In a report to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila, Consul General Cecilia Rebong said the Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA) actively lobbied before the NCSBN to make the Philippines one of the testing sites.
The lobby group was reportedly composed of representatives from cities with a high concentration of Filipino nurses like New York, New Jersey, Florida, Michigan and California.
NCSBN is a non-profit umbrella organization composed of nursing boards in 50 US states and in five other US territories -American Samoa, Guam, Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Rebong said the NCSBN initially refused to accredit the Philippines because of “concerns over peace and order” and the “need to maintain the integrity of the exams."
NCSBN also indefinitely put on hold the country’s application as an NCLEX test site because of the leaks provided some examinees in the June 2006 nursing board exam.
The Department of Labor and Employment last month said that almost 10,000 of the 17,000 passers will have to re-take tests three and four of the licensure exams in June or December.
Rebong said PNAA had lobbied for the accreditation of the Philippines for five years before it was finally approved last February.
The month before that, NCSBN had announced the opening of testing sites in Taiwan, Japan, Australia, India, Mexico, Canada and Germany.
Rebong said the NCSBN okayed the inclusion of the country among the testing sites after seeing the Philippine government’s “deep commitment to ensuring a secure test center in Manila" and its responsiveness to NCSBN concerns.
Details of the NCLEX examinations in the Philippines are yet to be announced.
Filipinos form the bulk of NCLEX examinees with an annual count of over 35 percent (or 9,000) taking the exams in the 1990s. Before the country’s accreditation, examinees have had to fly to the nearest testing site in Saipan, Guam and spend $200 for the exam fee and $600 for fare, board and lodging.