Nursing board works on being more accessible


From left, CNMI Nursing Board office manager Carol Fleming, administrative assistant Richelle Borja, and administrative clerk Diosalyn Matagolai with the documents they work on everyday to make sure all documents of every CNMI nurse here and abroad are complete and complied with. (Bea Cabrera)

Plagued by complaints about being inaccessible, the CNMI Nursing Board has doubled its staff and has made improvements in how they can be reached by nurses here and off-island.

According to CNMI Nursing Board office manager Carol Fleming, they acknowledge the feedback they have gotten about off-island nurses having a hard time getting in touch with them.

“We [used to have] only one staff, one email address, and one landline. Since we recognize the need of our nurses, especially the ones who are abroad, we doubled the accessibility in those areas. We added another staff, email address, and landline,” she said.

Fleming pointed out that the board receives approximately 150 to 200 applications from nurses here and abroad for them to be able to take their licensure exam wherever they are, license renewal, verification, and endorsements.

“So now we have two staff workers, our email addresses are and and our landlines are (670) 2322263 and (670) 2342264.

“We do have a voice mail now, too, but we are restricted from receiving long-distance calls. But with the voicemail, we would like everyone to know that, if they would like us to get back to them, they can just give us their email address. …Other than that, we cannot make long-distance calls,” added Fleming.

She said the CNMI Board of Nursing website is active and if applicants are experiencing difficulty, more often than not, it is the website security that makes it difficult for them to get through.

“Due to website security, our nurses are unable to download the forms. Some complain that they cannot access the forms and applications. It’s beyond our control if the security system in their software…at work limits them from accessing our website,” she said.

“Sometimes, nurses here in the CNMI also experience security issues and cannot access online. What we do is they email us and we can send them the forms needed,” she added.

With two working staff, Fleming takes care of completing the documents of each applicant.

“Completing an applicant’s list of documents does not happen in one sitting. Sometimes, we have to wait for other documents to reach us and, once it is complete, we elevate the documents to the board,” she said.

Without a complete set of documents, the board is unable to review the application itself.

“This review takes about 2 to 4 weeks and sometimes less,” she added.

After the board reviews the documents, a certificate of approval is sent to the applicant via email.

“This approval will now allow them to go ahead and register if they are ready to take the NCLEX. It is up to them to review and take the NCLEX and, after that’s done, we get the results. Everyday, we check our system and if the results are out, we send it to them,” she said.

“I know some of them complain because we cannot send test results [but that is] because we are wary of breaches. Sometimes there are personal information in there, that’s why we do not send via email,” she added.

Fleming assured that the board has a system in place and asks for the patience of nurses.

“We are working diligently to make sure everything is up to date. It is a long process because there are many documents that we receive via email and snail mail. There are other factors at play, such as not sending everything at the same time, but we are improving speed, accessibility, and service,” she said.

“For delays that we can control, the board addresses and we definitely do our part. We ask for patience and, again, we assure that we are doing our best to be of service to our nurses,” she added.

Bea Cabrera | Correspondent
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.

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