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The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) in Western Visayas wants to limit the rights of repeaters to re-take the nursing licensure examination. Repeaters are considered those who have failed to pass the examinations the first time around.

Dr. Rex Casiple, CHEd assistant regional director, said repeaters pulled down the passing percentage of 16 nursing schools in Western Visayas, which otherwise performed well during the November 2009 nursing board examinations.

Citing data from the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC), Casiple said 4,028 out of 8,047 examinees in Western Visayas or 50 percent passed the examination, the result of which was released on February 1. The regional passing rate is 10.28 percent higher than the national passing average of 39.72 percent. Sixteen of the 21 nursing schools in the region or 76 percent were high performers or performing above the national average, according to Casiple.

But Casiple said the repeaters pulled down the regional passing average. He said 60 percent of the first-time takers passed but only 24 percent of the repeaters or 548 out of the 2,286 did. He said this held true in the national passing average of 39.72 percent with the passers among first-time takers reaching 49.39 percent while only 26.69 percent of all repeaters nationwide passed.

Of the 94,462 examinees who took in the nursing board in the country, 54,326 or 57.6 percent were first-time takers and 40,069 or 42.2 percent were repeaters, according to Casiple. CHEd and PRC must formulate a policy to regulate repeaters in taking the board examination or require them to take refresher subjects or lessons.