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Penn State Health Experience for Foreign Nurse in Pennsylvania

Hi, everybody, and welcome. It's Friday, so it must be our Connetics USA weekly show onwards and upwards, everything that a nurse needs to know about living and working in the United States.

We are so excited today to be hosting our Connetics client showcase. My name is Tanya Freedman. I'm your host and I'm joined today by Patricia. Hi, Patricia. Welcome, Patricia. You are on mute. We're also joined by Andrea. Hi, Andrea. Hi, Andrea. Hello. Hi there. Welcome. Fun background. Andrea.

We're joined by Christa. Hi, Christa. Welcome, Krista. We don't hear you. And last but not least, by Joy.

Welcome, Joy. Hello. Hi, everyone. Hi. Welcome. Today's showcase. Our topic for today is Penn State Health. We are really excited today. We're going to be learning a lot about Penn State Health. We're going to be learning, first of all, about Pennsylvania. Many international nurses know about California, about Texas, Florida and New York, but don't know that much about Pennsylvania. So we're going to be learning about Pennsylvania. We're also going to be learning about Penn State Health. We're going to be learning about the organization. We're going to be learning about the international nurse program, education opportunities, career growth opportunities seem to be getting a little bit of noise interference. I think it might be coming from you if you want to put yourself on YouTube or not. There seems to be a little bit of noise interference. There we go. All right. And feel free to join in. So there's going to be a conversation, everybody. I'd like to welcome everybody who is joining from around the world. I see we have already some comments in the chat. So we have Boomer, who's asking questions?

Yusuf is asking questions. And we're going to get to all of your questions soon. If you are watching today, please put you in the chat where you are watching from. We love to see all our global nurses watching from all over the world. And feel free to put your questions in for the Penn State Health team. Anything that you want to know about living in Pennsylvania or working for Penn State Health. Okay. So Katina is from Germany. Welcome to everybody who's watching. Okay, so let's get started by having our guests introduce themselves. I'm going to start with Patricia. Patricia, do you want to tell us a little bit about your background? Sure. Hi, everyone. My name is Patricia and I'm originally from Trinidad and today.

So I came as a travel nurse to Pennsylvania in 2004. I'm very privileged to be working now for Cancer Health. I work as an assistant manager in the cardiovascular, ICU and cardiovascular unit. And it's fun to be here. Thank you for having me. Thank you, Patricia. So Patricia is an international nurse herself.

So it's going to be a really interesting discussion to hear about her background and her experience and really has been a shining example of career growth. Now on the management side of Penn State Health.

Andrea, do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself? I would love to tell. So my name is Andrea Weatherford. I have been a nurse since 2004. I worked at a different facility for my first six years, and then I transferred to Penn State. Holy Spirit. And I have been here for twelve years. I drive an hour to get here. I pass two other hospitals to come here because I really enjoy my team and I enjoy my leaders.

I manage our float pull, dialysis outpatient, wound and transport. And I've never looked back. Wow. That's amazing. So you really do have your choice. But we're really interested to hear and we're goingto hear from Andrea why she chose Penn State Health and why with all of the obstacles of traveling and passing other hospitals, why she feels that this is a great organization. So really excited to have Andrea on the team on the panel. Christa, go ahead and introduce yourself. Yeah. I hope everyone can hear me now. Yes. Great. Thank you. Hi, everyone. My name is Krista Williamson. I'm the director of nursing here at Hampton Medical Center. I oversee Med, Serge and critical care and the transport Department a little bit about myself. I started my career back in 2000 as a nurse at Penn State Health at our academic medical Center, Hershey. I started there as a graduate nurse. And throughout that time, I've had so many amazing opportunities to grow and develop as a professional personally. So I had the opportunity to join our newest health system, which is Hampton, which just opened our doors on October 1. And I couldn't be more excited. Thank you. About the opportunity to stay within the health system and to be at such an amazing hospital. Wow. Amazing. Crystal. And I always think if somebody has been with the organization for a long time and all of you have been with the organization for a long time, that really speaks volumes because people don't say unless they're happy. So I think for any international nurse who's watching this all around the world, just to see this panel have been in the organization for such a long time really speaks volume. So I'm really excited to see that and to hear about your experience. And last but not least, Joy, go ahead and introduce yourself. Hello, everyone. My name is Joy Melinda.

