Life as a nurse in New York LIVE show FULL
Well Hello, Welcome to onwards and upwards. My name is Luciana and for Tanya Freedman -Today we have a fantastic show for you. It is state side. We are talking about city and joining for us for our discussion today we have two nurses who immigrated to New York and we have Romel and Kaye.
Romel, let's start with you. Tell me about your journey to the United States. So my journey.
Hello everyone, I want to meet you. Good morning, good night. Good afternoon wherever you are. So my journey wasn't really easy. It's not the typical nurse. Let's go. We have all the licenses. I'm ready. I was working in a corporate environment in the Philippines before I got my license, my licenses. So I'm happy. The main reason why I want to go to the US is because I want to follow my love one. I'm a graduate of physical therapy. I took up additional course which is nursing because at that time in 2014, early 2010, there's not much opportunity for physical therapist. I think that the US door is closed for physical therapist so I have to look for other opportunities which is nursing. So I have to take up nursing again just so I can get to the US. It wasn't easy because I was torn between staying in the Philippines at the time. Our relationship isn't really working anymore so there's no point, it happens so there's no point of going to the US. I have a good job in the Philippines at that time but my lawyer was saying you have the license. A lot of nurses are dying to go there, dying to get their visa. You have the green card, you should go. It's going to be done if you want. So I said okay, let's try it out. So that's the background why I pursued my nursing career in New York in the US.
Okay, what about you? What is your story?My story is very not your traditional I want to go to us kind of story. It all started back when I put the wrong College course in my application and supposed to go to medicine when I have my application says nursing, so that's number one. So I said just go ahead premed, it's going to go to nursing. Okay. I never had really idea of going to the United States. Majority of my family are Chinese and businessmen so for them nursing wasn't their main first choice, it was mostly business and finance industry. So I'm one of the first family who went to health care and then after that, during my second year of nursing everybody was saying hey, we saw this new Advertisement and newspaper, everybody's going to nursing they're bringing to the US and that was 2002 and I said I don't know, I think I'm still going for my medicine. But they boomed again. I said I'm just going to keep on working, finish my College, take my board like everybody does when you're young and single and you don't care, you're just going with the flow. Exactly. I still have no idea that I would go to the United States. But everybody's taking CGFNS. Let's take it. Everybody's studying. Let's take it. Everybody's taking English exam. Let's take it after school. And then I took a job in Philippines, in Manila as an or nurse. Eventually I applied for ER and they put or. So it's the wrong also HR, it wrong again. So it was wrong after wrong. It's just like, okay, I like in the operating room and working in the Philippines. One year into it, my Auntie, who used to pick up this American from the international airport in Manila, said, hey, I just picked up some foreigners in the international airport. He said, they're meeting some nurses tomorrow. And I said, Auntie, I'm coming from 16 hours evening shift at night shift. I don't know if I can make it tomorrow morning. And she said, I'm going to introduce you to someone. Just bring all your documents. And coming from 16 hours, almost 24 hours a week. I didn't know it was a job interview. So everybody was under suit. I came in with my green Chuck tailors, my dad pants and my shirt. And they started asking me personal questions. When you're 21 years old, 22 years old, you just want to party. You just want to go home and get this done. Question. And then they said, welcome. Congratulations to Harlem Hospital. And I'm like, did you just hire me? Literally, that was my word. Did you just hire me? Because I didn't know it was a job interview. Literally. It just happened. Yes, it just happened. And my mom, she wasn't happy. She said, she asked me, did you sign papers? I said, A lot of them. And where are they? I don't know. I put them there when I went to sleep. And this is it. And then she showed me, this is your contract to New York. You're going to Harlem. I said, I have no idea. I signed my life away. When you're 21, you just sign whatever without even reading. And I said, don't worry about it. It will take two years. I was blessed. I got my visa within eight months and left. There were 150 applicants during that time in Manila. Only two of us got here because the next month it was the retrogression. Wow, all of these different energies coming at you to put you where you are. It seems like because everything that went wrong actually made it go right in the end. Do you feel that way? I felt like that. And everybody said, you know, I've come from a three. Everything happens for a reason. And my mom was so worried and she got upset with me. Why? I don't feel worried. And the only thing I said, mom, you know, God's not going to put you in a position you cannot handle that's. It where in New York are you? You're in New York State. Let's show on the map here where New York is. Exactly, so that everybody can see. Okay, where in New York are you? I mean, I'm based in Flashing, New York, because I keep moving. I'm based in Flashing, New York. That's in Queens. Okay. Is the map supposed to move? The map is not interactive, but so you are. There we go. There we go. So you can see that New York is broken out into different areas. Romel, whenever you're talking about where you're from, if you want to go into that and kind of explain it how it works. Right. So if you notice the yellow area on the far right side of the map, including and half of the Orange. Okay, so we have the JFK Airport in Queens and we have the Long Island nearby towards the far right side. So it's a typical Asian community. It's also very near the Woodside area, which is the Filipino restaurant store community. I love it there, not only because there's a lot of Asian food. You also have Asian marks. But that's where my friends are. When I first started in New York, I landed even before when I was trying to figure it out, I was working in pharmaceutical company and had the opportunity of going to the US. So my friends keep telling me, come over, see Flushing, see clean. Why don't you stay here when you finally move here? So when I saw the area, it really felt like I'm in Asia, New Yorkish, US. So I said, okay, I'm staying here. It's pretty comfortable. The neighborhood is really nice. So that's where I finally stayed. Never moved anywhere else other than Flushing, New York. It's very near Manhattan. Well, the place where I'm staying in Flushing, I can take two routes going to Manhattan where I'm working, so I can take the train and I can take the bus. I can take the seven train. When