“Capturing Manna from Heaven” during the Blessing Ceremony of the New Rooms. With him are: (from left) Norma Nastor (faculty member), Rosario Bayhon (´64 partly hidden), Elvira Lim (BSN ´69 and faculty member), Graduate School Dean Dr. Teresa Yap, Lilia Faraon (BSN ´64), Rev. Fr Jeff Quintela, Jocelyn Molo (BSN ´96 and Faculty member), and Dean Dean Divinagracia.
The College of Nursing will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee year in 2009. The promise of Chairman P. O. Domingo to complete the five-story building of the College has come to a reality. This is the most fitting and meaningful gift of Administration to the deserving faculty members, students and personnel of the College as it celebrates 50 productive and relevant years of existence as one of the outstanding nursing programs in the country today (based on the CHED and PRC score cards).
As a member of the first batch of Nursing graduates admitted in 1959, i.e., the pioneer class of 1962, I would like to adapt the beautiful theme of the UERM Nursing Alumni Association, USA in the annual grand reunion hosted by the Southern California chapter in Los Angeles last year, dubbed as “We honor our past, celebrate our present, believe in our future” in describing the trailblazing development of the College. The more senior people in the Medical Center will recall that the College of Nursing had a simple beginning. The pioneering vision of the late Dr. Purita F. Asperilla started it all with three other faculty members: Dr. Natividad A. Espiritu, Paz de Leon(†), Patricia A. Villacorta and later joined by Priscilla B. Sabinay(†), Dean Emeritus Evangelina M. Dumlao, Elena B. Sendaydiego, Virginia R. Fronda and Soterrana Bautista, who was the Chief Nurse of the UERM Hospital and also acted as part of the teaching staff.
As the core manpower, they taught the first class consisting of 47 enthusiastic, young-beaver students who had the heart and passion to finish the nursing course. With the rigid promotion policies, however, which is implemented by the admission committee up to now, only 32 of them graduated in 1962. At the start of the program there were only two regular rooms provided to the students-one for lecture sessions, the other the clinical skill laboratory, for demonstration and return demonstration purposes. These rooms were all located at the basement of the old Administration Building found at the Hospital side. Classrooms were mostly allotted to the College of Medicine since its enrollees were more compared to those of the Nursing classes in the first three decades of the existence of the College.
At the outset, the UERMMMCI President and Chairman of the Board was Dr. Francisco Dalupan Sr., whose legacy as a leader is well remembered, together with Dean Asperilla and the core faculty members of the College of Nursing, whose driving force paved the way for establishing the quality of nursing education in the Medical Center. It is for this reason that we have to honor our past as we celebrate the present status of our nursing program-accredited Deregulated Level III status by the PAASCU, the highest accreditation rating for nursing in the country today. Our nurses´ licensure examination performance also speaks of the quality of education we have considering that in 2007, the College obtained 97% compared to the national passing rate of only 42.7%, in the process making UERM the 2nd Top Performing School with 100 and more graduates in last year´s Licensure Board Examination for Nurses.
With all these bountiful blessings and significant developments pouring into the academic nursing community, we strongly believe that our pathway for the future will be brighter, more progressive and highly competitive in the local and global settings. For this we thank the past and the present administrations for the unending support towards the Vision-Mission of the College for Quality Education in the country. Likewise, to our faculty members the students and their parents, our partners in nursing service, our staff, the other members of the Medical Center and definitely our alumni members for their dedication in terms of time, efforts and logistic support to our nursing program. At this juncture I would like to underscore the leadership and moral and logistic support of DEAN EMERITUS EVANGELINE MACEDA DUMLAO, for her genuine interest in and concern for the College of Nursing. Even up to her retirement from the College, her teachings and personalized care can still be felt. Carmelita C. Divinagracia, PhD, RN
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