A. Project Description
Project NARS is in line with the pump priming strategies under the Economic Resiliency Plan of the Arroyo Administration to mitigate the impact of the global financial crisis, i.e. to save and create as many jobs as possible and expand social protection. This was launched by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on 9 February 2009 during the Multi-Sectoral Summit on “Joining Hands Against the Global Crisis” in Malacanan Palace, Manila.Project NARS aims to address the glut in inexperienced nurses, promote health of the people and bring the government closer to them. The idea is to mobilize nurses cooling their heels in their hometowns (due to low local and overseas demand for the services of inexperienced nurses) for work among their own people. Nurses will be mobilized in their hometowns as warriors for wellness to do the three I’s:
- 1. Initiate primary health, school nutrition, maternal health programs, first line diagnosis;
2. Inform about community water sanitation practices and also do health surveillance;
3. Immunize children and mothers.
They shall likewise serve as roving nurses for rural schools.Competencies gained by the nurses upon completion of the training program shall cover both clinical and public health sectors. The project shall provide nurses with learning and development opportunities to enhance their capacity to provide quality nursing and health care and consequently increase the nurses’ employability.
1. General Objective
Project NARS aims to improve delivery of health care services to our population and create a pool of registered nurses with enhanced clinical and preventive health management competencies for national public and private sector employment
2. Specific Objectives
- Provide registered nurses necessary competencies that encompass both community and preventive health practice as well as clinical skills;
- Address the shortages of skilled and experienced nurses, both domestic and overseas through a structured competency development program;
- Provide deployment opportunities for nurses in rural areas and underserved communities;
- Augment the nursing workforce of hospitals and rural health units in identified poor municipalities of needed clinical and public health nurses.
C. Delivery Mechanism
Nurses will be deployed at an average of 5 per town in the 1,000 poorest municipalities , for a six-months tour of duty. Another batch will be deployed for the second half of the year. These nurses will undergo training and development for competency enhancement in accordance with the training program designed by the PRC-BON in collaboration with DOH.
The training program will cover both the clinical and public health functions. Nurse trainees will rotate in their assigned hospital or rural unit for a period of three (3) months. At the end of the third month, nurses who have completed their rotation in the hospital will be re-assigned to a rural unit and vice-versa.
A Certificate of Completion/Competency shall be issued jointly by the DOLE, DOH and PRC after an assessment of the gained competencies of nurse trainees.
While on training, nurses will be given a stipend/allowance of P8,000.00 per month. This translates to about P366,00 per day for a forty (40) hours training /workweek. As these nurses are already in their hometowns, transportation expenses will no longer be a problem.
The stipend of P8,000 may be increased if the host LGUs will offer a counterpart of say P2,000. LGUs may provide Philhealth coverage to nurse-trainees. Corporations may chip in by providing shirts, insurance, vitamins, etc., making the program a national enterprise with private equity.
D. Expected Outcomes
The NARS Project will:
- create a pool of 10,000 nurses who are adequately-trained with enhanced clinical and public health competencies and readily available for local and overseas employment;
- provide disposable money of P8,000 per month to 5,000 unemployed nurses for the first six months and to another 5,000 for the second half of the year, to help pump prime the economy;
- promote the health of the people through the improvement of the delivery of nursing and health care services, particularly in the 1,000 poorest municipalities; and
- bring the government closer to the people.
E. Recruitment, Selection and Deployment of Nurses
1. Recruitment and SelectionRecruitment and selection shall be the responsibility of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), through its Regional Offices.
Registered nurses who are physically and mentally fit and willing to serve in their hometowns and who meet the following qualifications may apply online, from February 20 to March 22, 2009, at www.nars.dole.gov.ph :
- With valid nurse license issued by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC);
- Not over 35 years old;
- Resident of the identified municipalities/nearby municipalities;
- No nursing-related practice for the past 3 years.
Nurse applicants who are dependents of workers affected by the Global Crisis (e.g. laid off/rotated, etc.,) shall be given priority in the selection.
2. DeploymentList of successful applicants with their area of assignments shall be posted online at www.nars.dole.gov.ph on March 26-31, 2009. An orientation shall be conducted jointly by the DOLE, DOH and PRC prior to training and duty. Nurses will be properly endorsed to their facilities of assignment.
3. Covered MunicipalitiesThe selection of the 1,000 poorest municipalities shall be based on the City and Municipal Poverty Incidence based on Small Area Poverty Estimates (SAE), 2003 of the National Statistical and Coordination Board/World Bank. This same SAE is being used by the DSWD in their Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and also for prioritizing target households for their National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction.
In view of the support to project NARS of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAPCARES), the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), INC., PhilHealth, etc., additional municipalities will be covered.
F. Government – Private sector Support to Project NARS
Various healthcare stakeholders have responded enthusiastically to the call of the President for them to take part in Project NARS and make it a truly national enterprise with private equity.
- The Philippine Nurses association, the Association of Deans of the Philippine Colleges of Nursing, the League of Philippine government Nurses, and the U.P. College of Nursing offered their services for free in the design and implementation of the training component of Project NARS.
- Mercan Canada Philippines, Inc., provided 10,000 medical kit back pack with medical equipment for use of nurse-trainees during their rural health assignments;
- Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PHAPCARES) sponsored 100 nurses for deployment to additional 20 poor municipalities.
- GlaxoSmithKline, Inc. likewise sponsored 100 nurses for deployment to additional 20 poor municipalities.
- PhilHealth committed to allocate the 1.5% of its budget for maintenance and operating expenses (MOOE) for 2009 to hire additional nurses (220 nurses) to be deployed to identified municipalities; and
- LGUs also granted additional allowance ranging from 500 to 2,000 per month to nurse-trainees, provided free board and lodging and free food when nurse-trainees are on duty.
Timetable of Activities
- First Batch (5,000 nurse-trainees):
1. Recruitment and Selection 20 February – 22 March
2. Posting List of Successful Applicants
with Area of Assignments 26 March – 31 March
3. Orientation of Nurse Trainees Deployment
to Area of Assignments 01 April – 02 April
1. On-line application 1 May – 25 September, 2009
2. Recruitment and Selection 12 June – 30 September, 2009
3. Orientation of Nurse-Trainees 15 – 16 October, 2009
4. Tour of Duty 15 October 2009 – 15 April, 2010