I say the main train would be the Long Island train going to Manhattan, to Penn Station. So it's easier and maybe we can discuss that later. Correct. Pretty good area. And what about UK? So I started in New York City like Romeo. I am from Manhattan. Again, the job that was offered to us was in Harlem. I have no idea where Harlem was before. I only know Harlem. That was the only thing I know about Harlem. So it's in Manhattan. It's called the Northern Manhattan. If you see the map there, where the pin is, that's exactly Manhattan in the green and the middle of it is the Central Park. So Harlem is right on top of Central Park. And I used to live in East Side, which says they are Upper East Side there on the left side. It's between Queens and Manhattan. That middle area there. So if you see on the TV, majority of the movies or videos or anything like Broadway. They said it's Manhattan. It's very easy. When I landed there, I felt like I'm in Manila. So it's very urban. So buildings everywhere, people crossing the streets everywhere. Even though they said one way, you'll make sure that the bikes will not go hit you the other way. People cross the street, even if it's red on the pedestrian, that people are from New York City. If you PC people stopping when it's a red sign on the pedestrian, they're tourists. Most likely they're just tourists trying to take a bite of the Big Apple. Exactly. It's a very similar if you go there, like Rommel said, he find it home for me as the same thing for me. When I landed there, I didn't feel like a home sickness because it felt like I'm in Philippines. I'm in Manila because I'm Manila girl. So this is something very similar to me. You have your restaurant open all the way to after midnight. It was not a big change, I would say, comparing to people, if I would be going to a suburb or rural area, it might be a culture shock for me. But going to New York City from Manila wasn't a big difference. Really. That's really good to know. And I want to let everyone in our audience also know. Post your questions here on our chat. Let's talk about New York through and through. It is a wonderful New York City is a wonderful city. New York State is really vast and big. So if you have any questions, please be sure to put it in the chat. We have people from all over the world watching. I see that we have Jamaica from Arlene, and Jennifer is in Georgia. Hilda is in Nigeria. Lots of people watching from all over the world. Romel, back to you. What was it like your first day of work in New York? Was it in the United States? In New York? What was that like walking? It's pretty wild. It's pretty wild. And I think there's a thing I want to tell the nurses from the Philippines. You really need to be prepared. I wasn't prepared. I have to admit that before I left the Philippines, I was working in a corporate environment. I wasn't doing bedside. And then I've got thrown to a bedside setting, and that's really wild. I was lucky, though, that there are few Filipino nurses and other floors where I was working on, and they're really willing to help me. Otherwise, I would have not survived. But it took me maybe a year or so before I get really active. To make long story short, I was still learning the ropes of being a nurse when I started working. So the nightmare is like getting into an internship. So it's nightmarish for me. I don't take my snacks. As far as I remember, for six months, I wasn't taking knocks on lunch. I was doing morning shift and before I knew it. It's 03:00 P.m. And I have to do my notes. No, sorry. It was in 2008. We don't have the computers, so we're doing manual, notes, taking, and reporting. So it would take me another 2 hours before I get to finish my report, my endorsements. So, yeah, I was Spanish all the time. So when I go home, I'm tired, I'm hungry, and I just want to go back to the Philippines. That's a big lesson. You weren't prepared, Kay. Did you feel prepared? I only had eight months to realize I'm leaving my country. So as a single, I have no preparation at all. The only thing I prepared was I only had, of course, my nursing documents. Aside from that, going to United States, like different my first time to be out of the country, really without family in New York, I was like, prepared for it in a way, like I'm prepared to party because I would think you're single New York City party. So that's how I thought. But the major challenge. Exactly right. The major challenge there is, I would definitely say any single person would have to try New York. It will help you become a strong person because from Philippines, our culture is different. Coming in here, coming in New York is very liberated. I would say liberated and people are very outspoken and very assertive. So coming from Philippines, I'm not very assertive. I find myself sometimes being taken advantage of by my colleagues and sometimes you're being stepped down because the language barrier is also there. In New York City, there's no English accent. If everybody coming from different parts of the world would have different accents. You're going to have to adapt for people who are speaking Indian, people who are speaking African, French, Haitian. There's a lot of diversity in New York City. I would say also are surrounding New York City. And language is something that was a challenge for me. I would always say, can you say that, please? Can you repeat that, please? Because my Filipino ears is not adjusted yet to the English language and worse, it's not adjusted to international accent. So it was a really challenge for me. But as Romel said, the people are very helpful. You have to little tickle them first. They're not going to be friendly with you right away. Tickle them. I love them a little. Know their sweet spot. Even though American local here in America would go to New York, they will sometimes find it New York City until very challenging attitude. They will say attitude because a lot of New York City is like, do your business, mind your business with the right thing. But if you cross the line, you'll be in trouble. So they have a sense of we respect you, respect what you do in your life, I respect what you believe in your life. But if you go beyond that, there will be a little trouble that's a little bit. They call it the New York attitude. It's very different from other part of American attitude. They said a lot of my friends who came to New York to visit, they said this is very fast paced. People doesn't even look at you. People don't even greet you. Yes, sorry to say, but that's the thing about New York. It is known as the melting pot. Right. And what the melting pot means, it's a lot of different people from a lot of different cultures and a lot of different backgrounds, all coming together in one technically, like small piece of land in one party, in one party, and everybody together. There are those different languages, those different accents. Romel. Did you feel that way as well that there were a lot of different things? A lot of different people have a hard time with the conversations? Yeah. To be honest, I have to unlearn a lot of things. I have this preconceived notion about