CHEd lifts ban on opening new nursing courses

By: Zacarian Sarao - | July 13,2022 - 02:39 PM

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, lifted its decade-long moratorium against higher education institutions (HEIs) opening programs on nursing.

HEIs may submit their applications to CHEd starting Thursday, or once they have already complied with the requirements.

“They can apply starting tomorrow (Thursday, July 14) for the schools since we’re officially lifting [the moratorium] today, so they can start applying if they have all the necessary requirements,” said CHEd Chair Prospero de Vera III during a briefing.

According to De Vera, the moratorium was lifted by the Commission en Banc after a “very thorough review based on an exhaustive discussion.”

“This moratorium which was imposed in 2011 has been reviewed at the height of the pandemic when there were calls to lift the moratorium on nursing because of the perceived lack of nurses especially at the height of COVID,” said De Vera.

De Vera explained that the decade-long moratorium was implemented following the oversupply of nursing graduates with over 200,000 unemployed nurses; the gradual decline of performance in the Nurse Licensure Exam; the ‘training for a fee’ system for nurses; and the proliferation of HEIs offering Nursing programs.

De Vera, however, said the agency has decided to lift the ban, citing the unequal distribution of HEIs offering nursing programs across the country’s regions, like Caraga Administrative Region (Caraga), where of the 333 total HEIs offer nursing programs across the country, only three private HEIs offer nursing in the said region.

The same goes for Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), where only four — two each in public and private — HEIs offered nursing in the entire region.

The CHEd then listed the following regions which De Vera said are encouraged to apply to open new nursing programs:

Eastern Visayas
Barmm (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao)
CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region)

High Priority
Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon)
Western Visayas
Bicol Region
Davao Region
Cagayan Valley
Central Luzon

With this, all public and private HEIs may now apply in opening programs for nursing starting Thursday but must comply with the following criteria to be approved:

  • All new applications from public and private HEls will have to be submitted and approved by the Commission
  • All public and private HEls intending to offer BS (Bachelor in Science) Nursing program shall not accept students without prior approval from CHEd
  • SUCs (State Universities/Colleges) and CHEd recognized LUCs (Local Universities/Colleges) are encouraged to apply for new BS Nursing programs to improve access in poor and deserving students.
  • SUCs and CHEd recognized LUCs are encouraged to include return service agreements in their admission and retention policies to increase the number of nurses in their respective regions.
  • Must meet the minimum requirements per CMO (CHEd Memorandum Order) 15, s. 2017:
    Dean, Faculty, Curriculum, Base Hospital, Nursing Skills Laboratory & Library Resources
  • All requirements should be complied for the full 4 years program
  • The HEI must have a qualified Level III or Level II base hospital
  • The HEI shall set the number of incoming first year students subject to its carrying capacity based on its faculty, resources, adequacy of teaching facilities available and base hospital

“So these are the components of the lifting of the moratorium of the BS Nursing program as approved by the Commission after an exhaustive assessment of supply and demand and data on the ground,” said De Vera.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mirabel Ho, head of CHEd’s technical group for nursing, reminded applicants to adhere to the provisions of CMO No. 15 Series of 2017.

“If they will completely adhere to the provision of the said CMO, we will have no problem,” said Ho.


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