Tanya Freedman hosts inspirational conversations with Filipino nurses who have made a new life in the United States - they reveal how they did it, and provide insider info you won’t find anywhere else. Here you’ll find all the knowledge and inspiration to live out your own American dream! If you’re thinking about making the step to living and working as a nurse in the USA, then why not enlist the help of one of the top medical staffing agencies?
Being Assertive and Flexible – pt 1
Part 1: On this episode we look at assertiveness and flexibility in the workplace and in life. As well as
- The attitude employers are looking for
- The importance of honesty
- Learning to speak up
This is nursing in America. Each week we speak with incredible Filipino nurses who have taken the leap to start a new life in the United States. If you're thinking about doing the same, then this is the place you'll find all the insider knowledge and inspirational success stories to realize your own American dream.
Hi, everybody, and welcome. We are so excited to have two new guests today, who are going to be sharing their story with you. And we can't wait to hear all about your journey. And to learn upon your experience, the good and the bad gene will be joining in the conversation. So my name is Tanya Friedman, I'm the chief operating officer of kinetics USA. And we are sharing the stories of nurses from all over the US who have encountered this journey. The reason why we're doing the defore talk show is for many of you in the group, you are, you know, so worried and frustrated and, and have been going through the journey of getting to the US passing your NCLEX passing your aisles, getting a visa screen getting a sponsor, getting a petitioner and waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting in country, many hiccups, and then not realizing that when you come to the US, there might be other successes, but also challenges that you encounter. So the purpose of the talk show is for for nurses in the group to share their story. And we have a few ground rules that I just want to share with everybody. And the first is that we ask the guests that come on the show to be authentic and real. This is our group, this is our safe place to land. And we want not just a pep talk, of course, we want the pep talk. But we don't just want a pep talk, we really want the real journey, the good and the bad. And if there was some bad how you overcame that. And then also, we ask our guests not to share where they're working if they came with a specific agency name if they in a specific state because we really just want to keep this neutral. So with that said, let's get started. Lane and James we know it can be very scary and overwhelming. Right gene you remember the first time we did this gene? how nervous we all were?
Yeah. I was so I was some very what they call that I forgot.
Excited and apprehensive and I have palpitations the first time we started this way.
I remember it. Well. I had butterflies in my stomach lane. And James, do you feel like that a little bit as well?
Um, yes, I'm very excited because this is actually my first time to, you know, to have an interview on on on online. And, you know, I know that there's a lot of nurses out there who are interested to watch and hear our stories.
Yeah, and thank you for being brave, and the interview because I know that it's gonna be so inspirational for so many people. Why don't I do James?
Yeah, it's kind of different kind of audience because I use zoom in my classes because I am. I'm a university faculty. So I use zoom a lot, especially with the pandemic. So like, half of the semester, I've been doing zoom like two to three times so we can get students. So this was just a different audience. So I kinda comfortable but you know, with a different audience, there's always got that low anxiety. So especially what kind of questions are we asking? Um, you're good? Yeah,
well, you know, if you haven't used your zoom that much, or if you've used it more like James, it's less scary experience. And I really am so grateful to Layne and to James for doing this. So we are amongst friends. And so this is just gonna be you know, a casual chat, and we're going to be sharing your stories. Okay, so first question, and it everybody if you have a question, please post it into the chat. As I say please do not private message. Their lane and James, we want to respect their privacy. But you're welcome to put your questions into the chat. We'd love to hear from you. So okay, and the lane and James, do you want to just tell us a little bit about your story, how long the process took for you to come to the US and what was it along the way just Share your your, your journey of getting to the US just up to the point when you got to the US the lane maybe Ladies first.
So I, um, we applied for a fiancee visa in 2015. And it took us three months for the whole process. So we applied in May 2015. And I got my approval in August. And then I arrived here in the US in September for 2015.
Wow, that's so quick lane. I know there's so many people on the in the forum that are like, Oh, I wish that was me. Yeah, I was very blessed. Yeah, you really? Yeah. James, what about you?
Well, first of all, I would like to say I started my journey, you know, last century if I would put it Yeah. So I was with that group that had retrogression way back in the 90s. So I started my application back in like 1994 I graduated 93 I started joining 94 then I had a retrogression so like nobody left for like probably about five years. Then in 99 I had to do we apply so I started from scratch. Um, the good thing back back then was that they were offering Immigrant Visas on the h1 a back then it took me about from September of oh nine when I applied then I finally got to the US side of july of 2002. So that was about more or less two years more than two years of of processing and the waiting yeah two years which was pretty much the average for and they began visa back then.
