BSc Nursing candidates gripe about new test

KARACHI, April 23(Daily Times): Students gave mixed opinions about the interviews that were conducted Saturday for the Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BScN) programme at the JPMC College of Nursing. The interviews were previously cancelled because there was doubt over the list of candidates that passed the entry list.

"Most of the questions were asked by doctors, while one or two were asked by nurses," claimed candidate Shabana Nazir. "The doctors have a higher level of knowledge than nurses and they were asking difficult questions outside the realm of nursing."

The interviews had been cancelled earlier because the medical faculty wanted to screen the people applying for the BScN courses themselves, she claimed. She added that the allegations made by the medical faculty that the nursing faculty had allowed cheating in the entry tests were baseless.

"An unofficial letter was sent for the cancellation of the interviews so that the medical administration could check the entry tests of the students themselves," she claimed.

"The interviews were cancelled without any notice, which caused a lot of inconvenience for many students because most of them had come from different parts of the country."

The JPMC director sent a letter to the college of nursing principal ordering the cancellation of the interviews, said student Fazaluddin.

"It is possible that there was something wrong with the faculty of nursing and that's why the medical administration decided to get involved," said a student from Peshawar, Sher Bahadur. He added that canceling the interview was the best decision and that the combined questioning did not affect interview standards.

"The medical faculty shouldn't have been involved in our interviews as there is a big difference between a medical degree and a nursing degree," said Mumtaz Ali. He added that the assumption that cheating had taken place during the entry tests was wrong.

"I did not receive any letter for the cancellation of the interviews from the director because I was not part of the interviewing faculty on Saturday," said JPMC College of Nursing principal Mywish Khan.

Khan said that she didn't know whether the medical faculty had asked difficult questions or not, and that she would be able to say something about this on Monday, after she met the nursing faculty that were involved in the interviews.

"This is the first time external interviewers were brought in," said Khan. She added that usually the director, deputy director, and three faculty members from nursing hold the interviews.

"The three externals were from Liaquat University of Medical Health and Sciences (LUMHS), Jamshoro, Dow University of Health Sciences, and Ziauddin University," said JMPC Director, Prof Rashid Jooma.

He said that the new administration of JPMC had decided to have an audit of the entry tests and during the audit it was felt that the merit list was not fair and there was some manipulation by the staff or the candidates.

This college is affiliated with LUMHS, and even they were brought in on the issue and concluded that the merit list was not reliable, said Jooma.

"I don't know anything about the externals' questioning, we left everything to LUMHS. It's possible that the selection criteria was difficult because only 30 students were to be chosen for the course," he added.

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