THE Senate passed on third and final reading on Monday a bill seeking to create a comprehensive nursing law to provide quality health care systems in the country.

Senate Bill 2720 or the proposed Comprehensive Nursing Law of 2015 aims “to expand the scope of nursing practice to encompass not only the nursing education service but also research, and leadership and governance, as inherent areas of the practice.”

“Due to the growing number of nurses in the country, some are forced to work under job order or contractual terms or seek better opportunities abroad because the government fails to address the needs of their profession,” Senate civil service committee chairman Antonio Trillanes IV said.

“The situation must be changed, given that Filipino nurses are widely recognized as among the best healthcare providers in the world. Our nurses’ skills and brand of service are very much recognized and sought abroad,” he added.

Trillanes said improving the country’s health care system is one of the keys to a stronger and healthier citizenry, which is vital in the improvement of a productive population.

He said the measure would provide for the creation of a Nursing Board, which will be composed of seven members with three-year term.

Members of the Nursing Board will be appointed by the President, upon the nomination of the Professional Regulation Commission.

Trillanes said the bill would enhance the powers of the Board of Nursing by including the power to create task forces or committees and offices to better organize itself and facilitate its function and pursue its program.

The proposed measure also aims to provide a minimum base pay, which will not be lower than Salary Grade 15 (equivalent to P25,000).

“The enactment of this measure is intended to complement the talent and competence of our nurses by providing them with an updated regulatory framework,” he said.

Senate President Franklin Drilon said the bill, once enacted into law, would help upgrade the country’s nursing profession and sustain its leading role in the health-care labor market, and address its most pressing issues like unemployment and misemployment of Filipino nurses. (Sunnex)