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?
Finding community, the cost of living and social security – pt 1
Part 1: In the first episode of Nursing in America, we hear about finding community, the cost of living and social security in the US.
Tanya, Gene, Paul
my name is Tanya Freedman. I'm the chief operating officer of kinetics, USA. And we are a direct hire company. We help hospitals and nursing homes all over the US with the nursing shortage by bringing in internationally educated nurses. And with me, I have Paul and Gene. We are very grateful to have you join us today. So let's get started. Okay, so first question to both of you but let's start with Jean. Could you share with us just your story of getting to the US, tell us a little bit about your history, and your story of getting to this point?
Oh, okay, my life story. First of all, I would just want to tell you that I came from a very poor family. So my mother is a teacher. My father is a farmer. And we are very poor, like very, very poor. And there's six of us children. I am the eldest. So when I got married, my brother and sisters are very sad, because they thought that I'm not gonna gonna help them anymore. Because I'm the eldest. So but my mother is very ambitious. And she wants that all of us will be professionals one day. So, with everything that's going on with our life, or debt is like over the top of our head. We became professionals with the help of our family relatives. My aunt helped me with my studies before. So in the end, we were four nurses, four of us became nurses, me Rachel, Jeanette, James. One is an accounting and one is a social worker. So we didn't let poverty be a hindrance of our success. So I wanted to become a nurse and I became a nurse so I served my country for 11 years, although in the hospital is just less than a year. So when I graduated in 1995, in Davao Doctors College I work for two years in, in clinic in Davao Doctors and then after that I work as a nurse for seven years. I work as a school nurse in our province. So life is so difficult also and we still live paycheck by paycheck. So I decided to come to the US to come here in the USA. So I went to Davao and applied as a clinical instructor and I was hired and I work only three times a week. And so there's still four days for me to study. So I sign up with a staffing agency and everything was paid for on the NCLEX review an exam I also review an exam the accommodation in going to Saigon where I took my my NCLEX. So that's when the time that there is yet there is no Testing Center in the Philippines yet so I want to say upon hotel accommodation was all paid by the agency. And so they process my visa screen after I pass all those tests, and the IELTS, then they told me that I have to have an experience in the hospital because I never had an experience in the hospital from after my graduation to the school. So as a school nurse and then after that I never had an experience in the hospital. So I went back to our province in Davao Doctors and work in the secondary hospital there in in Mati. So the process for me from the time that they process my papers was so very fast. It was just like nine months for processing. And then after that after I had my six months, I don't know. I was a clinical instruction for six for eight months in Davao Doctors then I went to the province to have my hospital experience for six months. And then after that one day my processing officer told me that my visa is already approved. So I came here in the United States right away just for nine months processing. Wow.
That was quick Gene, long story leading up to that point. And a lot of things happening, but it was relatively quick for you to actually get here.
Yes, it's it was a very, very fast only nine months process.
I see we've got a lot of people that are commenting that have the same story. I'm the oldest, we are siblings really the same story. I understand too. I was also the oldest, Gene, so I know the responsibility of being the oldest one in the family. Thank you for sharing that history, because I think there's, you know, a lot of people are going to be able to identify with you. And it certainly was not a magic wand and a quick fix for you to get to this point, right?
Paul, what about you?
Oh, well, ever since I was in college, I've always wanted to go to the United States. So after I finished my BSN in 2007, I didn't work right away. I prepared for my NCLEX. And then few months later, I got my NCLEX license. And then that's when I started working. But as soon as I got my NCLEX license I looked for an employer, they started a petition. But long story short, it took about from 2008, when I was petitioned, I got here in the states in 2017. So that was close to nine years. Very, very long because I finished nursing during the peak time in the Philippines. And that was when the retrogression was really bad. I remember always checking the Visa Bulletin every month. And I would see that retrogression is five years behind or nine years behind. And I was like I don't think I'd get to the States by anytime soon. So probably be 40 or 50 or 60 before I get there. It was a it was a very challenging moment for me because I know that I've always wanted to go to the States, but I couldn't get through it. I couldn't go here because I didn't have a visa. But, I waited until such time that my petition was current already. By that time, I was already 30 when my petition became current, and I am a national reviewer in the Philippines for eight years. I've traveled around the Philippines doing review classes in big universities for eight years. And so I felt like 'oh, my life is already comfortable here. I didn't need to go anywhere.' So when it was time for me to go, I had to stop and think about if I really wanted to go. Because, I was like, that was my dream 10-12 years ago, but not right now because I'm comfortable right now. But then again, I look back at my motivation of why I took nursing, why my family wanted me to take nursing, and what was really my ultimate goal. And that's still for me to go to the United States. So I said I'm going to drop everything that I have in the Philippines, all the comfort of life that I had. I've already established my name over there, but I was scared to come over here and start from the bottom again. But I'm glad I did. So it was a very long wait, but it was all worth it. And I never regretted coming over here.
Wow. Well, that's really so such an inspiring story from both of you. And I think that so many of the things that you're describing are what people watching are probably experiencing right now. Just a roller coaster of emotions. It's that the beginning time like with Gene where she came from a very poor family and had that drive and that desire to better herself, better her family, and get to the US. And, Paul, that mixed emotions of waiting for all those years that frustration watching that Visa Bulletin every month. So many people listening can relate to that. Just frustration and just feeling kind of desperate. And then at the same time, having mixed feelings when your case kind of came to fruition because maybe you were quite comfortable where you were. And then the question was, should you actually move ahead or not? And I think that's the thing that a lot of people are experiencing right now as well. It's kind of that mixed emotion. So, I think really, very relatable stories for both
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 Conneticsusa.com to find out more. That's Conneticsusa.com