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CHED to launch shorter Master’s Program to address lack of teachers in nursing schools

By GISELLE OMBAY,GMA Integrated News

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said Thursday it is set to launch next week a short-term masteral program to address the lack of instructors in nursing schools.

CHED chairperson Prospero de Vera III said there is a lack of qualified teachers in nursing schools as they are required to obtain a Master’s Degree in nursing before they are allowed to teach in institutions.

“Ang problema, ‘yung ating nursing professionals na may masters [degree] ay nare-recruit din abroad,” he said at a public briefing.

(The problem is our nursing professionals with masters [degree] are also being recruited abroad.)

“[Itong] mas maiksing Master’s Program ay particular sa gustong magturo sa mga nursing schools para mapalaki natin ‘yung enrollment sa nursing progam,” he added.

(This shorter Master's Program is particularly for those who want to teach in nursing schools so that we can increase the enrollment in the nursing program.)

In March, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. instructed CHED to address the shortage of nurses in the country due to migration.

“We have to be clever about the healthcare manpower. Our nurses are the best,” Marcos said during a meeting with the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) Healthcare Sector group at the time.

“Lahat ng nakakausap kong President, Prime Minister, ang hinihingi is more nurses from the Philippines [All the presidents, prime ministers that I’ve talked with want more nurses from the Philippines],” he added.

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Health Secretary Ted Herbosa has also raised concern over the lack of nurses in government hospitals, noting that 4,500 plantilla items for nurses are currently vacant in over 70 hospitals of the Department of Health (DOH) nationwide.

Private hospitals, on the other hand, also experience shortage in nurses. Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. (PHAPI) president Dr. Jose Rene de Grano said that they need 50% more of their nursing staff as many have resigned and opted for better-paying jobs elsewhere.

In a bid to solve this problem, Herbosa earlier announced that he plans to establish a National Nursing Advisory Council that will focus on addressing the concerns of Filipino nurses.

He said he would issue a department administrative order creating the council with a de facto chief nursing officer who will function at the level of an undersecretary.

“The WHO actually recommends a chief nursing officer… Sabi ko [I said], I’ll do more than that. I'll support the creation of a chief nursing officer, but I'll also create a whole council. So natuwa sila [they were happy] because I gave them more than what they were asking for,” Herbosa said in late June.

Herbosa had said he would also ask Congress to pass a law to make the appointment of the chief nursing officer legal. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News