The House committee on civil service and professional regulation chaired by Rep. Mario Vittorio Mariño (5th District, Batangas) is finalizing a bill which seeks to provide a comprehensive nursing law towards a quality health care system.
The bill harmonizes House Bills 1693, 2548 and 3110 authored by Reps. Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City), Carlos Isagani Zarate (Party-list, Bayan Muna) and Emmeline Aglipay-Villar (Partylist, DIWA), respectively.
The bills are similarly titled: “An Act Providing For A Comprehensive Nursing Law Towards A Quality Health Care System, And Appropriating Funds Therefor, Repealing For The Purpose Republic Act No. 9173, Otherwise Known As The ‘Philippine Nursing Act of 2002”.
The bills provide that RA 9173 must be amended to achieve the vision of the Philippine professional nursing care to be the best for the Filipino and the choice of the world by 2030.
The proposed amendments to RA 9173 provide a structuring of the scope and practice of nursing to include certification, specialization and educational requirements; expanding the powers of the Board of Nursing to strengthen its role in decision-making processes concerning the nursing practice; providing additional educational requirements for different levels of nursing practice to ensure competitiveness and further strengthen the nursing profession and provide a better practice environment.
The bills call for the creation of a Professional Regulatory Board of Nursing or Board that shall be composed of seven members who shall elect among themselves a Chairperson to serve for one term without re-election.
The President of the Republic of the Philippines shall appoint the members of the Board from among those recommended by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and ranked from a list of three nominees for each vacancy of the accredited integrated professional organization of nurses in the Philippines and who possess the qualifications for the position. The membership of the Board shall comprise the scope of the nursing practice.
A member of the Board must be: a natural-born citizen and resident of the Philippines for the past five consecutive years; a registered nurse in the Philippines and a holder of a valid and updated certificate of registration and a current professional identification card; have been conferred a master’s degree in nursing and preferably a doctoral degree from a university duly recognized by the government; have continuously practiced the nursing profession for at least 10 years prior to appointment; of good moral character and must not have been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude.
Among the powers and duties of the Board are: (1) Ensure the proper conduct of the PNLE (Philippine Nurse Licensure Exams) which includes the application, test development, examination, correction and release of results; (2) Issue, suspend, revoke or reissue certificates of registration for the practice of nursing and ensure the widest publication through electronic and written media; (3) Enforce and monitor safe and quality standards of nursing practice, study the conditions affecting the nursing practice in the Philippines, and exercise the powers necessary to ensure the maintenance of efficient, ethico-moral, technical, and professional standards in the practice of nursing towards the optimal health and common good of the nation; (4) Ensure quality nursing education by examining and monitoring higher educational institutions offering and seeking permission to open nursing education programs and to ensure that standards of nursing education are properly complied with and maintained at all times; and, (5) Create a council for nursing recognition, accreditation and certification that will assist the Board in recognizing organized nursing groups, setting standards for advanced nursing practice, education, research and management, accrediting specialty and advanced nursing programs based on established mechanisms, credentialing individual registered nurse based on accepted criteria and monitoring and evaluating specialty and advanced nursing practice, education, research and management.
The Board shall be under the administrative supervision of the PRC.
The members of the Board shall not hold a position nor have pecuniary interest in any educational institution offering Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, review or training center for PNLE, or any training hospital or health facility with nursing affiliates.
They shall hold office for a term of three years. Any member of the Board may serve for two terms, or a maximum of six years.