Thirty seven thousand five hundred twenty seven (part 1)

Thirty seven thousand five hundred twenty seven (37,527). The exact number of new registered nurses who passed the recent November 2009 Nursing Licensure Exam. Too bad, not even half of the examinees who took it last year passed or was I expecting a higher percentage compared to the June passers. Expectations failed.:(

The nursing profession has been booming since the early 2000 and from then the number of examinees increase every year but sad to say the percentage of the passing population has been decreasing as well. What are the reasons behind this?

Nursing is an art:  and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit?  It is one of the Fine Arts:  I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.  ~Florence Nightingale

As a registered nurse, I’m also concerned with the issues regarding the quality of nursing education in the country. I graduated last 2007 from one of the top ten universities recognized by the CHED and PRC who excels in the NLE. That was 2007. Prior to that we ranked top 8. Come 2009, we are now 12th on the list and its really alarming. What’s wrong? A lot of factors from students, curriculum, school, clinical instructors, hospitals and many others affect the quality of nursing education.

I know for a fact that most nursing students today took up nursing as major because a family member said so. It is believed to be the easiest ticket out of the country. It brings you to places where there is undeniably greener pasture. It promises high salary and the opportunity to explore the world. I guess this is one of the alarming reasons why the quality of nursing education is not at its best anymore. Most students and their family thinks nursing is their answer to poverty. I was one of those who believed that it would be easy once I have the initials RN after my surname, but then I realized that the world of nursing does revolve on making NCPs, defending your thesis or standing in front of a clinical instructor and wishing you will choose the disease you reviewed for in the last semester for your oral revalida. The first four years of a nursing student’s life is just a preface and first chapter of the book is yet to start when the letters RN is affixed to your name.

Today, even if you ask little kids what their ambition is, they would bravely answer with an innocent smile that they want to be a nurse merely because they want to earn for their family. Believe me, being a nurse is not just earning for your family, for your future. Being a nurse means a lot more than that.

Being a nurse means no holidays, on call duties when you are supposedly taking a good night sleep, exposure to numerous disease some we might not even know. Being a nurse is not just about the decent pay (if you are abroad). Being a nurse is not just being a doctor’s handmaid. Being a nurse is spending Christmas and birthdays in the hospital, reading a doctor’s penmanship even he can’t understand, giving time to patients when instead should have spent for weekend movies with your friends or an afternoon playtime with your kids. Being a nurse has great responsibilities. Being a nurse means a lot more things than this.

Hemodialysis Nurse Noreen toughing someone’s life.:)

When you’re a nurse you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.  ~Author Unknown

Being a nurse is all about saving lives, lives of human beings. Being a nurse is not just a job, its a vocation. So whoever said that nursing is the easiest ticket out of the country, YOU ARE WRONG. It’s never easy to be a nurse. It was never easy to make nursing care plans, pathophysiologies, researches, toxic duties, oral revalidas and case presentations. It’s never easy to a be nurse. Yes, it will take you out of the country but before that you have to spend 4 years in a nursing school, 2 to 3 months of intensive review for the board exam, take the exam and wait anxiously 2 months or more for the result, apply and get rejected, apply and get hired, work your ass off for two years with the patient-nurse ratio of 80:2 in a public hospital pediatric ward, work without pay (you pay the hospital for a training instead) and when you finally get hired a dashing Php7000++ in private hospitals and Php10000 in public hospitals for the first six months of your probationary period.

A friend’s wall post in Facebook caught my eye two months ago. She was a political science graduate and took up nursing as her second course. A surgeon friend told her, “You are too intelligent to become a nurse.” And in defense to the nursing profession she said, “Nurses are one of the most brilliant creatures on earth, not to mention caring.” I love her reply.

Thirty seven thousand five hundred twenty seven newly registered nurses and me hoping this isn’t just for the money.

Thirty seven thousand five hundred twenty seven newly registered nurses and now entering the real world.

…to be continued…

Just Me. For Now.