Prayers, hard work keys to success

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

CEBU CITY -- Prayers and hard work paved the way for three nursing graduates of Cebu to land in the 10 topnotchers of the 2014 nursing licensure examination (NLE) held last May.

Bernard Vonn Kyle Icamen (third place), Hazel Marie Echavez (ninth place) and Karen Celetaria (10th place) are among the six Cebu topnotchers in the nursing board exam.

The other Cebu topnotchers are Allyson Gaile Nidoy Saplad (eigth placer) of Velez College, Mark James Ibale Melendres (ninth place) of the University of San Jose-Recoletos and Claire Princess Ypil Quiñones (10th place) of the Cebu Normal University.

CEBU. From left, Bernard Vonn Kyle Icamen, Karen Celetaria, Claire Princess Ypil Quiñones and Hazel Marie Echavez reap the fruit of their hard work when they landed among the 10 topnotchers in the May 2014 nursing licensure examination. (Photos downloaded from FB with their permission)


Icamen finished his nursing course at the Cebu Normal University (CNU).

His father is a manager of a pharmacy outlet, while his mother is a housewife.

The eldest of two boys, Icamen said it was his parents’ choice for him to take up a nursing course.

He said he did not like it at first, but was thankful because he learned a lot of things.


He said he dreamt of being in the list of topnotchers, but he did not expect to get the third place.

Echavez, who graduated cum laude at the Cebu Doctors’ University (CDU), said she had a 70 percent feeling that she would pass, but after taking the exam, it all went down to drain.

“The exam for me was way too hard to even expect of passing,” said Echavez, who hails from Maribojoc, Bohol.

Her father is a civil engineer, while her mother is a teacher by profession but now works as a sales manager of a beauty company.

She said she relied much on her four year studies at CDU College of Nursing in taking the exam, and allowed herself to engage in recreation activities.

“I gave myself a few distractions to ease the anxiety,” said Echavez.

“It made me relaxed, refreshed and focused, though, the real secret was me praying and others praying for me as well,” she added.

Review sessions

Like Icamen, Celetaria also graduated at CNU.

She said that before the exams, she didn’t do anything out of the ordinary and she enrolled in Powerhouse Review Center together with her batchmates.

She started review sessions in July last year but only spent a month of intensive review.

“I continued my passion for K-Pop and prayed a lot. I could say I didn’t read much but just listened to the review sessions,” said Celetaria.

Being the eldest in the family, she shared that the nursing course was her mother’s idea.

“It’s nursing or nothing for me,” she said.

She plans to apply in any tertiary hospital or at the Department of Health Nurse Deployment Program as a stepping stone for her career.

She said she did not expect of making it to the top 10 but she longed for it.

“It would not matter whether you top or pass because nursing is not a profession based on grades. It is a vocation intended to aid people who need your help, whether sick or well. That’s why you have to enjoy what you do and learn from your mistakes. Because the best thing about nursing is living life without regrets,” Celetaria said. (Franz Correa, Zash Del Pilar, USJ-R Mass Comm Interns)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 29, 2014.

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