MANILA – House of Representatives Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said Thursday the decision of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to push through with the first batch of the 2021 Nursing Licensure Examination (NLE) would help combat the shortage of health care workers amid the pandemic.
Velasco was reacting to PRC’s announcement that the May 2021 Nurses Licensure Examination, which was postponed to November, will now commence at an earlier July schedule.
“This is a welcome development as it would help ease health care workforce shortages that have become more evident during the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic,” Velasco said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the November 21 and 22 schedules were retained for the second batch of this year’s nursing board exam.
In his letter to Velasco, PRC Chairman Teofilo Pilando Jr. explained the need to conduct the NLE to augment the country’s health care system during the public health crisis, while also taking into consideration the safety and welfare of the examinees and examination personnel.
Velasco has urged the PRC to tap unregistered nurses as additional health workers to supplement the country’s current health workforce.
He suggested that these unregistered nurses could work under the supervision of a registered nurse or doctor through a special arrangement with the PRC.
Pilando said the services of nursing graduates could be availed of during public health emergencies, citing the Commission on Higher Education Memorandum Order 14, series of 2009, which provides that unlicensed nursing graduates may be given responsibilities similar to that of nursing aides in a 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,” he said.
Velasco thanked Pilando for his “swift response and explicit plan of action to our call to immediately supplement our medical front-liners amid the continued threat of Covid-19,” noting that all the resources that could be tapped would help fight the pandemic. (PNA)