Tuesday, October 08, 2013

[Vital Signs Column] Certified Nurses

Nurse's Notes
By: Alvin Cloyd Dakis, RN
October 16-30, 2013 Issue

The Department of Health recently launched their Nurse Certification Program which is designed to establish a competency-based learning intervention and development for nurses. It adopts a career level progression towards a certain specialty in the nursing practice. This program is supervised by the Department together with the different DOH-specialty hospitals and with the consultation from specialty nursing organizations and the Board of Nursing.

While some nurses raised their eyebrows on this move by the Department, many were optimistic and welcoming. Many nurses see this as an opportunity to increase their competencies in the specialty area they would want to focus on. The increasing requirements on the provision quality health care has resulted in more focused efforts on the development of health human resources in general and of nurses in particular. 

According to the Department, "The DOH Nurse Certification Program (NCP) is designed to provide the mechanism for establishing a competency-based learning intervention and development for nurses, which adopts a career level progression directed towards certification in a specialty area. The certification system is DOH-supervised, with performance criteria and assessment processes established and accepted as standard across all DOH-hospitals."

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions for the DOH Nurse Certification Program:

The DOH Nurse Certification Program is a DOH-initiated and supervised system of developing and certifying nurses based on a set of standard competencies in specific specialty areas.

Features of the DOH Nurse Certification Program
* Competency-based development that will be standardized across all hospitals
* Assessment of competencies is a major part the implementation
* With level progression: Levels 1-2 General Nursing; Levels 3-5 - Specialty Nursing
* Certification will be based on the competencies demonstrated and applied in the workplace

Program Description?
The DOH NCP provides a framework for looking at higher level performance of nurses within a particular specialty area, using specific behaviors identified for each level of proficiency as performance standards. It also provides the mechanism for progressing from one level of expertise to another, through a guided and evidence-based assessment process that applies the performance standards and is conducted by independent and objective assessors. Certification for a particular level is awarded to a candidate when all performance standards (behaviors) are demonstrated with consistency.

The Program is developed and implemented by selected Department of Health (DOH) Teaching and Training hospitals and Specialty Hospitals and supervised by the DOH-Health Human Resource Development Bureau (HHRDB).

The Assessment Process
The competency-based approach recognizes individual engagement and willful participation in the Program. Assessment tools are designed corresponding to the competencies that have been identified for the proficiency level and specialty area. The process considers these competencies as standard criteria for performance and requires the submission of evidence to support a claim to competence.

Learning and Development
To meet the ultimate objectives of the NCP, where preparation of a nurse certified as proficient in a given specialty area and who can compete globally is the desired outcome, a learning and development program that will support certification will be designed by the lead teaching and training hospitals for a particular specialty area.

The Certification Process.
If the Candidate seeking certification has shown competence on all performance criteria listed in a particular proficiency level, a Certificate of Competence for that level is awarded. The DOH issues the Certification.

Here are the steps for you to follow should you want to pursue the Certification Process:

1. Nurse Candidates (applicants) shall submit the following to the DOH NCP Office of the respective hospitals:
a) Accomplished and Validated Self-assessment Tool;
b) Accomplished Application Form;  and
c) Portfolio or Evidence of Competence

2. Payment of Assessment Fee at the designated hospital who will then assign 2 assessors per nurse candidate.

3. The Nurse candidate undergoes a series of workplace assessments.

4. Assessors submit the accomplished checklist and Assessment Report: Once the candidate is assessed as  competent, the Hospital DOH NCP Committee prepares a Recommendation Letter endorsing the candidate  for certification. Then DOH issues the Certificate of Competence.

5. If a candidate has been assessed as “not yet competent” in certain competency areas, the Hospital DOH, DOH NCP Committee (Sub-Committee on Assessment and Certification) advises the applicant on the availment of appropriate learning interventions. 

Here are the steps to be followed for the Availment of Learning and Development Interventions

1. Nurse candidates shall proceed to the DOH NCP Office of the designated hospital and present their
accomplished self-assessment tool or Assessment Report (for those with prior assessment).

2. The Hospital DOH NCP Committee then recommends available learning interventions that would address  the competency gaps. Corresponding payments for the selected courses or modules are settled by the candidate.

3. Upon completion of the learning intervention, trainees undergo an assessment of the competencies set to be addressed by the particular learning intervention.

4. Once assessed, the Hospital DOH NCP Committee issues a Certificate of Completion which indicates the competencies gained from the particular course or module taken.

Here is a table of the specialty areas (DOH Hospitals) that will offer the competency courses. 

Specialty AreaDesignated HospitalsHospital DOHNCP Committee
Cardiovascular NursingPhilippine Heart Center
Dr. Manuel T. Chua Chiaco Jr.
Ms. Daisy U. Algenio
Renal NursingNational Kidney and Transplant Institute
Dr. Jose Dante P. Dator
Ms. Nerissa Gerial
Mr. Rancy Robin T. Celeste
Pulmonary NursingLung Center of the Philippines
Dr. Jose Luis J. Danguilan
Ms. Elvira Baura
Ms. Glenda L. Picardal
Ms. Carmen Tumolva
Pediatric NursingPhilippine Children`s Medical Center
Dr. Julius Lecciones
Ms. Jennifer R. Santos
Pediatric NursingNational Children's Hospital 
Dr. Epifania Simbul
Ms. Daisy L. Llarenas
Ms. Ma. Leonore Pasol
Ms. Claire O. Batulan
Maternal and Child NursingDr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital 
Dr. Ruben C. Flores
Ms. Primitiva C. Labudahon
Mr. Jose Alain dela Merced
Ms. Ana Estrella D. Apruebo
Mental Health NursingNational Center for Mental Health
Dr. Bernardino A. Vicente
Ms. Lucila Espinosa
Ms. Estelita Pascua
Ms. Jane de Guzman
Mr. Cesar Zarandona
Ms. Rosalina Evasco
Infectious Disease NursingSan Lazaro Hospital
Dr. Winston Go
Ms. Vilma J. Cruz
Mr. Maria Teresa Santos
Mr. Arnel B. Roque
Emergency and Trauma NursingEast Avenue Medical Center
Dr. Ronal Cortez
Ms. Cynthia Tuazon
Mr. Remo Palgan
Orthopedic and Rehabilitation NursingPhilippine Orthopedic Center
Dr. Luisito R. MaaƱo
Ms. Judy Franco
Ms. Elizabeth M. Raymundo
Ms. Shierna B. Campita
Ms. Ma. Eva T. Cruza
Anesthesia Care NursingPhilippine Heart Center
Quirino Memorial Medical Center
East Avenue Medical Center
Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center
Operating Room NursingNational Kidney and Transplant Institute
Philippine Heart Center

I am hoping that this new program of DOH will be able to sustain this initiative and that this will also be incorporated in the PRC-Board of Nursing's Continuing Professional Edcuation and will be harmonized with the training provided by different specialty nursing organizations such as:

Cardiovascular Nursing - Society of Cardiovascular Nurse Practitioners of the Philippines
Renal Nursing - Renal Nurses Association of the Philippines
Maternal & Child/Pediatric Nursing - Mother & Child Nurses Association of the Philippines
Infectious Disease Nursing - Philippine Hospital Infection Control Nurses Association
Emergency & Trauma Nursing - Philippine Society of Emergency Care Nurses
Operating Room Nursing - Operating Room Nurses Association of the Philippines

Indeed this program is very promising and hoping that this will be carried well. Should you have inquiries about DOH-NCP please do not hesitate to contact them.

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