New York and about the US because of a lot of movies I've watched about New York. I think the New York Tourism Council did really good in promoting New York in a lot of movies and a lot of TV series. So I have different concepts more than the reality. And the real thing in New York is so I have to unlearn some things. Having worked in a corporate setting, in a global US company in the Philippines, I thought I knew everything. I thought I can easily get acclimatized in the environment. I thought I'm culturally adept because I'm working in a global company. So I felt like I'm sorry, but I can totally relate. When I arrived in New York, I'm saying unlearn because I have to give up some of the preconceived notions that I have. So I think the best way really is if you're going to New York is not to expect anything at all. You need to learn it in New York. You need to learn the values of New York people you need to learn because I felt like until now, I really feel like New York is a smaller version of the whole world, as you mentioned, if the belting part, a lot of raises come over. So you can't really pinpoint which one is and what will really work in New York in terms of the dominant culture, the dominant value, it's like sink or swim. You really need to learn the role in New York while in New York because otherwise you'll be jaded. Otherwise you'll be expecting different things versus what is real. And yeah, you have to feel it. You need to be there. It's that idea from the song, if I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere. Exactly. I agree to that. I very much agree to that song. I think a lot of people in New York is there for something. So they're not mean. They just mean business and they're there for something. So you don't want to bother them. And same thing you're there for me, I'm there because I want to be a good nurse. I want to have a good nursing career in the US. I want to have money. So I think that's that you just need to learn how to live there and to learn with a lot of races and with different values and with different culture. I think that's the challenge I'm seeing here, that Tilde is asking what is the cost of living like in New York? Describe if you could give us an overview of your apartment and a range of what somebody would pay for. Okay. So initially when I got to New York, I'm sponsored by our hospital. So either you go with a hospital subsidized housing or you go with your own private. So for me, when I got there, initially I had our subsidized housing, which is a very good deal, and you will not find it anywhere. So it was a dormitory base. They housed all the EMS. The first floors were the EMS fire Department, and then the second was towards upper will be like your resident doctors and your nurses. So it was a very good government subsidization housing. So you only paid $300 for a dorm for this idea. I know, right? So we didn't get upset. They raised it up. They put it to 500 a month. This again, is a government subsidized housing that was provided to government employees and a lot of actually hospital government hospitals. If you work with them, they will provide some of that benefit. Going outside that I started learning the real deal of Manhattan after not paying $500 a month, free utilities included. So it was now a studio apartment. Now in Manhattan, a studio apartment by yourself alone, with a kitchen there, without even the washer and the dryer with it. You have to go to a public laundry. So you're looking around 1600 for a studio in Manhattan. When you go outside Manhattan, it's going to be cheaper. Queens will be your better choice. Bronx is there. Brooklyn is there on the bottom. And you have New Jersey on the opposite side of the bridge, which is us. A lot of people also live in New Jersey. They just have to cross the bridge. But again, when you do that, you have to compute. You really have to run your numbers. So it might be beneficial if you're by yourself. But when you have kids and family, when you do that, you might want to go outside Manhattan because it gets very expensive and you will need like public transportation or private transportation for single. Again, you're looking around 1600 for a studio apartment going down. If you want to look more luxury with the bed, with the washer inside, washer. When I say washer, those are your laundry machines inside it's luxury when you have laundry machine inside your apartment, laundry machine and dishwasher in New York, City. That's luxury. Already we barely get a laundry inside our apartment. So you will be looking around $2,000 a month for a studio with laundry machine inside. Otherwise you will have to use your coins on your machine. Wise, you're going to bring all your laundry. That's one thing. That's the inconvenience of living in New York City. But other people who work inside New York City and live like just across the bridge, which is New Jersey, they pay also tolls, which is also expensive. So there is like kind of equal when you live outside and then inside Manhattan. And that's inside Manhattan. Romel, you live right outside of Manhattan. What is it like for a one bedroom there? That's very thorough, what she just described. So I think I'm cheap. I live in the suburbs and I designed it that way. That's why. Because I never left Flushing, because I'm enjoying the cheap accommodation. So I stayed with a few friends in 1940s house. So we share all the expenses. And I'm just paying at that time in 2008, I was just paying $500 for my room, all expense, including electricity, water, et cetera. And there's somebody preparing the food for us. So I think that's cheap. It went up to 600 to 700, 800 up until last year. It's now at $800. But that's still cheap. You can find that anywhere in New York unless you're in a group of friends. So I think that's the tip. If you have friends or you can look for friends, you can share an apartment, you can share a house. Your life is going to be cheaper. We don't go out to bars. We prepare our own drinks on Fridays and Saturdays. We Cook our own food. So it's a bit cheaper. In terms of commuting, we have the weekly and the monthly unlimited. Right. For MTA. So I think the bus is at 100 and $3540 a month. I think for weekly. I'm not pretty sure now because I'm doing the monthly. So the monthly is less expensive. It's a better deal than if you did the daily or the week. Correct. And the company where I'm working at, they're offering something like a flex benefit. You can pay for your money. It's not tax, but you have to declare ahead of time. They're going to give you an MPA card and an MPA card for everybody that's watching. Is the transit card in New York. Correct. My friend bought their own car because they're working super remotely. I think they're paying for 200 a month, if not $300. But it really depends on the insurance. If you're a new driver, I think insurance can easily go up to 100 or 200 a month, correct. I want to add there. When I was a new nurse in New York City, I started doing travel nursing on my second year, third year, and I was quoted as a new driver for $300 a month for insurance. And my actual car was just a