The Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Nursing Association are studying if the nursing board exams this year could be conducted at an earlier date amid the lack of workforce to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told Super Radyo dzBB that this is being considered since the number of applicants is still low.
“We’re having this challenge right now kasi ‘yung uptake rin po ng ating hiring ay medyo mabagal pero kami po ay nakikipag-usap na sa mga societies at saka sa mga universities so that we can get some more healthcare workers,” she said.
(We’re having this challenge right now because the uptake of our hiring is slow but we are talking to societies and universities so that we can get some more healthcare workers.)
“Ang isa nga pong aksyon na… pinag-uusapan, if we can, with the Philippine Nursing Association, kung pwedeng i-move ‘yung mga board exams na isasagawa na na-delay yata towards the end of the year para mas makakuha pa tayo ng additional cadres dito po sa ating mga ospital,” Vergeire added.
(One of the actions being discussed, if we can, with the Philippine Nursing Association, move the board exams that were delayed towards the end of the year for us to get additional cadres for our hospital.)
DOH, nursing association eye earlier board exam to augment workforce
The nursing board exams should be in May 2021 but the Professional Regulation Commission earlier announced it was pushed to November due to the pandemic.
Earlier this month, some medical frontliners from Ilocos and Visayas traveled to the capital region to help.
This is while many health workers at the epicenter of the epidemic are also infected and have difficulty responding to the outbreak of cases of the disease.
On April 8, the first batch of health workers comprising 50 nurses arrived.
According to Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, said their ongoing interaction with the Office of the Presidential Adviser to the Visayas, regional offices of the Department of Health (DOH), local government units, and even hospitals in the Visayas for sending volunteer medical frontliners to Metro Manila.