Nursing board topnotcher: Top 10 was my only option

But Jerald Pelayo will pursue medicine in June

MANILA , Philippines – Wala sa option ko na hindi mag-Top 10. Nandoon ang hopes ko,” said 22-year-old Jerald Pelayo, a graduate of Mountain View College in Valencia, Bukidnon. (Not placing in the Top 10 wasn’t an option for me. All my hopes were pinned on it.)

“I’m still in utter disbelief. I still have to keep reminding myself that it is not a dream,” Pelayo told Rappler in an interview. Rappler spoke with Pelayo 3 hours after he received the phone call from his clinical instructor who informed him about the exam results.

He placed No. 1 in the Nursing Board Exams out of 67,095 who took it on Dec 18-19 in 2011.

Born and raised in Masbate, Pelayo, however, started dreaming of becoming a doctor after seeing a lot of medical dramas on TV while he was growing up. And while he wasn’t sure about where to go for medical school, it appears that he has the rest of his life planned out.

“When I pass the board, I dream of becoming a missionary doctor to help those patients who are financially burdened. I want to take up a specialization — either be a neurologist or a cardiologist. But I want to practice in other countries and then come back and help my countrymen,” Pelayo said.

Nursing was part of his plans to prepare himself for his medical ambitions. 

Lifted all to Him

A deeply religious person, Pelayo said he had a covenant with the Lord. 

If he finished in the Top 5 of the Nursing Board Exams he would attend medical school at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay (UERM). If he placed  anywhere between 6-10 then he’d attend the West Visayas State University. 

His uncertainties about where to go for medical school became irrelevant when he received news that he had topped the board exams.

While waiting for the results to be announced, Pelayo was working on editing a review book for nursing students called “FundaTips.” He said he didn’t want his mind to remain idle while waiting for the results. His book co-editor is Weanne Estrada who topped the Nursing Board exams last year.

As if a foretelling of what was to come, the book’s author, Art Sarossa, teased him earlier this year, “Sana Top 1 ka rin, para back-to-back top notchers ang mga editors ko.” (I wish you’d top the exam too, so my editors would be back-to-back topnotchers). 

To prepare for the exams, Pelayo formed a study group with 3 other Adventist students from Mountain View College in Valencia, Bukidnon. Pelayo said they all passed.

When the day of the exam came he had help from above. “The exam was so hard, so during the exam I lifted it all up to Him. I prayed that He’d use my knowledge and that God would do great things through me.” – 

For the full list of Dec 2011, nursing board passers click here

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