I'm originally from the Philippines, came to the United States as an international nurse, and I've been with Penn State. Now my current position, I'm a practice site manager, RN for one of the Hard and Vascular Institute clinics with State Health. Okay. Thank you, Joy. So also an international nurse, and we'll be able to give a lot of color to this conversation. Okay. And before I continue, I just wanted to tell everybody, please stay on until the end of the show because we'll be announcing our IELTS raffle winner every month, Connetics. As part of our Connetics care package, pay for an IELTS course for the English course for our international nurses. And once a month, we pick one lucky winner that Connetics will pay for the IELTS exam. So please stay until the end and watch who's going to be the winner for the IELTS Raffle. Okay, so we've got a lot of comments coming in the chat. We've got a Boomer. Who is asking is premium processing or really accelerating the process? If I'm already in the US and doing djustments of status, Boomer, the answer is yes. Premium processing is a great option. And in fact, Penn State Health do offer premium processing for anyone who doesn't know. This is an expedite fee when you file your I-140. And Yusuf is saying, I'm a registered nurse from Northern part of Nigeria.

Can I get employed as a registered nurse without writing the NCLEX exam? And I also OET. So Yousef you need to pass the IELTS in order to file for your green card for an RN. And if you're not trained in English, you will need to pass your IELTS exam. And Kinetics can help you with that. So please go ahead and apply to, and our team will be able to help you with that. And you might be eligible for the NCLEX scholarship. Tatanda is from Germany. Eldrin from Fort Myers. Jones is saying, Hi, Salami. Tatanda is asking how much experience we need, and we're going to be asking the Penn State Health team about that in a few minutes. Okay. So let's get going. Let's start talking about Pennsylvania. We have a map that shows where Pennsylvania is in the United States. So kind of in that northeast area. And as I said, many nurses will know about California, Texas, Florida, but don't always know that much about Pennsylvania. So I think this is a great opportunity to hear. And I'm just curious from those who are watching in the chat, if you want to put in the chat, if you have ever been to Pennsylvania, put a yes. And if not, put a no. And if you have ever heard of Pennsylvania, put a yes.

If you've heard of Pennsylvania, put a no. I'm just curious to see how many yeses and noes we're going to get in the chat. Okay. So we have a flight that has got some of the top attractions in Pennsylvania because it's really a state that's rich in history and there's so much to do and so much to see. So, Andrea, do you want to maybe talk us a little bit through some of the biggest tourist attractions that one can find in Pennsylvania? A lot of them are on here. I think I first need to add, because I am a huge football fan.

We have two national football teams. We have the Steelers and the Eagles. And Maryland is not that far away. So we also have the Ravens, which I actually root for. Hershey park is 15 minutes from us. If you like exhilarating roller coasters rides there's. Also, if you have young children, there's a lot to do for little children there, as well. As the first thing you do is get on a chocolate ride, and everyone gets a chocolate bar at the end. I don't know who doesn't like chocolate, but I said I'm a chocolate holiday, and we're centrally located in Pennsylvania. So an hour and a half where we can hit Philadelphia. And there's a lot of history in Philadelphia. The Liberty Bell. Yes. That's kind of in the first picture. There's just a lot to do there. And the Eagles, that's where they play football as well. You can go west and three and a half hours, you're in Pittsburgh. So this dealer is football. Not that this is all about football, but there's also skiing. What is it? Seven Springs, which used to have the best ski maker on the East Coast. Snowmaker.

