45 Minutes with Dr. Lourdes Tejero, Dean Par Excellence

By Jerome Babate /Claudine Rhea Sun

Nursing research is a salient aspect that the University of the Philippines College of Nursing (UPCN) is known for. The student nurses, the faculty, and the rest of the staff are well managed by their new dean Dr. Lourdes Marie Tejero. Her leadership in one of the best universities in the Philippines is a combination of her years of research experience and intellectual prowess.

Lourdes Marie S. Tejero, RN, PhD is presently the Dean of the University of the Philippines College of Nursing (UPCN) which is the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Leadership in Nursing Development and a CHED Center of Excellence. As the Director of the UP National Graduate Office for the Health Sciences from 2011 to 2013, Dr. Tejero pioneered initiatives to improve graduate education and coordination in the whole UP Manila campus. In her clinical practice at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) from 1995 to 2001, she led the nursing research team and the Training Division of PCMC . She finished her B.S. Nursing (cum laude, 1993) and Ph.D. Nursing (2009) from the UPCN, and her M.A. Nursing degree (High Distinction, 1999) from the University of Asia and the Pacific. She had her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia in 2011.

Lourdes Marie Tejero
Let us gain more insight on Dr. Tejero’s leadership when it comes to UPCN’s research agenda.

You were appointed as dean of UPCN more than a year ago. What impressions of the college have you formed?

I was appointed as Dean of the University of the Philippines College of Nursing (UPCN) by the end of 2013. The demands and challenges from all levels are beyond the capacities of just one person.  Fortunately, the UPCN faculty and staff have always been supportive like a family.  With everyone’s skills and initiative, we have moved things forward towards our set goals and beyond.

What are some examples of research being conducted by the UPCN faculty? And how are undergraduate and graduate students contributing to this research?

The UPCN faculty undertakes researches in the local, national and international settings.  Currently, we are conducting a nationwide research regarding human resources for health. This study is commissioned and funded by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). The same government agencies likewise funded another national study on the evaluation of the RN Heals program that our faculty spearheaded.  Patient safety is another research topic that our faculty members are working on.  

UPCN faculty also collaborates with international organizations and researchers for studies on nurses working abroad under bilateral agreements, multi-country research on symptom checklists, among others. UPCN has its research agenda that is aligned with regional, national and University research directions.  Our faculty and students design and pursue studies guided by this research agenda. Thus, the undergraduate and graduate students of UPCN contribute to the knowledge generation that the rest of the UPCN are working on.

What do you see as the most important challenge/s for UPCN in continuing to fulfill its mission?

Being in a developing country and in a public university, the great challenge is limitation of resources.  We have a number of initiatives and projects that will have impact not only on this university but on the nation and region as well.  However, we face the reality of limited resources, manpower, time and materials to fully realize these plans. And yet we are set in our determination to work on these projects, making the most of what we have and exploring other means to augment these resources.  Our generous alumni are our greatest ally in our ventures, including our institutional and professional linkages.