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Schools buck new nursing curriculum

By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:54:00 05/23/2008

Filed Under: Nursing matters, Education

MANILA, Philippines -- The largest consortium of private schools on Thursday

demanded that the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) immediately stop
implementation of the new nursing curriculum, saying its imposition was done without
consultation and the curriculum posed too much of a burden on students.

The Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (Cocopea) described

CHEd’s Memorandum Order No. 5 released last week which directed nursing schools
nationwide to add new subjects and increase hospital hours for students starting this
school year, as a “disastrous” policy that would do more harm than good.

The order had added 28 units and three summer classes to the nursing curriculum’s 169
units. Practicum hours would also increase to 2,703 hours from the current requirement
of 2,142 hours, Cocopea said.

CHEd said the new policies were aimed at further honing students’ technical knowledge
and skills, making them more competent and competitive to employers.

Unfair to students

But Cocopea said the imposition of additional subjects was unfair to schools and

It also accused CHEd of failing to consult schools and colleges about the new policies.
“Due process was clearly not observed,” the organization said.

Fr. Rod Salazar, Jr. SVD, Cocopea chair and president of the Catholic Educational
Association of the Philippines (CEAP), urged the suspension of the order until after all
stakeholders had discussed ways of improving nursing education.

“We are appealing to CHEd to suspend the implementation until we have considered in
depth and at length how we can truly improve the quantity and quality of the nurses we
educate,” Salazar said.

The additional units would also increase the financial burden of students and parents and
cause a logistical problem to hospitals and colleges, the group said. It pointed out that
there might not be enough hospitals to satisfy students’ need for hands-on learning.

“We have barely two months to go before the academic year will start and we, as heads
of our respective institutions and educational associations, feel that the implications of
the proposed changes in curriculum are too heavy for our educational system to
implement this soon,” Salazar said.

Cocopea officials said implementation of the curriculum may prompt many students to
discontinue pursuing nursing careers.

Fr. Joel Tabora SJ, CEAP regional director and president of the Ateneo de Naga
University, said, “It is a disastrous policy. It will make us choppy and will force students
to drop out.”

Cocopea is composed of 2,500 schools, colleges and universities.

Nursing News/Updates

PNA In Favor of New Nursing Curriculum

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) recently ordered the addition of new
subjects and practicum hours to the nursing curriculum. An association of private
nursing schools, Coordinating Council of Private Educational Institutions (Cocopea)
found this move unnecessary and even filed a case in court to request a temporary
restraining order of its implementation.

The Cocopea argues that aside from the fact that the new order would further make
the nursing education more expensive, no public hearing was held regarding the
matter. Public zonal consultations had been held according to government lawyers.

However, the Pasig Regional Trial Court did not grant the request for a TRO for
reason that public zonal consultations had been held according to government
lawyers. Now even the Philippine Nursing Association (PNA) is in favor of the
additional requirements to the four-year nursing course.

The PNA president, Leah Paquiz expressed the support of the nursing organization to
the new curriculum because it would produce Filipino nurses that are more
competitive in the global arena. It would also strengthen the nursing curriculum.

According to the PNA, the Philippines need to produce quality nurses along with the
report that demand for RP nurses in UK and America has been declining in the past
two years.
Under the CHED's Memorandum Order No. 5 (CMO 5) 28 more units will be added to
the nursing curriculum and practicum hours increased from the current 2,142 to 2,
703. An assessment test will also be required to nursing students before they
graduate. Pacquiz said, “They will have to take competency appraisal. They can't
graduate if they don't pass it. So this means that even before they graduate, there is
already an appraisal."

The new nursing curriculum requires basic nursing subjects to be taken up in the
first year so that as early as possible, students can decide if nursing is really the
course for them.

he Bachelor of Science in Nursing Curriculum

The College offers a 4-year basic program for the degree of Bachelor of Science in
Nursing. The curriculum provides for a common two-year program to all health-allied
courses and allows a student to shift on the third year to their preferred course. The
Associate in Health Science Education (AHSE) is the two-year common course offering
by the College developed in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act (RA) No.
7722 or the “Higher Education Act of 1994” and CHED order No. 59, series 1996. The
AHSE program constitutes the general education component of all baccalaureate degrees
leading to the Health profession.

The AHSE is envisioned to equip its graduates with competencies in primary health care
needed to land jobs as health aides or community health aides. Certificates of completion
are awarded to those who successfully complete the common 2-year course.

The first level is focused on the study of physical, biological, social science and
humanities. The fusion of science and humanities is envisions to build a solid foundation
in acquiring an understanding of oneself in relation to his /her environment.