sedan. Hyundai Lantra. Cheap car. It's cheap from A to B. My Hyundai Lantra was less than $300, but my insurance was $300 because I was a new driver and the location, they actually base it from the location. But I want to add there since I was working for a company, government hospital. So they provided us with Geico. Geico means Geico is one of the top insurance here in the US. It means government employee insurance company. So when I learned that trick, they gave me from $$300 to $180 per month. It's still high, but it's a better that's one trick there. Absolutely. Ng is Nick Nigg. Yeah. I'm sorry if I'm mispronouncing that. There was actually asking what does a starter monthly budget or expenses look like? So we're actually talking about that. So we got the insurance, you got the mass transit car, but you have the car, we have the gas as well. Parking. You both have had cars. What's parking like? That was the most mistake I ever did. That's why I said the one of the most silly thing you will ever do when you're from New York City is to buy a car. Majority of people don't own car in New York City. The only reason why I bought a car because they started travel nursing on my Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Otherwise I will never own a car in there because parking is very expensive. 3 hours parking in the major tourist spot could cost you about $50 already, plus taxes. So that's $50. 3 hours of parking in major part of Manhattan. Some places, if you are lucky to find like spots where you put like not any more coins, we swipe it because what happened there was a big robbery of coins from those posts. So they cut all those posts. So not everything is like credit card or by app. You can look around $2 for about half an hour. Some of them are good. $2, half an hour or good spots. Some place will be $3 an hour. Hello, cab Ramo, do you ever go on hail taxi? Yeah, I do. I do. I do that. I don't have a car, but my friends do. That's why going to Manhattan, we wouldn't be bringing cars. We would be commuting, we would be taking trains. And what's different with living and Flushing? In the suburbs, there are spaces for free parking. If you're not in downtown, if you're not in the main area where there's restaurants or whatnot, it's for free. But in Manhattan, really, it's skyrocketing. And even looking for a parking alone, it's very difficult. It's totally difficult. So we don't bring cars to Manhattan on weekends especially. No, I'm from Manhattan. I would not bring it. Especially on office hours. Don't bring it. There's no parking. Right. But I would say the worst a lot of people would encounter, like driving in there are they don't understand that if it's a red light. There's no turning on red in Manhattan. If they catch you, they will charge you. So Manhattan, New York City, one of the highest revenue of New York City. The entire government is parking tickets, parking tickets, parking violations saying that one of my cousin who visited, he just literally put his car there on a hazard on the side and he got billed $115 for no standing. So there's a word there that's called no standing. A lot of people don't know that. They thought it was like just literally standing on the street. But actually the meaning if no standing is actually don't put your car on an idle even though you're inside the car. It's called standing. So those are a lot of confusion when people go in there and they didn't realize that because they're not from there and they get hit for just staying there for five minutes, $115 bills from the traffic enforcer. Now probably now it's 135 bit inflation for five minutes. So you be careful. So that's why I advise don't bring your car in New York City if you have no idea how the rules go in there. But otherwise transportation is very good. There's taxi in there. Like Romel said, I also hail safety now with Uber having in there lift. It's another competition. If you want to borrow car, if you want to go outside, you can rent cars there within the area, in every corner of the place, you will find a rental company that you will have to pay like around looking around $60 for the cheapest that you will find and probably all the way up to $150 per day rental, right. I didn't want to add to go ahead. Now I want to add to that for rent a car. Sometimes they have promote. So my friends sometimes get rent a car for only for $10 if you can return it in a couple or in 4 hours time. So that's pretty cheap. That's even cheaper than taking a lift or an over. Then you don't have to find parking. Well, when you are traveling, let's say not into the city. So we've learned to take trains into the city or rent a car so you don't have to park. Have you traveled around New York, Ramel? Where have you been? I have few friends in Connecticut and in New Jersey it's pretty accessible because there are trains and there are buses, but still no because there's a lot of buses going to New Jersey and the train ride to Connecticut by a train, I can't really memorize which MTA bus is going to wear. But if you go to the bus station, which is the what's the name? Port Authority. The Port Authority and ask what bus goes to where I have to be, be mindful of the time of the trip. But if you want to go to Connecticut, then you need to go to Grand Central. And again, I can't remember which train, what time goes to where? But these are pretty near New York, where you can travel in an hour and you'll be somewhere in Connecticut and in New Jersey. So that's really near Long Island is also a nice place to go if you're in Flashing or in Queens. And again, there are trains. You can take it from Jamaica. There's a train station nearby in Flashing as well. So that's where our short trip goes. Going somewhere else. In other States like Midwest or in Texas or in California, there are cheap planes and sometimes they go on sale. You can get a flight, a two way flight for $150 or $200. That's still pretty cheap. And, Kay, what about you? Have you done any traveling around the state of New York or around the United States? Where did you go? What did you see? How did you like it? So when I was working before as a single, when I got here, as soon as Friday, 03:00 p.m. Hits, I am on the way to the bus station already. I'm not taking checks. Exactly. So when you're young and I used to have my ex boyfriend, my first boyfriend from North Carolina, actually, he was my College friend, so he was from Doram, California. So there are accessible ways that you can do all the time. When you're in New York City, buses are very effective. All the transportation that you can use off or think of bus, train, airplane, you can even holler somebody and just take it to an arrive. But technically, New York City is the most efficient. I would say city where you don't have to worry about your transportation. I've known a lot of people who don't have cars forever, who's been living there and they're fine. They can travel. As I me as a traveling nurse, I have went to different places, different States, majority of North East Coast. I've lived in Boston. I lived in Connecticut. I lived in New York City. I lived in Maryland, New Jersey. I've