February 29, 2024

■  Ofelia C. Empian 

For Dusty Tanghin Kawi, answering 20,000 questions was part of his preparation for the November 2023 nursing licensure examination where he placed third nationwide.

Kawi, a graduate of Benguet State University, said he aimed to top the board exams, however, when he started answering the exam questions, all he prayed for was simply to pass.

He did. He shared the top three rank with University of Santo Tomas’ Aleck Hans Ison garnering 90.60 percent rating.

Aristotle Castronuevo of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and Cris Vinz Tomboc were top one with 91 percent rating.

Kawi, of Ampasit, La Trinidad, Benguet, said the review was difficult but he made sure to have breaks in between, but at the same time, he believed in the “no break rule.”

This means he has to study every day, no matter how short or long. His day starts at 5 a.m. with review classes or self-review and other day-to-day activities, and hits the bed strictly at 10 p.m. He said rest is an essential part of his review.

Also, part of his review was answering practice questions. He answered nearly 15,000 to 20,000 questions in his review season.

“In this way, you will be able to enhance your test-taking skills and improve your mental endurance when answering different types of questions and tests. You can also assess your weaknesses and focus on them,” he said.

This technique worked for him during his college days, leading him to become the magna cum laude of his class when he graduated in July.

“Of course, if you believe in the power of prayer, it would also be a great way to meditate and calm yourself before starting your review,” he said.

Nursing was not his first choice. He took the entrance exam for MedLab Science or Psychology, which he both passed in Saint Louis University. He also passed the nursing exam in BSU; the latter becoming his choice since it offered  free education.

He was also influenced by his mother, Helen, from Itogon, Benguet to take up nursing. 

“But it was a dream for me to become an educator one day and share my knowledge with the next generation of registered nurses (RN). But if things change, working in the hospital would be my next option. In this way, I can touch the lives of the people, give back, and serve our fellowmen,” Kawi said.

He is a proud son of Peter Kawi from Sagada, Mountain Province, who named him Dusty after seeing a character from a TV show he was watching.

His older siblings, lawyer and certified public accountant Christine and Joshua, have inspired him to become better.

“To the future RNs and professionals out there, dream big and aim high. Focus on your goals, and never forget the reason you started. Padayon future professionals,” he said.