It’s disappointing that senatorial candidate Cynthia Villar recently made some remarks demeaning and demoralizing to the nursing profession, especially to nursing students. What exactly was she trying to accomplish with her unkind comments.
Let’s hear them again: Actually, hindi kailangan ng mga nurse na matapos ng BSN. Kasi itong ating mga nurse gusto lang nilang maging “room nurse.” Or sa America and in other countries, e ano lang sila, yung parang mag-aalaga. Hindi naman sila kailangan ganoon kagaling.” (Actually it’s not necessary for nurses to finish BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). Our nurses just want to be room nurses. Or in America and in other countries, just what are they, they’re just like caretakers. They don’t really have to be that skilled.)
My son, a second year nursing student, was extremely offended by Villar’s unwelcome comments. They truly showed poor taste and judgment. Reacting, my son had this to say:
With due respect, Mrs. Villar, nursing is a profession and getting an “RN” (Registered Nurse) attached to the names of those who pass the NLE (Nursing Licensure Examination) is not a walkover. Every nurse in the Philippines—and the whole world, for that matter—has to burn the midnight oil, go through and finish the entire nursing course which include hospital duties and pass the nursing board exam. Imagine a nurse who does not understand the kind of ailment his/her patient has and the kind of medicine to be administered; who does not know how to inject the patient and doesn’t posses the basic nursing skills; what do you think would be the quality of healthcare service he/she would be able to provide? Silence? Purely therapeutic communication? That’s the kind of nurse that is “not that skilled.”
We urge you, change your mind about the nursing profession. After two years of nursing study, I have come to realize the value of the profession, appreciating its significance even more deeply as I progress in my study. If you think a nurse is just a room nurse, how should we regard elected public officials who have no degrees? Can I call them “aid,” or how about “trapo”?
It is during campaign seasons like the one upon us now that candidates are tested of their ability not just to come up with the right answers but also to lead a nation.
Mrs. Villar owes nurses and would-be nurses an apology for her gratuitous and hurtful remarks against the nursing profession.
—REGINALD B. TAMAYO,
assistant city council secretary,