“I am against adding another year for nursing, or for any other course,” the feisty senator said in a press statement a few days back. “Our nurses are being praised all over the world. Why in the world does CHED want to change what is not broken?” he asked.
Escudero said the CHED should instead weed out diploma mills that have proliferated due to the increase in the number of students wanting to take up nursing. He also called for stricter supervision of nursing review centers.
Prior to this, the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines and the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations has already expressed their opinion against the CHED’s plan. Escudero said that making nursing a five-year course would mean an additional financial burden to parents and students.
Based on current figures, each nursing student needs about P100,000 annually for tuition fees plus textbooks, excluding review courses. Adding another year to the nursing course will make it more expensive to the parents that set aside a budget for the education of their children to the detriment of other basic family needs such as food and buying a new home.
Healthcare nursing job opportunities in the US is now, more than ever, real than projected years ago. The expected nursing shortage as far back as early 2000 which the the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) have predicted has now compounded to unexpected scale. Hospitals and healtcare institution are now feeling the bite of the shortage in their facilities.
Several causes of nursing shortage have been accurately pinpointed (as predicted long ago).
1. Small enrollees for nursing profession can fill seats of aging nurses – Despite the fact that enrollment numbers for nursing programs in schools have increased slightly recently, experts believe that such an increase is not even enough to fill the projected demand for nurses over the new few years. Fact is, some experts estimate that the enrollment numbers for younger people entering nursing programs would have to increase exponentially, by at least 40 percent annually, to meet the increasing demand for nurses as older registered nurses, or RNs, retire from the work force.
2. Lack of faculty to educate and train nurses – The sad fact however is that enrollment cannot increase in the desired numbers simply because of limiting factors placed on nursing programs. It has been estimated that about two-thirds of nursing schools turned aspiring and qualified applicants away because of lack of staff and facilities to teach them. Without the institution and the faculty to educate and train the nurses, more and more youth will divert their attention to other profession. Nursing programs in the country are not well funded and cannot afford the staff, laboratories, and clinical facilities required to fulfill the needs of more nursing students.
3. Aging American population – Of course, as more and more baby boomers retire and age, the need for more nurses to care for them also increases. However, because of the shortage of facilities and lack of funding to train new nurses as discussed above, hospitals, healthcare and other medical facilities are experiencing a scary shortage that can hamper the American health care system if not addressed soonest.
4. Inability to Import Nurses – Each year thousands and thousands of qualified nurses abroad wants to work in the States and help care their population in exchange for work and money. However, the visa retrogression is preventing the inflow of new nurses to the United States until a law will ease up the US Visa issue. This nursing shortage will just be compounded by the lack of new nurses entering the work force as older RNs choose to retire.
There are many other reasons why more and more nurses are going out of the system but the above are major ones. Others include attractive pay from other profession, nursing burnouts (due to shortage), lack of funding for nurses development and inadequate attention to nurses needs.
COMMISSION on Higher Education (Ched) chairman Emmanuel Angeles denounced proposals imposing a ceiling on the number of college students that would like to take up nursing in an effort to put a halt on the oversupply of nurses in the Philippines.
CHED cited the that setting a limit to the number of enrollees to be accepted in the nursing schools all over the country will mean a violation of the basic human right to choose the education the students want to pursue.
About 470 nursing schools proliferate in the country with an annual enrolment of nearly 100,000. Only a handful of these schools are considered excellent by CHED with an annual passing rate of 90 percent. Last year, 64.909 nursing hopefuls took the board and eventually 31,000 of them passed.
CHED said that the only way they can limit the oversupply is to limit the nursing schools providing nursing courses. The most valid basis of barring a school from conducting nursing courses are lack of proper facility and incompetence of faculty members. However, we are yet to see these control measures being implemented in the school system.