By now you must already be familiar with the nursing test leakage that has been the subject of most news reports. The latest report is that the PRC has sided with most of the examinees, and that a NO RETAKE stand has been reached.
There was a time when young people aspired to become doctors and nurses because they wanted to help and care for those who are sick. I can still remember my medical school interview when I was asked why I wanted to become a doctor, and while I answered the often-repeated "I wanted to serve," I remember that I meant it, and would remain so until I probably could not walk anymore.
These days, objectives have evolved --- or devolved, depending on how you perceive it. Most young people want to become nurses (not doctors, as doctors are already shifting to nursing also), because they see it as the best way they can get out of the country to earn more money for their families. Priorities have shifted as well. The number one reason now is to earn money and more money. Service and caring for the sick are still priorities probably, but they have fallen below the list down to #2 or #3. Even parents urge their little children to study hard, and become a nurse one day to help in augmenting family finances. Since 1994, more than 100,000 nurses have left the country to work abroad. Is Nursing really their first choice for a career? I think not......but they have chosen to, out of obvious necessity and pleas from immediate relatives to help the family.
If you review my archives on posts dealing with topics like these, you know I have nothing against earning money for a job well done. I also have nothing against working abroad. For a similar hospital procedure or teaching task, a doctor, nurse, or teacher definitely earns more than quadruple of what they can earn here in a month. Who wouldn't want getting more salary for the same service rendered?
But if you analyze and think it over, you will see that this objective shift from something selfless (to help and care) to doing a business investment (study hard now, earn a lot later) can explain why most nursing examinees would prefer NOT to have that exam retake anymore. Their parents, relatives, teachers, and lately, even the authorities (PRC, DOH, Malacañang) share the same opinion. Never mind if we miss the NCLEX opprtunity this year. Never mind if cheating really did occur. Never mind if there is now a so-called "stigma of cheating" haunting the nursing batch of 2006. Also, majority of the examinees did not cheat. Why will they be made to suffer for the sins of a handful of losers? What matters more is that the examinees can get their nursing license ASAP, leave the country, work abroad, earn more money, and help their families here. Of course, the government likes that too. The US$-Peso exchange wouldn't be P50.80 today if it were not for overseas remittances, right?
Integrity and honor takes a backseat when you are hungry. What will one do with honor and integrity when one is already dead from starvation?
But there are a few who are hungry and still strive for integrity and honor. They want a retake. But it is unfortunate because I do not think that will happen.