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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

20 May 2021 02:36:25 PM

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco has welcomed the decision of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to push through with the first batch of the 2021 Nursing Licensure Examination (NLE) in July, instead of November.

“This is a welcome development as it would help ease health care workforce shortages that have become more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Velasco said.

Velasco recently received a correspondence from PRC Chairman Teofilo Pilando Jr. informing him that the postponed May 2021 NLE was moved to July 3 and 4, while the November 21 and 22 schedule was retained for the second batch of this year’s nursing board exam.

It will be recalled that the PRC had postponed to November the first batch of the 2021 NLE originally scheduled on May 30 and 31 upon the request of the Philippine Nursing Association due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

This prompted Velasco to suggest that those who were supposed to take the May 2021 exam be tapped as complementary manpower amid the shortage of health workers in the country.

Velasco said these “underboard” nursing graduates can work under the supervision of a registered nurse or doctor through a special arrangement with the PRC.

In his letter to Velasco, Pilando said the PRC reconsidered the initial postponement as it “fully understands the need to conduct the NLE to augment the Philippine health care system during this public health emergency, while being also concerned with the safety and welfare of the examinees and examination personnel.”

The PRC chief also confirmed that the services of nursing graduates can be availed of during public health emergencies.

He cited Commission on Higher Education Memorandum Order No. 14, series of 2009, which provides that unlicensed nursing graduates may be given responsibilities similar to that of nursing aides in the hospital setting.

“Should they (nursing graduates) be employed as nurse attendants or aides, they should be under the supervision of a registered nurse of the facility,” Pilando said.

Velasco thanked Pilando for his “swift response and explicit plan of action to our call to immediately supplement our medical frontliners amid the continued threat of COVID-19.”

“We will need all the resources we can get to help fight the pandemic,” the Speaker added.#