The nursing students of PHINMA Araullo University in Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija emerged as champion in the Friday's First Central Luzon Battle of the Nightingale nursing students quiz bee joined by their coaches, Sacred Heart of Malolos Hospital and Central Luzon Doctors Hospital and Dr. Lea Primitiva Paquiz, a Member of the Professional Regulatory Board of Nursing (PRBON), one of the judges in the quiz bee. Photo by Anton Luis Caindig

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Nursing students from PHINMA Araullo University in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija were hailed as champions in the Friday’s Sacred Heart of Malolos Hospital First Central Luzon Battle of the Nightingale (BOTN) nursing students quiz-bee held in SM San Fernando, Pampanga.  

Shane Irish Pascual, Paul Anthony De Guzman and Angelo Adaoag bested nine other universities in the region and received P20,000 cash and a trophy for their university.

Manny Pangilinan assured all the three students of receiving an additional P100,000 each worth of scholarship grant every year until their fourth year, says Paulo Vincent Torres, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Sacred Heart of Malolos Hospital.

Centro Escolar University (CEU) in Malolos nursing students Ma Celina Angela Singca, Jenina Nicole Odiada and Renz Kenneth De Guzman placed third while Tarlac State University (TSU) nursing students  

Lean Gelomy Raiz, Bryan Gopez and Andrea Gelle Turaray won the second place.

Holy Angel University and Systems Plus College Foundation ranked as fifth and fourth placers respectively.   

Other nursing college and university participants are Bulacan State University, Central Luzon Doctor’s Hospital – Educational Institution, Inc., Columban College, Good Samaritan Colleges and Nueva Ecija State University of Science and Technology.

Thirty nursing students from ten nursing schools and colleges in the region participated in the said battle.

Sacred Heart of Malolos Hospital which is dominantly owned by Metro Pacific Health launched the quiz bee, dubbed as Project Nightingale: Overview, in celebration of its 55th year founding anniversary on Sept. 1 being one of the oldest and the leading private hospitals in providing quality medical care to Bulakenyos.

Pangilinan said the battle of the brains among the future nightingales aims to promote public awareness and appreciation of the nursing profession by highlighting the crucial role of the nurses in healthcare.

Nursing students in Centro Escolar University (right) and from Tarlac State University (TSU) (left) during the “sudden death” level in the battle for the tiebreaker in the second and third place positions. Anton Luis Reyes Catindig 

Promising bigger salaries for decent lives for themselves and for their families will keep Filipino nurses to work in our country and remain in their profession, officials said during Friday’s First Central Luzon nursing students Battle of the Nightingales quiz bee.

Dr. Lea Primitiva Paquiz, a Member of the Professional Regulatory Board of Nursing (PRBON) and was a former Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) National President in 2007 and in 2008 said the country do not lack nurses but has enough number of registered nurses, only, they are switching to better paying jobs like call centers while many prefer to work abroad because of meager income.

“An average salary of a nurse today is P36,000. Other hospitals pay more, but other jobs pay as high as P40-50-60-70,000 particularly abroad. But just like most of us, we wanted to have a decent live for our family where we can send our children to good schools, decent homes and food to eat,” she said.

Paquiz who was the former representative of Ang Nars Partylist said it was only in 2019 that the salary of the nurses became P36,000 after they fought for its increase from salary Grade 10 of only P18-20,000. She said former President Gloria Arroyo signed the law for the increase of the salary in 2002 but it took the national government 17 years to implement it.    

“Their previous oppression towards our nurses should never happen again. Before, our nursing students are even the ones paying for their On the Job Training (OJT). This should not happen again”. (Hindi na pwede ang dati nilang paninikil sa mga nurses. Dati, ang mga nurses pa ang nagbabayad sa kanilang On the Job Training (OJT), di na ito dapat na bumalik) she said in an interview.  

According to Paquiz, Filipino nurses deserve the best, because they are the best in the world in providing service and care to their patients. She said the quiz bee is one way of further improving the skills and knowledge of the students in preparing them for their actual works.

“Our goal here is for the board nursing ratings to further increase. This quiz bee could help them achieve that because it encourages their thinking, this is an exercise of the mind, skills, and action so that we can remain the best nurses in the world,” she added.

Anabelle Estrella , assistant marketing head of Sacred Heart of Malolos Hospital, said the quiz bee also helps uphold the nursing excellence image of Metro Pacific Hospital and showcasing the highest standards in nursing practice and patient care and also aims to attract top nursing graduates to work in their chain of hospitals and to retain the best nursing talent through a comprehensive recruitment and retention strategy.

Metro Pacific Hospital’s 21 hospitals in the country today lack 397 nurses as of May this year.  “With this project, our nursing students will have MPH as their top-of-mind hospital of choice,” Estrella added.

Since 2017, the Battle of the Nughtingales was being launched and held by West Metro Medical Center. In 2022, 4 MPH in Mondanao—Davao Doctors Hospital, MJ Hospital, St. Elizabeth Hospital and West Metro Medical Center organized and launched The First Mindanao Battle of The Nightingales.

This year, Metro Pacific Health, recognizing the value and merit of the said quiz bee, will launch it on a nationwide scope involving all its 21 hospitals in the country through a National Championship in Metro Manila on October 20. Araullo University will represent the region in the said battle.

Nurses are called the Nightingales based on the name of the first known nurse in the world, “Florence Nightingale”.