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MANILA – Eighty-three schools, colleges, and universities will no longer be allowed to offer nursing programs starting in June, 2013.

The schools were ordered to stop offering nursing courses for their failure to meet the standards set by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), officials said.[box type=”default” size=”large”] For failure to meet standards set by CHEd [/box]CHEd National Capital Region (NCR) Director Catherine Castañeda said that the 83 schools have been advised by the commission to voluntarily “phase out” their nursing programs.

“The schools already know since the closure orders have been given to them. This means that starting June this year, they can no longer offer the program and they cannot accept new enrollees,” Castañeda said.

She said that “more than half” of the non-compliant schools expressed their intention to voluntarily “phase out” their nursing courses.

“In fairness sa kanila, nag-volunteer na sila to close their programs, kasi lugi na and also hindi maganda ang performance sa board exams,” she said. “So instead of being publicized for offering substandard program, they opted to voluntarily close this specific program so the other programs that they offer would not be adversely affected,” she said.

CHEd said that in the National Capital Region alone, seven schools have “voluntarily phased out” their nursing programs. Among the reasons cited by these schools for the voluntarily phaseout is “poor enrollment.” They also said “they can no longer support the operations” of the program.

Castañeda said technical panels took time “to  review the records of all schools offering nursing programs.”

As per CHED criteria, the nursing program of a school is considered “substandard” if less than 30 percent of the graduates have “passed the licensure exams in the last three years or if they lack competent faculty and facilities such as training hospital, laboratories and libraries.”

She added that the substandard nursing schools that were ordered to close their programs are usually given the chance to voluntarily phase out by not accepting new students next school year. “They would have to tell their students to transfer to other accredited nursing schools or they can gradually phase out the program, meaning, hindi na sila tatanggap ng first-year students at patatapusin na lang yung mga students sa ibang year level,” Castañeda said.

Castañeda clarified that only the nursing courses or programs in these schools, colleges and universities are “ordered to be phased out and not the entire school.”

Despite the closure orders, Castañeda said that there are some schools that applied for temporary restraining order (TRO) with the court. (Manila Bulletin)


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