experienced a different lifestyle there and different ways of living. New York City is the only place where you will have the flexibility to travel outside without worrying about a car. So it's easy. So again, like Romo said, there's like a central bus station we call Port Authority. And all those buses can even reach to California, to Chicago, all the way to Florida. You also have your train station, which is called the Grand Central Terminal. If you've seen that in Madagascar, they were there. If you've seen that movie. So that's Grand Central Terminal. It's a very famous place. And that's like the train station of New York City. So you have the bus grand kind of the central terminal and you have the train terminal. And then you have three different airports that you can go to. Newark is just near us, which is New Jersey Park. The closest one from Manhattan will be in La Guardia, which is. I like LaGuardia better because it's a smaller airport. It's less fees and better. I would say flow and they have a new airport there. Now. Laguardia Airport is very accessible. It's only about 15 minutes from Manhattan. You're renovated? Yes. It's very pretty. State of the art, they said. State of the art. All of our viewers out there. If you would like to be an international nurse and live and work in the United States, Connetics USA, we have positions all over the United States. Go to our website and apply it's Conneticsusa.com/Application and you will be able to speak with one of our recruitment representatives and they will hook you up with this wonderful lifestyle in New York and other places in the United States. Romel, back to you. What do you do for fun? What do that? You said that you guys like to stay at home and make some food and drink some beer. When you do go out for a night on the 10th, where do you go? What does it look like? Right. Thank you for asking. Because contrary to what people are thinking of traveling outside of New York for fun, the fun is in New York. You don't really need to go out. The phone is in New York. So we call. I will mention my company named Pfizer Fridays. So on Fridays people would be like what you mentioned. People would be rushing out by 12:00 P.m.. And my work every would require me to be staying at twelve. But after twelve I would be thinking what I would do with the rest of my Friday because I can stay at 07:00 P.m. Or 08:00 P.m.. That's fine. I would just go home and see. I should have had my dinner. So what I enjoy most in New York is that we have 112 Msius. I'm an artist and I do that on the side. So Museum of Modern Arts and Met are my best friend. So in the company where I'm working at, we just need to show our IDs and we can get into this Museum for free. My company is a sponsor so we can get in for free. So that's where I spent. By Fridays Friday you can also get a yearly pass to the museums too for a discounted rate. Great. Yeah. You can also do that. And they were saying you just need to. I was told you just need to say you're going to donate even for just a dollar and they'll let you in. But if you don't do that, it's pretty expensive though. Tricks here right there. And they have installations from time to time. They change. It's not typical Museum, which is boring. You can see a lot of things from time to time other than Museum. We have the Broadway in New York. So now it's open and you can watch Michael Jackson's play. We have the best restaurants in New York. We have the best parks in New York. So in New York alone, you have a lot to see and a lot to do. They're also saying we are the only state with the sea, the mountain, the Lake. So if you're an avid fan of nature, we have the nature. If you love watching place, we have that in New York. If you want dining, we have too many restaurants, too many dishes to try in New York. I can't remember which one is that is it May, where the restaurants are open for try outs there. I don't really go out of state because there's too many things to do in New York unless it's necessary. A friend is calling something. What about UK? What is some fun time in New York or even outside of New York? What does that look like for you and your family? So it's a blast. New York City will bring you all the best in the world. As a Romel said, it has so much to bring. You don't even need to go out. The only reason I went out because again, my boyfriend, my fiance, now my husband is the only reason why otherwise, everybody when I was in New York City, everybody would say who lives in Connecticut? So that's like a joke like that. Who lives in that area? Because there's nothing in there. So it was just a joke. And then I eventually lived there. It was funny because I got married. So New York City when I was single. As Romel said, there's so many things you can do every summer. Summer in New York is one of the best time that you want to go to New York because we always have every Friday you will see me in summer stage concerts. If you go to the TV every morning, they say Good Morning America and they will have like 07:00 a.m. Somerset concert. Those are free for us. Free. Literally. I can be there. I've watched Bon Joe be there for free. Lady Geico is there for free. The taxes? Yes, we pay high taxes, but we get this in exchange. So those are the things that you want to have to look at. Yeah. New York City is very high tech, but then we get all the perks that we have. So I was walking in Rockefeller Center, they have a lot of free perks going to our events. They were giving away free steak. New York steak, yes. So when Netflix was starting, Netflix was a start up company. They were giving away free DVDs for us. Netflix was a new company that time. So we get hold of a lot of free stuff that people are trying because the market in New York is so much. They want to try products and they would bring it to New York City because they wanted a couple of things that I've seen there. As me, I saw the business industry in New York was crazy. Really. Like crazy concert. You got your Expo. We do attend a lot of Expo there. Jabbit center is one of the main international Expo there. So then I dwelled into events business myself. I studied photography, New York Institute of Photography. I even studied Bartending Mythology store just to see myself. What are the different rings and learn from it. And then eventually I started a business events business dealing with events. So now we get passes as a photographer for free fashion Week, New York Fashion Week. And you've seen in here. I've been a vendor for a lot of company incorporated in New York City. Majority are fashion industry there. One of my great event business all year, four times a year will be American Red Cross and Breeder New York. They hold it there. So it was for fun. I did it for fun. I didn't realize, hey, I'm doing something for fun. A lot of people appreciate it. And they hired me. Even Oprah went free. That's where they hired me .So a lot of my nursing friends, actually, when I started, they didn't see the picture of this. I said events in New York is a big thing. And then they started volunteering. Even the mom of my corner, hey, I want to volunteer. Can I