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2.

The Technological Explosion


The rapid growth in information technology has already had a radical impact on health care delivery and the education of
nurses. Advances in processing capacity and speed, the development of interactive user interfaces, developments in
image storage and transfer technology, changes in telecommunications technology, and the increased affordability of
personal computers have contributed to the explosion of information technology applications. Advances in digital
technology have increased the applications of telehealth and telemedicine, bringing together patient and provider without
physical proximity. Nanotechnology will introduce new forms of clinical diagnosis and treatment by means of inexpensive
handheld biosensors capable of detecting a wide range of diseases from miniscule body specimens.
Dramatic improvements in the accessibility of clinical data across settings and time have improved both outcomes and
care management. The electronic medical record will replace traditional documentation systems. Through the Internet,
consumers will be increasingly armed with information previously available only to clinicians. Electronic commerce will
become routine for transacting health care services and products.
Nurses of the 21st century need to be skilled in the use of computer technology. Already, distance learning modalities link
students and faculty from different locales and expand the potential for accessible continuing professional education.
Technically sophisticated preclinical simulation laboratories will stimulate critical thinking and skill acquisition in a safe and
user-friendly environment. Faster and more flexible access to data and new means of observation and communication are
having an impact on how nursing research is conducted.

3. Globalization of the World's Economy and Society


Globalization has been brought about by many factors, including advances in information technology and
communications, international travel and commerce, the growth of multinational corporations, the fall of
communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and major political changes in Africa and Asia. With the
"death of distance" in the spread of disease and the delivery of health care, there are both extraordinary risks
and extraordinary benefits. Along with the potential for rapid disease transmission, there is potential for
dramatic improvements in health due to knowledge transfer between cultures and health care systems.
Nursing science needs to address health care issues, such as emerging and reemerging infections, that result
from globalization. Nursing education and research must become more internationally focused to disseminate
information and benefit from the multicultural experience.

Our
Philippine
nurses
are
in
high demandglobally
due
to
our
standardized and unified BSN curriculum.
Sadly, this globalized demand is driving
the academe to come up with new
programs that also fit the modern age
and needs. This poses a threat to the
image of Philippine nursing abroad, in
relation to our economic status as a thirdworld country. In addition, this also
exacerbates the quality of the nursing
and health service in our own country.
When one looks into the current state of
nursing schools in our country, one could
see the trend that there is a continuous
increase in the number of newly opened
nursing schools. From 175 in the early
1990s, it has ballooned to a current 450
registered schools and colleges of
nursing. This mushrooming of new
schools is attributed to the high demand
and high-paying jobs that nurses have in
developed countries like the United
States and the United Kingdom. Yet when
one examines the quality of the program
schools and colleges offer, a feeling of
shock and bewilderment comes. For
instance, out of 2,392 faculty surveyed in
2003, only 1,157 [58%] are BSN with MA
units; 539 [22.53%] have MAN and 198
[8.28%] have MAs in other fields.
This alone shows that a majority of
nursing faculty still lack advanced
education and training. Alas, this is also
reflected in their salaries, because in
spite of having a high demand for clinical
instructors, most faculty members [64%]
are paid P15,000 and below. Half of them
are paid less than P10,000 a month.
These two factors affect nursing
education as new schools open without
qualified deans and faculty members.
Less than 1% of the deans of colleges of
nursing have doctorate degrees, and due
to the influx of nursing students, hospitals
accept more than the required affiliate
nursing students. Sadly, this translates to
a high patient-to-nurse ratio of one
patient to two nursing students in the
1990s, to one patient to 15 nursing
students. How then could nursing
students afford a quality experience in
their practice when there are too many of
them attending to one patient? Even the
patient might feel exasperated by the
sheer crowd of nurses attending to him or

Another appalling statistic is the


decrease in the number of passers in
the nursing board examination; from
54% in 2001, it has steadily declined
to 46% the following year, and in
2003 it was 43%. Although in the
more recently concluded exam, the
number
of
successful
board
examinees increased, this is not an
entirely reliable statistic because of
the fact that there are many doctors
who took up nursing as a second
course; which also translates into the
loss of qualified doctors who could
serve in different community and
regional hospitals in our country.
These are, as the clich goes, the tip
of the iceberg on the state of nursing
education in the Philippines. We have
much to work for, as nursing
professionals and auxiliary staff, to
improve the quality of nursing
education.
There
is
much
misinformation that goes about
nowadays, as more students and
professionals take up nursing as a
second course. When logistics and
economics become the primary
motivation, then service and focus on
patient care lose out. The challenge
then is how to balance these things,
so that we could further improve the
quality of the educators in the
different programs, and also reinstate
the sense of service that the
profession is all about, which is just a
start in our long journey to overhaul
nursing education in our country.
It is, however, heartening to note that
the UERMMMC College of Nursing
has been a consistent top performing
school in the country, as cited in a
recent
press
release
of
the
Commission on Higher Education
(CHED)
together
with
the
Professional Regulation Commission,
Board of Nursing (PRC-BON)