The second level provides a more intensive and deeper insight cognizant to the concept of
man as a bio-psychosocial-cultural being. Specifically, the second level focuses the study
on health’s common stress of life from womb to tomb and one’s roles and responsibilities
in the family, community, health care delivery system and the nursing profession. At the
end of the 2nd year level, the student shall have acquired knowledge, skills and attitude for
basic nursing practice in the care of the individual, the family and the community
utilizing the health care process in the promotion and maintenance of health and
prevention of illness.

The 1st semester of the 3rd level is concentrates on the study of maternal & childcare and
basic human function as means of laying the groundwork for the 2nd semester study of the
illness state of a person. The 2nd semester of the 3rd level examines the concept of illness
particularly from the social, epidemiological, ecological, economic as well as cultural
facets. An emphasis is given to pathological processes and coping techniques of the
individual, the family and the community, all of which are considered intrinsic
components of the nursing process. This is with the end view of acquiring the
competencies required in the care of a sick client.

The 1st semester of the 4th level extends the nursing care of a sick client to include the
promotion of health in prevention and control of illness and disabilities, cure and
rehabilitation. The 2nd semester of 4th level is focused on the acquisition of competencies
necessary in the professional practice. Students work independently and/or in
collaboration with others in the promotion of health, prevention and control of illnesses
and disabilities in hospital and/or community setting.

Different settings allows students to showcase a composite set of skills such as:

1) initiating nursing actions in cases of emergency situations where the physician is not
immediately available;

2) applying results of research studies related to nursing;

3) possessing necessary attitudes for his/her personal and professional growth; and

4) analyzing the legal aspect of nursing practice.

At the end of the fourth level, the student is deemed able to deliver nursing care services
utilizing the nursing process; demonstrate skill in basic research, leadership and
management as a beginning nurse practitioner in varied settings.

Clinical resources of the home-base hospital is supplemented by affiliation with the

Philippine Tuberculosis Society and San Lazaro Hospital for the students to acquire more
skills in the care of patients with disturbances in immunologic and inflammatory
response. To facilitate learning about maternal and child care (i.e., care of a pregnant
woman, a woman in labor and delivery and newborn care), students are exposed in the
special areas of Quirino Memorial Medical Center and East Avenue Medical Center.
Competencies in caring for a client with disturbances in locomotion and coordination are
enhanced through the affiliation at Philippine Orthopedic Center. Students are also
deployed to the National Center for Mental Health in order to strengthen their knowledge,
skills and attitudes in caring for clients with maladaptive patterns of behavior. The
Department of Health, DepED and the Antipolo Community lying-in, and the Opera
Maria Domenica are also utilized to further apply community and family health nursing
knowledge and skills. Exposure trips to various tertiary health agencies such as the
Philippine Heart Center, Lung Center, Kidney Center Foundation of the Philippines, and
the Philippine Children’s Medical Center are provided to give more meaningful learning
experiences to the students.

Related learning experiences are planned in advance by the faculty and cover the required
number of hours per week in each service as specified in the curriculum. The faculty also
ensures that co-curricular activities of the students are harmonized with the academic
schedule such as classroom lecture, demonstration and related learning experience. All
Related Learning experience (RLE) are provided under the supervision of a clinical

urriculum - Course Flow

First Year | Second Year | Third Year | Fourth Year
1st Semester UNITS
English 1 3
Filipino 1 3
Logic 3
General Psychology 3
Mathematics 1 (College Algebra) 3
General Chemistry (Organic and Inorganic) 5
P.E. 1 2
NSTP 1 3

2nd Semester UNITS

1st Semester UNITS
Literature 1 [Philippine Literature] 3
Basic Statistics 3
Political Science 3
Human Anatomy and Physiology 5
Primary Health Care 1 (theory) 4

Related Learning Experience (153 hours) (3)

Philippine History 3
P.E. 3 2
Euthenics 1 1

2nd Semester UNITS

Physics with Laboratory 3
Rizal 3
Health Ethics 3
Primary Health Care 2 (theory) 3

RLE (102 hours) (2)

Science, Technology and Society 3
2nd Semester UNITS
Euthenics 2 1
P.E. 4 2
NSTP 2 3

Summer UNITS
Microbiology & Parasitology 4
Nutrition 3
Strategies of Health Education 3
1st Semester UNITS
NCM 101a (Foundation of Nursing)** 3
NCM 101B (Promotive & Preventive Nursing Care Management) 9

RLE (408) (8)

English 4 (Speech & Oral Communication) 3

2nd Semester UNITS

Introduction to Research 3
NCM 102 (Curative & Rehab Nursing Care Management 1) 9

RLE (408 hours) (8)

English 3 (Technical Writing) 3

Summer UNITS
NCM 103 (204 hours) (4)
Asian Civilization**** 3


1st Semester UNITS
NCM 104***(Curative & Rehabilitative Management 2) 9

RLE (408) (8)

2nd Semester UNITS