come to you to Oprah Winfrey Network event? Yes, sure, mom, come here. My friends were NYU. A lot of them came from La. My friends from La came and volunteered and helped me to do big events here. So we do a lot of Expo events. We're talking about more than your nursing salary. This is the opportunity you can bring in to yourself. Nursing is one way and then you see the opportunity there that New York can bring. You can be different places if you want to. Right. You were talking about that your favorite time of year is for people to come in the summer. I lived in upstate New York for a little while in Rochester. It's very different from New York City. It has a lot of nature, a lot of hiking and a lot of snow. Yes, but it's beautiful. I agree. Beautiful. So, Romel, what is your weather experience being in like, let's start with right now. We are March. I have to look at my phone here. What day? March. What is it like outside? Are you freezing? Is it getting warm? I have to tell you, I'm in the Philippines right now. So I have a deal with my manager. I have a deal with my manager. So I said I'm not going to sign another contract if you want me to stay on winters in New York. So I should be out of New York on winters. So I was able to Huggle staying in the Philippines on winters saying that I was cringing when I saw the Facebook pages of my friends and yours, Kay, just recently. Like, what's going on? It's like weekly thing now. Like the storm and the snow is like a weekly thing now. So it's crazy. It's knee deep sometimes. And the worst part is when they get somebody, I don't want to step on them. But as you were saying, summer, spring and fall is pretty awesome in New York. And if only for that, I would really be retiring in New York if not for the winter. So New York is beautiful, except for winter. I don't know if you love it. I hate winners. I'm a photographer, so I love going to Central Park when the snow started to fall. Nice. I always go there. I'm not far from Central Park, where I used to live in Upper East Side. It's just like a five blocks away. So as soon as it goes down, there's a lot of kids in there. It was a nice picture for family, really very nice. But I am Louisiana. The first job I ever took as a traveling nurse was in Rochester, what I think of it. So when I went there, as from New Yorker, I have all my nice coat, my top of the knee boots. I came in like really fashionable. And then when I was there, that was the standard in New York City. Everybody would come in with their nice winter clothes. But when I went to Newark, Newark is the place there in Newark, New York, people would just come in with the regular jogging pants and just coat. And I felt like, okay, I've been living so long in New York City, I didn't realize that people look at me like, where are you going? I'm going to the hospital working. Why are you with all your nice trench coat, nice winter coat, boots, my high heel boots, that's my usual in New York. Everybody would come in to winter like New York City. They would be dressed up and they would have their work shoes and their bag. But when they go to work, they have their high heels, boots, nice coat, nice car, and a nice hat. And then I said, okay, this is just here in New York City. And you see that people, you just get a feeling. I like to dress up too sometimes. It's nice. And I started travel, nursing, and seeing different how people live outside New York City. And I said, okay, I think I like to be simple. This is expensive. But actually winter in New York is very fun for kids. I say for their kids. If you're living in New York City, what I saw different living outside is in New York City. We don't clean. We don't have to clean the snow, which is good. The city cleans. It very quick, very quick, very fast. Exactly. As soon as it drafts, they put salt, they clean it. Make sure nobody gets into an accident on the street outside New York City, you have to clean your own, you have to shovel, you have to clean your own. And I'm like, I need to go to work. And the road is still unclean. And I'm like, in New York City, this will be cleaner at this point. So there's the pros and cons of living in winter when it comes to New York City. And outside again, New York City, you don't have to worry about shoveling because the government will clean the road for you already and quickly, very efficiently. Make sure all the subway stations are clean off snow. Nobody would fall off the stairs. Okay, sorry. I have to admit, though, that New York is magical on the first fall of snow. So I have this experience, and I have to tell it because it's pretty magical. I was working on a third floor of the facility and it's near La Guardia Airport. And my desk as a staff nurse is facing a huge door facing La Guardia. There was this one time, I think it's the first snow of December. So the door is open, is wide open, and the fluff of snow started to fall. And all of the residents, you can hear the morning. Wow. And it's really pretty awesome. It's pretty nice. And also there was this one time my friends visited us and we were in Times Square, and if you can imagine, they're like cotton balls falling. And the huge Led screens in Times Square is playing. It's pretty magical, but only in the first two or three days on the third and the fourth, where it gets muddy. Get me out of New York. But then you can go ice skating in Rockefeller Center. Having so many in the movies. Had a really big Christmas tree. I love to have wine down there in the restaurant watching them, but I wouldn't be skating. Kay, do you skate? Can you skate? I do, actually. We just skated in Brine Park last Sunday with my daughter. I was teaching her how to do it. So all the fun. Central park has it. Rockefeller center has it. Bryant park has it. It's everywhere in your city. That's one good thing. Winter is great. Fall, you see going Central Park, everything is Orange is so pretty, too. Summer, summer. I don't want to take subway on summer. That's one thing you don't want. Everybody. Unfortunately, New York has a lot of homeless people, and sometimes they use subway. That's the only thing that I don't like with New York City. Sometimes they use subway as their shelter. And majority of these people, they don't take care of themselves. You know, the feeling we're all nurses, the feeling of somebody, a person who doesn't take a shower for a long time, it's not their fault. It's just because their home. No, exactly. So for me, summer will be my off limits. When it comes to subway. There are better options. You can take there. Bus will be a better option there. But again, overall, New York City experience is great, but only in summer can you see people have naked in New York. Yeah, they're in Central Park, too. That's the future there. Yeah. Sorry. Well, it's part of the party, right? I'm on operating room nurse. They're all naked in front of it. Well, and you were talking about going out and ice skating and having fun. I understand that you have kids as well. A lot of people are worried about moving to a big city, moving to this melting pot of culture and bringing their kids. It can be something that can