So So a very different story from the lane right. Gene and I can relate a little bit more to to James Wright gene
mine is like nine nine months it's a very quick process is just took me nine months. I mean the agency that helped me it's only nine months process for me it was so quick in I graduated 1995 I came here in America on 2006 Wow, I applied on
five Wow. So that so that's that's in the olden days right Jean? Yeah, it was also quicker already Oh really? Well well. I go back even further for everybody watching on on July the fourth was my 20th anniversary that I left I came from South Africa many years ago and and with on July 4 Independence Day was the it was really my independence because it was life changing. And and that was that was how long ago I left South Africa my home country to come to the UAE so it's it really is an A journey for everybody different for everybody. But it has its ups and downs. In LA when you first arrived in in the US, what was it like? What What did you What was your What was your first few days? Yeah, like,
I'm actually I was pregnant during that time. So it was really a challenge because you know, I have to take care of my baby at the same time. But it was a good experience. I like the weather. The people are very friendly, very outgoing. And I just enjoyed the atmosphere, the food's the nice places because we arrive first in Guam, and then to Hawaii and then in San Francisco.
Okay. Okay. So it sounds like it was quite an easy first few days. Yes, it was very easy. Yeah. Well, that's good. And you James was your first few days also. Easy and and kind of smooth?
Yeah, um, I actually had a very pleasant experience with the hospital that hired me. They actually formed a Filipino nurse task force for the hospital because it was the first time to to hire a lot of nurses overseas. So they really made sure that all the nurses that they hired were taken care of. So right from the airport, you know, how could you mad you just imagine the HR director getting my luggage you know, all those those HR people and managers and some directors even one of the directors of nursing came to meet us and they housed us as different apartments. So we were really very pleased with with the accommodation with the with the welcome. So the first few days were really settling down on, you know, the southern hospitality in the southern US, we felt that the game was probably a few days to rest. And the following Monday is like, okay, orientation time. So it was pretty much a very, very, I would say pleasant and easy. Okay.
And, and very often those first few days are really what we call the honeymoon. You know, it's really just easy. And you just so excited and happy to be here. You remember those first few days? Jean?
Oh, yes. Tell us about it. My first few days. So, from the airport, the liaison, the liaison of the agency fetches from the airport. And then we went to the buffet we ate, we went to the Social Security Administration office, and then we went to the furniture store to get our things so we don't have to, but we did lay on, like a water bed and no, no water but air mattress on the first day, first night because we still don't have the furnitures in the room. Yeah, but it was it was a pleasant experience. Yeah, well, that's good.
I hope you're enjoying the podcast so far. If you know a friend or colleague who would benefit from listening to this conversation, please let them know about the show. We want to help as many nurses as we can turn their dreams into a reality. If you're thinking about making the step to living and working as a nurse in the USA, we can help you head over to kinetics. usa.com to find out more. That's kinetics usa.com.
And the hospital staff had to also learn the Filipino culture. So one of the funny things that they did was to make sure that in every apartment, the first group of nurses that arrived were there were 11 of us, the first group, there was about like, 150 nurses have the hardest time they had to make sure that every apartment, you won't believe it. There was a rice scooper and rice from like the asian store, so it's they know we will be looking for that. So I mean, that was
Yeah. Those things, those little things, really little things that make a difference.
Yeah. And you Elaine with any funny stories or any thing that you experienced in those first few days that you remember.
Yeah, because, um, my first day I remember my husband took me to a restaurant. And then the waiter asked me for my order. I said, I just want a corned beef hash with bread. And then he he and then he asked me what kind of bread do you want? I said, I don't know the I don't know anything about bread. I mean, I didn't even know that there are different kinds of bread. So I just told him just give me a regular plain bread because in the Philippines, we all have one bread, you know, we serve every breakfast. It's like undesired or tasty. So I was too shy to answer the the waiters. I just told him whatever you think is good and just serve. And I have no problems with that.
It can feel very overwhelming, right? Yes, yeah. It as you're talking. It reminds me the first time that I came to America, I came to visit my sister she was living here already. And they she asked me Can I go to the supermarket to go buy some apples. And in South Africa, you had green apples, you have red apples, you didn't have like, all these different varieties of apples. And I went to the store and I literally just like stupid because I didn't know what to pick. I didn't know they were like so many different varieties, so many names. So and then when I came back home, she was like, What took you so long you eat apples? This was little things that can just be so different than see. So if you think back the lane and James what what would you say were the biggest challenges that you experienced? Because often what happens is like those first few days are kind of like the honeymoon. And then in the coming months the first like six months to a year and God knows this. Well I know we've spoken to spoken about it on on previous before talk shows. Tell us about some of the challenges that you had and how you were able to overcome those.
I think when I was good I think because when I arrived here in the US, I started applying for the NCLEX Rn exam. So I think that was the biggest challenge because they asked for a lot of requirements. And I have to wait for I think, like three months to get an approval to take the exam. And then after I take the exam, I have to apply for a job. I think that's, that's, that was really a challenge, because, you know, I stopped working for like, a year because I was pregnant. And then I have some fears that they might not hire me because of my gap of my work gap. But I was able to, to work as a nurse, like, one week after I pass the NCLEX Rn exam. So I was, I feel so blessed.
