REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—The biggest organization of Filipino nurses in America said they are willing to have a dialogue with senatorial candidate Cynthia Villar to educate her on the conditions of nurses outside the Philippines.
Philippine Nurses Association of America president Victoria Navarro said they are willing to meet with Villar and other Philippine legislators to reiterate the importance of a baccalaureate degree for nurses abroad.
“The importance of having a B.S. N. is utmost if we need to compete with the global market," she said.
Navarro said their organization will stay away from politicizing the issue surrounding Villar’s statements which came during her campaign for a seat in the Philippine Senate.
"In our charter and bylaws, we need to remain neutral," said Navarro.
Villar, a candidate of Team PNoy, on Monday apologized to the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) for her recent remarks in a forum that earned the ire of nurses.
In her letter addressed to the PNA Governing Board, its officers and staff, Villar wrote: “I truly am sorry for having offended the feelings of your members. It was never my intention to belittle anyone, least of all, the valiant members of the nursing profession.”
The controversy arose when noted economist and broadcaster Winnie Monsod asked Villar about her alleged intervention in favor of nursing school owners that resulted in the non-closure of substandard nursing schools way back in 2005.
She told Monsod then that nurses did not need to finish their degree since they only wanted to become room nurses or caretakers.
“Yung sinasabi po namin sa kanila na actually hindi naman kailangan ang nurse ay matapos ng BSN [BS Nursing], kasi itong ating mga nurses ay gusto lang nila maging room nurse, o sa Amerika o sa other countries, ay mag-aalaga lang sila. Hindi naman kailangan na ganoon sila kagaling,” Villar had said.