day they remain the number one choice of other countries trying to make up for their acute nursing shortage. Our nurses may be noted for being inherently caring, respectable and compassionate, but more employers (nursing homes and hospitals), especially in the United States, are now so concerned that the nurses they hire are truly trained in the western nursing practices and standards, or “globally competent.”

Nursing competence (not the BSN degree or passing or topping the mandatory examinations) is very crucial in the effort to prevent and totally eliminate nursing malpractice/negligence. It’s a known fact that the United States is one of the most litigious countries in the whole world and yet it is a favorite destination of our nurses for long-term work tenure.

Hats off and kudos to all our nurses in the academic arena!

chief operating officer, International Division,
NC-CLEX- Global Training Center,

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