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Marco Sto. Tomas, member of the Board of Nursing (BoN) tasked to prepare and oversee the administration of the Nurse Licensure Examination, today said that the results of the recently concluded nursing board exam will probably be out by August 15 - 31, 2007.

The labor department earlier said that they will be releasing the exam results three (3) weeks after the conduct of the exam last June 10 and 11.

Sto. Tomas explained that the delay is primarily due to the large number of examinees this year. He added that the PRC's optical machine readers can only process 10,000 test papers per day.

Individual exam scores are then matched to the examinees' names in the PRC database before the BoN determines the mean passing score based from the highest and lowest scores obtained.

78,797 nursing graduates took the June 2007 nurse licensure examination in various cities across the country.







After consultation with test takers, teachers, Recognising Organisations and other stakeholders, the International English Language System (IELTS) will be implementing a revised band scoring system.
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Under the new system, band scores in the tests will be scored in full and in half-bands. The old IELTS scoring system used full bands for the tests except in listening and reading, which is scored in both full and half-bands.
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This means that in the old system, an examinee may score 7 or 8 in the writing and speaking tests. Under the new system, scores will increment or decrement by half band so the examinee in the same tests may score 7.5 or 8.5.
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The changes, taking effect July 1st this year, will only affect the reporting of the band scores and will not, in any way, affect how the tests are rated.
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IELTS is jointly managed by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL) through more than 350 locations in 120 countries worldwide. Close to 5,000 organisations around the world recognise the test for education, immigration and professional accreditation purposes.
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RETROGRESSION UPDATE

The US Department of State has released its Visa Bulletin for July 2007. The bulletin includes a summary of available immigrant visa numbers.
Effective July 1, 2007, all employment-based immigrant petitions will become "current."

This means that the backlog in the issuance of immigrant visas to qualified nurses is over albeit temporarily.

The Hammond Law Group (HLG), a law firm specializing in immigration cases, explains the bulletin's implication to nurses.

What does this mean?

For applicants waiting for interviews at the consulate: The foreign national may proceed with the consulate interview after the National Visa Center or the consulate schedules an interview. It is expected that it will take the NVC some time to begin issuing appointment dates, as there are thousands of cases that have stacked up during the period of retrogression.

For applicants with labor certification approvals: the foreign national may proceed with concurrent filing of the I-140 and I-485 applications.


For applicants with approved I-140 petitions:
The foreign national may proceed with the I-485 Adjustment of Status or consular interview, depending upon which option the foreign national is choosing.

For applicants in the U.S. on temporary status who are eligible to bypass labor certification (e.g. registered nurses, physical therapists, National Interest Waivers, Exceptional Ability Aliens, etc.):
The foreign national may proceed with concurrent filing of the I-140 and I-485 application.

However, the relief is only temporary and may only last until October this year as the category is always over-subscribed
as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is only allowed by law to approve approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visa petitions annually. Moreover, dependents are also counted against the yearly quota.

Meanwhile, Key Republican and Democratic senators are reaching for a deal to resurrect their stalled immigration compromise by requiring that some $4 billion be spent on border security and workplace enforcement.

U.S. President George W. Bush met with key Republican leaders in Capitol Hill this week to rally support for his pet bill.

Passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill is largely viewed in the healthcare industry as a long-term solution to the recurrent problem of nurse visa retrogression.







The labor department said Saturday that they plan to release the results of the June 2007 two-day Nurse Licensure Examiantion three weeks from today.
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Labor Secretary Arturo Brion added that four lawyers, representing the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), will be observing the partial retake of tests III and V by approximately 11,000 examinees of the compromised June 2006 Nurse Licensure Examination.
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The CGFNS, in February, announced that June 2006 Nurses will only be issued VisaScreen Certificates after a successful retake of tests III and V.
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The CGFNS/ICHP VisaScreen Certificate is a US immigration requirement for healthcare professionals educated outside the United States.
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Meanwhile, Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Chair Leonor Rosero assured that security measures are in place to avoid a repeat of the incident. “All security measures, all precautions have been emphasized to the new BON and PRC employees. Huwag nila pabayaan para hindi magkaroon ng problema uli (We stress to them they should not let their guard down so there will be no problem)," Rosero said in an interview on dzRB radio, a government-run station.
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78,797 nursing graduates registered for this year's Nurse Licensure Examination held in various cities across the country.

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Relevant links for the examinees of the upcoming June 2007 Nurse Licensure Examination.






Retrogression Update ...

The debates in the United States Senate on the proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) bill bogged down less than three hours ago after Democratic leader Harry Reid withdrew the controversial measure.

The move came after Republican Senators voted twice within nine hours to block the measure from moving towards a final vote.

"A group of Senate Republicans has irresponsibly turned its back on border security and the 12 million people who are living in the shadows of our society," said Reid.

Republican leader Mitch McConnell meanwhile complained, "I think we are giving up on this bill too soon."
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Reid pointed out that the bill was not dead yet. He pledged to carry on working to pass an immigration reform bill but added, "We are finished with this for the time being."

"We are very close, at some point we are going to do this."

But a crowded Senate calendar and the looming Presidential elections complicates its prospects of being passed this year. The measure's chances are even murkier in the House, where Democratic leaders have warned that they don't plan to act on the divisive issue until the Senate has finished work on it.






The 26 filipino nurses and 1 physical therapist, facing criminal charges in New York for child endangerment, got the support of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA).

In a press statement released June 1, 2007. ANA and NYSNA jointly condemned the exploitation of immigrant RNs by unscrupulous U.S. employers and called for better enforcement of immigration laws.

ANA President Rebecca M. Patton, RN, MSN, CNOR said, "These brave nurses deserve the nursing community’s full support because they refused to remain in a situation where patients were being denied the kind of care and staffing they deserved."

She added, "The real patient endangerment lies in the deplorable conditions that led the nurses to leave."

NYSNA interim chief executive officer, Tina Gerardi, RN echoed Patton's sentiments. "This case may be just the tip of the iceberg. Nurses who come to the U.S. deserve to have their rights protected," said Geradi.

The NYSNA learned about the nurses’ plight last month and assisted them in getting a hearing before the New York State Board for Nursing after Sentosa Care, LLC accused them of professional misconduct.

"Those charges were dismissed by the state board. We are greatly concerned these RNs are now being prosecuted for the same actions." Gerardi added.

The ANA is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of America's 2.9 million registered nurses through its 54 constituent member nurses associations.
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The 'Sentosa 27' are expected to participate in the New York Philippine Independence Day parade on June 3 (June 4 in the Philippines), where they will receive support from both the Filipino and American nursing communities.
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