scare somebody. How is that for you? And how did you find support and support your children through it? So I have a couple of them for myself. I've told myself I'm not going to have been raising my family in New York City. It's very challenging because when you have a family, you have to consider number one in school, that's the first thing you will have to consider school where I was from, either I send my kids to private school where I was if I stayed there. So in private school, there will be like Catholic school. Starting from Catholic school would be like around $12,000 a year or more if I go like, really a good private school. You're talking to me like I'm sending my kid exactly what's his name? Tom Cruise is sending his daughter, which is an Upper East Side, and you're looking around 40,000, $60,000 a year. I have a family member who actually lives in Manhattan, and they send their kids to private school, but both of them are lawyers. But were you talking about a nurse's salary? I don't think it's financially smart to do that. So a lot of our colleagues tend to go outside of Manhattan. Some of them they're called upstate in New York. Not really upstate. It's called Westchester, which is like 30 minutes north of Manhattan. Some of them go to Long Island, long island, which is like kind of east of Manhattan. Also near Romeo. That's near Romeo. It's more livable. So if you have family and you don't belong to the rich class, I would say you're not earning more than $400,000 a year. And it might be a little challenge staying in New York City to raise a family. Just one thing you consider is cool system, New York school system because it's a melting pot. There's a lot of government school in their public school. Would I say they're the best? They're not the best, honestly, but they're okay. So that's why there's a lot of supplementary schools outside. I send my kid to come on. Also supplement. If you're sending your child there in New York City and you have a family and you're living on a nurse's paycheck, you want to consider public school and supplement. Also, like, there's other religious class on the weekend and supplement them with, like, come on, mathematicians, something like that. Like after school program. You get them involved Stem activities. So then it might be better for you also. You heard it, right? Yeah, I'm sorry, but I'm saying New York public school is not the best. You need to supplement it. And you don't want to kill yourself working so much hard, earning that 3000 a year. And you don't have time for your kids either. So it's a matter of you need to learn how to balance that part of when you have family. A lot of people that I know moved out, as I said, upstate Westchester, which is 30 minutes up north of Manhattan, outside New York City. And there's also Staten Island, which is part of New York City. But you have to cross the bridge or cross with a boat or a ferry. And it's commutable also. And a lot of my family also live there in Staten Island. They have good school system there, too. You heard it straight from Mama K. Not fear, but moving to the United States with your family kinetics right now. If you have NCLEX, please apply Conneticsusa.com/Application We're here to help you achieve your American dream. And when you get to a state like New York, we're not going to leave you hanging. We are there to support you, to help you through this transition in your life, as well as your family and your kids. Because we do direct hire, which means that you and your family can get EB3 green cards and TN visas to the United States. So everybody is together. Happy, healthy eating, some wonderful New York pizza. Romel. Tell me about the food. Let's start with the pizza, because the New York slice. Explain what slice is. It's gastronomic capital of the world. So we have different dishes. As I've mentioned, we have Indian cuisine, Italian, of course, Filipino, Chinese. What else? We have the best steaks, right? So food is overflowing in New York. We were in conversation a month ago. We were talking about the food that we have in New York. There's just too much food. There's just too much. Too much. I would be attending a meeting with the company where I'm working at. And we have too many food. And I don't know why. We have too many food in New York. And if you go to a pantry, because every floor in the building where I work at, we have one or two pantry. There's just too many food being served in there. I don't know. And even in the house, we keep buying food and we keep bringing food. But there's just too much. You will never go hungry until you can save a lot of money if you're in a work. Even in the facilities where I was working before, five years, ten years ago, there's just too much food. People keep bringing food. Your supervisor would be bringing food. There's just too many food. So you never get hungry in New York. But if the real cost, if you would go to a grocery, it's also cheaper compared to other States that was told or to any other countries. And I keep comparing that because we have Costco. Right. And they keep comparing that to an S and R in the Philippines. It's also almost like a Costco kind of grocery or store. And the prices here are just rocketing. It's too much like a $400 cost of grocery for a week. And that could be just $100 in Costco. So if you have a family but what I can give us a tip. If you live in a family or in a group, you need to buy in Costco as a group. But if you're single, you don't really need to do groceries because there's too many food somewhere else in the world, anywhere else. And just for fun, if you go to Bloomingdales, which is very near my area as well, if you go to Bloomingdale, like Valentine's Day, Mothers Day, whatever day it is, there would be food. They would be giving food. So there's just too many food in New York. I don't think you get angry. And if you're living in a family, it would be cheaper because you'll be buying for the whole family. You'll be cooking for the whole family. I think that's one of the dvantages in living in New York. The food is cheaper compared to the housing. I don't have the value. But I think K you have that K is very thorough. I know now when I was in New York right now, I would say with the inflation rate right now, with our cost of food right now, I'm always in New York City anyway. I can sit down in an average restaurant and pay easily $25 like that in a restaurant when you have family and kids. Right now, our budget we are near New York. We're not in New York City, but I work in New York City going back and forth here. So my average with a family, we Cook, we buy food in BJ's, which is also a wholesaler. Like you said, it's a Costco kind of thing. We're spending our budget here is around $150 just for food alone, for food from grocery. When you add there like disposables, like paper towel, toiletries. So you're looking around $200 budget in here per week. This is per week that you can live off with a family comfortably without buying food outside. Now, if you buy food outside with a family right now, that can easily be causing you for a family of four, be like around $100 easily