Nursing News

DOH proposes giving temporary license to non-NLE passers

To solve the shortage of nurses, Department of Health (DOH) plans to hire those who did not pass the Nurse Licensure Examination (NLE) to work in public hospitals.

In a public briefing, Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said that temporary licenses can be provided to board eligibles who received a grade of 70 to 74 percent in the NLE.

“I discovered that the passing rate in nursing boards is something like 50%…11,000 pass every year so another 11,000 don’t make it and have to retake it. In other countries, they bring them in as board-eligible professionals – the direction is to get temporary license for a period of 3 to 4 years, allow them to work in Department of Health hospitals, and allow them to finally pass the board exam,” said Herbosa.

“Of course, we can’t make them do the dangerous stuff, they’ll be supervised by licensed nurses and make them more competent as they practice the profession so it’s a win-win situation, we get to fill up vacant position,” Herbosa explained.

“We get to train them better in nursing and we get better chances of passing the board in their next attempt,” he added.

The Department of Health needs at least 4,800 nurses for its hospitals to be fully functional.

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) reported that there are 951,105 registered nurses in the country but only 509,297 or 53.55 percent are practitioners as of March 24, 2023.

The PRC said the country does not meet the ratio of practicing nurses set by the World Health Organization which is 27.4 for nurses for every 10,000 individuals. (With reports from PNA)