Yeah, well, that that was that was a good ending. What advice would you give to somebody who finds themselves in that position where they coming in, and they have a GED, and they don't have a petitioner? So maybe they're not coming on an EB three? They're coming back on a fiance visa? What advice would you give to somebody looking for a job in that kind of? situation?
Yeah, so during my interview, just be honest, you know, with your nursing experience, tell them what kind of patients you had before. And just tell them the truth, you know, because you cannot lie with your employer, because they can see it when you start working. They can observe if you really have an experience or not. So just be honest. That's it.
Yeah, that's good advice. Lane vary. Always Be honest. Honesty is the best policy. Yes, Jean, do you have any other advice, maybe that, that you can share with any nurses that coming in, in a similar way to the lay not on an EB three, and looking for a job?
Oh, like coming in, like a fiancee visa, and they don't. So if you're coming in here in the United States, and you don't have you didn't pass NCLEX yet, then it depends on the state where you are living, because some of the states have different requirements. So different states have different requirements. So like, if you are in California, if if your relatives are in California, and you came in here as a tourist or us as fiance as fiance, Fiancee Visa, so when you come in here, and you apply in California board, like I know, I know, you have to have your Oh AR AR VR cases to be evaluated in California Board of Nursing. But then, if you, if you don't have that, then that's the, that's a very big problem. And it will take like maybe six to eight months for the evaluator in California board to evaluate your credentials. And then sometimes they will say that you need to take our process, First, you need to enroll in the OB GYN or pedia or medcerts. And so it's it's difficult for you to apply in California, then probably you can go in other states like New York, because New York has, they don't need experience, they don't even need you to have a license in the Philippines. So look for a state where the requirements are easy. And then maybe after passing that NCLEX in New York, then you can probably endorse it to California Board of Nursing. But I don't I cannot guarantee that if you also pass New York NCLEX Rania board then you won't, you won't be advised to take the classes anymore. It's just all depends on your evaluator. So if you feel need help in in those cases, you can just ask me,
yeah, gene is really the expert. She knows all of the boards so well. And there's a lot of information also in in the forum. And so if you find yourself in a situation like lalaine really gene is is the go to person. And there's also a lot of information in the forum. And I would probably also suggest that if you are going for interviews and you you know, you can for instance like on a a fiance visa, one thing that I would just suggest and James, I don't know if maybe you have maybe some advice as well for nurses in that situation. But when you go to the interview, it's important to do your research about that. facility, so not just go in and say I'm looking for a job, but to do your research to be able to say, What is special about that facility and, and in the interview to, to share what you research to show that you really are committed, and that you are really interested in that specific organization. And to show you enthusiasm, you know, you can say I had a gap, like maybe the landed, I had a baby, but I'm really committed, I really want to learn. James, do you have any other advice maybe to share just in getting the job like going for the interview, if you're in that situation?
Um, yeah, um, you know, this is one of the specials, I have my students, you know, having their job for interview. So, one of the things I tell them is, and also based on my experience is that you you're, you have to know, the facility you're going to be working out, you have to know they are, I mean, this is our website, know, their, their vision and mission. And, and you want to articulate those, those, those words, those core values, and how you will be contributing to those to the mission to the vision and how those values are consistent with your own. And you should be able to make that connection biggest when employers are looking for a prospective employee they are looking for I mean, you may be the best and clinical skills. But you know, if you don't, if you are not a good fit with the organization, I mean, you will lose a chance before forgetting the job. And there's a mantra in hiring now that they say, you know, we traded for skills, but we hire for good. Yeah. So I mean, you have to do to show that professionalism, you know, don't be insecure, or don't feel less if you didn't win a lot of, say, patients with great care or tricks or ICU experience, or IV or I mean, they will train you on those. So all which sometimes in the Philippines setting, that's a different, we have a different hiring, you know, practice back there. It's like, what's the most skillful, you know, who has the most trainings and here so it's the attitude that you will be able to do to demonstrate or to show to your to your prospective employer. So look at their website, and see how you fit to the organization, how you can help in achieving their mission vision.
Yeah, that is great, great advice. And, and I think you hit on the key word, and that is attitude. Because I think so many employers are going to look at your attitude and add your motivation. And that's going to really help you and go a long way.
I hope you enjoyed today's episode of nursing in America. Part Two will be available next week, so make sure you come back to join us then. If you enjoyed the episode. Please help us by hitting the Follow button on your podcast player and leaving us a review. If you're thinking about making the step to living and working as a nurse in the USA, we can help you head over to kinetics.usa.com to find out more.