positionstatementWith the globalization of the economy and workforce, Filipino nurses have to compete with other nurses internationally.

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The Philippines, in the 1970’s, has converted nursing programs from the 2 year diploma to a Bachelor of Science (BSN) degree as an entry level for nursing. This is a move that industrialized and developed countries are converting to and aspiring to do.


  • Signed by the European Union in 1999, the Bologna agreement, also known as the quiet revolution in nursing higher education, shifted European nurses’ professional nursing education from diploma to the baccalaureate level as the standard for professional licensure.
  • Australia, Canada and New Zealand now have BSN preparation as entry into practice.
  • The United Arab Emirates, particularly Abu Dhabi, requires BSN plus 3 years of work experience to practice in their country.
  • In the United States, there is an active lobbying of legislation to require RNs to obtain BSN for re-licensure within an established period of time. These states include Missouri, New York, New Jersey, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. Many hospitals with the prestigious Magnet designation are no longer hiring Associate degree nurses.
  • The Institute of Medicine report on the Future of Nursing recommends increasing the proportion of nurses with BSN degree to eighty (80) percent by 2020.

cinthiavillarplayPNAA promotes the continuation of BSN as the entry level program for nursing profession. Former Congresswoman and current Senatorial candidate, Villar advocates for a “ladderized system of curriculum” and a skill certificate to practice, which is contradictory to the designation of BSN degree as the international standard. The quality and caliber of the Philippine Schools of Nursing must be of the same standard, if not better, with our international peers.

PNAA strongly requests that elected officials of the Philippines must introduce and support legislation that will promote the high quality of nursing schools regardless of business and political pressures and to keep substandard nursing schools closed.

With the contributions of Filipino nurses to the Philippine economy, national and international healthcare, Philippine legislators must clearly communicate and articulate such support; and recognize the achievements of nurses in patient care, nursing research and education in the media.

PNAA expresses its gratitude to the Philippine Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency, Jose L. Cuisia Jr., for expressing his concern about Madam Villar’s comment in his keynote speech during the 10 year anniversary celebration of PNA Maryland on 2 March 2013; and personally speaking on and correcting her impression of nursing.

PNAA acknowledges the statement of support for nurses generated by the Executive Director of the Migrant Heritage Commission, Arnedo Valera, Esq.

PNAA appreciates the communication to correct the wrong impression of nursing from our colleagues in the Philippines - The Philippine Nurses Association, Inc., The Association of Deans of Philippine Colleges in Nursing (ADCPN), Ang Nars, and our international colleagues, particularly the PNA United Kingdom.


PNAA recommends the following to Senatorial candidate Cynthia Villar:
  1. Issue an official retraction statement about “hindi naman kailangan ang nurse ay magtapos ng BSN” (nurses do not need to finish a BSN degree) made during an interview at “Pagsubok ng mga Kandidato.” There is strong research evidence that a higher percentage of BSN nurses result in better patient outcomes. Unlike Associate Degree programs, BSN curriculums provide content that nurses need to navigate on today’s health care environment.
  2. A dialogue with a high ranking officer of the PNAA, Ms Lolita Compas, past president who is visiting Manila in April 2013 to discuss the value of educational preparation in relation to the professional and academic achievements of nurses in the United States. An earlier dialogue via online communication with PNAA President, Victoria Navarro and Leadership can be arranged.
  3. Spend some time with nurses in the Philippines in various settings; and when travelling overseas to the US, similar observerships with Filipino nurses; PNAA will make such arrangements.


  • Aiken LH, Clarke SP, Cheung RB, Sloane DM, Silber JH. (2003). Educational levels of hospital nurses and surgical patient mortality. Journal of the American Medical Association, 290(12), 1617-1623.
  • Estabrooks CA, Midodzi WK, Cummings GG, Ricker KL, Giovannetti P. (2005). The impact of hospital nursing characteristics on 30-day mortality. Nursing Research, (2), 74-84.
  • Davies R. (2008). The Bologna process: the quiet revolution in nursing higher education.
  • Nurse Educ Today,28(8), 935-942.
  • Goode CJ, Blegen MA. The link between nurse staffing and patient outcomes. ANCC National Magnet Conference; October 2, 2009; Louisville, KY.
  • Institute of Medicine. (2010). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Washington DC: National Academies Press. Future of Nursing 2010 Recommendations
  • Sherman R. (2012). An 80%BSN prepared nursing workforce by 2020? Emerge RN Leader (blog post). Retrieved from emergingrnleader.com.
  • Tourangeau AE, Doran DM, Hall LM, et al. (2007). Impact of hospital nursing care on 30-day mortality in acute medical patients. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 57(1), 32-44.

(Approved by the Executive Board on March 4, 2013)