Nursing is one of the most popular degree programs and professional careers in the Philippines. There is high demand for nurses locally and abroad—many pursuing the profession to help others, be part of improving the country’s healthcare system, and to provide for their families.
It’s a tough profession but it is indeed a noble one.
The first step to becoming a Registered Nurse or RN in the Philippines is to complete your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Next is to take and pass the Philippine Nursing Licensure Exam.
What is the Nursing Licensure Exam?
The Philippine Nursing Licensure Exam is a standardized test that regulates the professional practice of nursing in the Philippines. It is conducted by the Philippine Regulatory Commission (PRC) in line with the Republic Act Number 7164 or the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002.
The nursing licensure exam is part of their efforts to ensure the protection and improvement of the profession of nursing in the country.
What are the schedules for the Board Exam?
The Nursing Licensure Exam usually falls within June and November of each year but the specific date will depend on the PRC. The exam runs for 2 days. You can check their official website and Facebook accounts for the most recent announcements.
Applications usually open four months prior to the scheduled exam (February for the June exam, July for November) and close at least six weeks before the scheduled exam.
The results are uploaded to the PRC official website in about two weeks or more after your scheduled exam. Not only can you find your name on the list of passers, but you can also check how well you did through the online verification portal.
Who is eligible to take the Nursing Licensure Exam?
Before you can take the Nursing Board Exam, you would first need to meet the following requirements as mandated by the PRC:
- Filipino citizenship
- Certificate of good moral character
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from a government-recognized institution
- Other required documents prescribed by the PRC
Citizens of other countries whose country or state adheres with the Philippine practice of nursing may also take the exam as long as they complete the additional requirements.
What are the required documents?
After completing your degree and deciding when you will take the exam, it’s best to start completing your application documents early. Here are the documents you would need to submit:
- Birth Certificate from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)
- Marriage Contract from the PSA, for married female applicants
- Transcript of Records with scanned picture and the remarks “For Board Examination Purposes” from the nursing institution where you received your degree
- Examination fee (Php 900 for complete exam, Php 450 for conditioned or removal)
- Summary of Related Learning Experiences, including operating room experience
How do I apply for the Nursing Licensure Exam?
You can process your exam application online. Log-in to the PRC’s Licensure Examination and Registration System (LERIS) and follow the instructions.
After creating your LERIS account, select Nursing Licensure Examination and schedule an appointment with your local PRC office. Complete payment for your exam fee through your preferred method.
On your appointment date, proceed to the PRC and submit your requirements!
You will need your LERIS account for various transactions with the PRC even after the board exam so remember your log-in details.
Once you have successfully applied to take the exam, you can focus on studying!
What Is Covered In The Nursing Board Exam?
Knowing the subjects covered in the Nursing Licensure Exam will help you prepare accordingly. A Registered Nurse in the Philippines requires extensive skills and knowledge in healthcare.
There are five general subject areas included in the exam, each bearing 20% of your total score:
- Foundations of Nursing Practice including Professional Adjustment (100 items)
- Maternal and Child Health Nursing (100 items)
- Community Health Nursing and Communicable Disease Nursing (100 items)
- Nursing Care of Adolescents, Adults, and Aged (100 items)
- Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing (100 items)
To help you prepare better, the PRC has a list of specific topics included in each general subject area.
This will make it easier for you to prepare for the examination. Each person has a different learning style. While most of your peers would register with a review center but even that would require you to study on your own.
To become a registered nurse, your exam rating should be at least 75% with a minimum grade of 60% for each subtest.In the event you make the overall mark but miss the required grade in any of the general subject areas, you would only need to retake that subject and get 75% to pass. As noted above, you would have to pay another Php 450 and it will take you longer to get your license so give it your best shot on your first try!
Tips on Passing the Nursing Licensure Exam
Becoming a Registered Nurse is not an easy feat. You have to earn a bachelor’s degree and pass the licensure exam before taking your oath. It will include sleepless days and nights studying or doing your internship for clinical experiences.
Here are some tips on how to pass the Nursing Licensure Exam:
“Remember why you started” is cliche but there’s a reason it works. Why do you want to become a registered nurse? Remind yourself every day of your WHY and keep your goal in mind, whether it’s to simply pass or become a topnotcher.
Turn Mistakes Into Lessons
The purpose of reviewing your subjects is to do better during the real thing. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes while self-reviewing or doing a practice test. Take note of what you get wrong and study that topic or subject more.
Summarize The Concept
The best way to know if you learned is if you can explain the concept or principle of the topic with ease. Don’t focus on memorizing answers to specific questions. Train yourself so that no matter how the question is phrased, you have an answer.
The nursing licensure examination will be in English. Even if you understand the concept, it would also help you to be familiar with the jargon used in the nursing field. This helps you to answer questions no matter how they are worded. English skills will also open great employment opportunities for you.
Structure Your Review
If you are enrolled in a review center, this will be easier but you can also structure your self-study based on the subjects included in the exam. Focus on the areas where you need the most help!
The journey to becoming a Registered Nurse is a long and tough one, but it can be easy once you have a strategic way of preparing for it. Best of luck, future nurses!