because New York wants you. They want New York people to tip. So that's one thing you forget about that. You forget paying for taxes and you're paying for tip. And tip here is average around 15% to 20% other places they will say, do you really have to give for tip? It's a courtesy for the service you're being served, something. You give tip if it affected your experience in that place. And yes, you give a tip, take out? Not really. Because it's the kitchen delivery. Yes, because you will have to give the tip to the delivery person. So if you will ever have to account not only the food cost itself, but of course, added expenses to that, the taxes and the tips. So averagely would be spending around $25 for an average. We're talking about average food here, average meal. But when you go to more luxury, I can tell you I've eaten in $125 per month per person. There is some things like that also. So it's a range. It's up to you how you guys going to budget. But is it livable on a nurse's salary? Absolutely. I think it's a tip. You need to look for the menu online. If you're going somewhere, like in a particular restaurant, you can see their costs, you can see how much their food is. So it would be easier. But like what K said, if you're going out on a night out or in a dinner with friends, you need to shell out around $130 on a dinner. But that's in a really fancy restaurant, if you're working, it would be eating out like in a kiosk somewhere. You can buy food like for $10, $12 or 15. That's pretty decent food. The star box, I think we're one dollars 75, not $2.25 a drink, $3 probably. Now, I don't know if it's still that way, but I know you can get a big slice of New York pizza basically on any corner. And it's like $3 and it's good and it's very good. You can find the inexpensive food there. And I was just now looking at the time and this has been such a great conversation that we're already overtime. So I want to wrap this up by one comment from each of you. Let's start with K here. Ladies first. If you could give one piece of advice to an international nurse who is packing, getting ready to come to the United States, getting ready to go to New York, wherever in New York it may be, what is your piece of advice to them? What is the one thing that you want to make sure that they know? So when I got here, I had zero idea. The first thing I grabbed and looked for was I asked the person there, where is the library here? During that time there's the iPhone. The book that I got there is how to Survive New York City or Surviving New York City. There's actually a book written like that, Surviving New York City. It will give you all the maps, the places, feedback of where to go, where you should not be going. There's a lot of places you shouldn't be going there getting lost and not staying late like that. So again, there is a book in there that's a very good resource there. If you join Facebook groups also of New York City residence, there are community also that you can use there to resource. During that time, I didn't have it. But me now moving to different places, I'm able to use that again, the book that I bought and also the Facebook community of the local residents. Those are very helpful. If you need help with something that is and of course, you have to make sure you be assertive. If you have questions, you ask. That's the first thing you do as a nurse here in the United States. If you have questions, if you didn't understand what they said, you have to make sure that you ask them to repeat it and always verify because it's a nurse. We have accountability. It doesn't mean, oh, I thought she said that. No, you have to verify because language is very difficult here to adjust at the first days, but then later on you'll be fine. Romel, what about you? What would you say to prepare for people to going to New York, it's like getting out of your comfort zone and going into the water zone. Kidding. You're going there. As an adult, I would be focusing on mental health because New York can be pretty isolating. Even if you're around 100,000 people walking in Fifth Avenue, you would be feeling alone. At least that's based on my experience. So I think if you're moving to New York, your value should be pretty solid. What I mean by that is that there are a lot of friends that I had in New York that had done a tray. They've done something really bad. That for me, it's not acceptable. So I think that your value should be solid. You know your objective in going to New York because that would be your main anchor. That should be your true north. Why are you in New York? If it's for work, then it's for work. If it's bringing money back to the Philippines or saving money for your future, that would be your focus. Otherwise, all others would be noises. And just be careful with your mental health. You need to be well connected with a lot of people, even people in the Philippines, because online you can easily do that. There are also support group in the US, like Filipino groups, Filipino or any other. I forgot the name of the group. It's a website for expats in New York that you can join. So there are a lot of activities that they do. They do meet apps in groups, they go to museums, they go to bar, whatever interest is. So there are so many groups you need to be connected. You can be alone in your business. There's just too many. It's just that when you're there, your friends are also working. So for me, the challenge was I'm free on a weekend and I don't have anybody to talk to or to be with. So just be careful with your mental health. You should know your value. You should know your true north and get connected. You don't want to be alone in New York. Get connected. Know your true north. If you want to know more about New York and other States check out our guidebook Connetics USA Guidebook go to our website and click on Resources download the 50 States guidebook telling you all about New York, what to do, where to go as well as other States in the United States. Romel and Kay it was an absolute pleasure to speak with both of you today. I want to take one quick moment to talk a little bit more about kinetics and some initiatives that we have right now going on. So first we have our free aisles scholarship and aisles course for all of our RNS that goes along with an n collect scholarship that we just rolled out. Free review course for the global RNS that are selected. $1,000 referral fee going right now we just extended it until May 1. If you refer a nurse with NCLEX you get $1,000. We have our podcast Nursing in America which I am currently the guest host as well as our onwards and upwards live show. We are here every Friday every Friday at the same time 07:00 a.m. Pacific standard time. We are right here to give you some more information about living and working in the United States you can go to our website Conneticsusa.com/Application to apply now and start your American dream. Thank you again Romel and Kay. It was so wonderful to have you. We will have you on again in the very near future and to all of our viewers pack your bags fulfill your American dream. Onwards and upwards take care, everyone. Bye.