They're right there next to Pittsburgh. So three and a half hours and 45 minutes from us south is Gettysburg. Part of our Civil War has a lot of history there. Half an hour. I think we could be in Lancaster, Amish country. And there's the horse and buggies, and you can do tours and learn about the Amish who just have a really cool lifestyle that doesn't involve as much of our modern technology. I don't know technology is the right word, but they just are very family focused. And it's just really great to go there and visit and learn someone else could join in more. Yeah. So much to see, so much to do. I see Tattena saying, no, I've never heard of Pennsylvania. So Tanda, you can see how much there is to see and do in that area. Patricia, when you came to Pennsylvania for the first time, what was the most fun thing the fun attraction that you ever visited? I think we were all looking forward to Hershey Park. So going on the ride and especially for me when my kids were younger, we love going to Chocolate World. I will take them there maybe every other week, and we will go on the ride, and then we will get a free chocolate bar, and then we walk around. I mean, my family, we love Hushap a lot. Okay.

So that was your favorite. Joy, what about you? I think mine was the same. That was like the most famous place to go here around the Harrisburg area. And when I was new, even my family wasn't here yet. The other Filipino nurses were the one that brought me over to Hershey Park because they were talking about the chocolate and all that. And before coming to the United States, I thought Hershey is just a name of a chocolate. Then when I said, oh, it's a town, it was kind of cool knowing that.

So that's a lot to learn. Crystal, what do you like about living in Pennsylvania? So I have lived in Pennsylvania my whole life. I was from Pittsburgh originally. What I love about central Pennsylvania is really the location you're an hour and a half, 2 hours to New York City. Washington, DC, is close by. But I have to say I have four children and they are very active children. And what I love is just being able to go outside. We can go hiking, we can go biking, we can go kayaking, you name it. There's just so much to do in this area. If you really like the outdoors and if you really like seeing different seasons. The fall is amazing with the beautiful trees, the landscape. The summers are nice. They're sometimes hot, sometimes mild, but definitely everything. Everyone can do something in all of the seasons here, like skiing and whatever you like. It's a great place to really be outside and explore nature. So much to see, so much to do. I see Adidi. I hope I'm pronouncing the name right. I've heard of Pennsylvania. I've never visited, and I'm watching from Nigeria, so I know they've been learning a lot about a new area. Amber is saying I'm interested. I think we have a map up of the actual state of Pennsylvania. And Andrea, if you want to maybe just talk us through kind of the different areas of Pennsylvania, how they might be different. So we are in Cumberland County and Dolphin County. So if no one can see my hands touching the map, but we're right in the exact middle of the state. So this isn't the whole state, though, right?

So these are just our surrounding counties, correct? Yes. Our health network is based. Okay. I do want to say that we have two trauma centers in Penn State. Hershey is a level one. So they also keep children that are injured. And my hospital, Holy spirit, we're a level two trauma, so we accept all traumas except we transfer out children that need to be admitted, anyone under the age of 17. So we get patients from pretty much this whole area. They can be flown in or driven in. There are a lot of highways in interstates, even Turnpike all around us, which makes it easy for us to get to all those other cool and exciting places if we haven't done enough locally. But so we get a lot of motor vehicle accidents from all of those places as far as to do. Penn State College is part of Penn State. They're also known for football and their academics. They have a lot of academics, and we have tuition reimbursement at our facilities to help us advance our training. So then on the east shore of Pennsylvania, we're not quite anywhere beach side, am I correct? Someone else can interrupt if I am wrong, but we can go to the ocean either. If we go a little north and then east or a little south and then east, we can be right on the Atlantic Coast and have beach time. And we can go west in Pennsylvania and hit the mountains. And there's actually some smaller mountains right here around us, which are great for hiking. But I would definitely read the trail to determine if you are in shape enough to do the trail that you picked. I learned that the hard way.

But you do make it out right. Someone else joined in. Go ahead. No, I can talk a little bit just about Penn State Health in the area that we see here. Penn State Health. It's one of the fastest growing healthcare systems in central Pennsylvania right now. We have more than 17,000 employees, as you can see on the map before with the surrounding counties. We have our medical center, our Hershey Medical Center, which is our academic medical center. We have a children's hospital, too, located in Hershey. So we have again, the Hampton Medical Center. We have St. Joe's Medical Center, Holy Spirit. And we're opening a new medical center in Lancaster. So all of the places you see on the map is Penn State Health, all of the dots. So we're really excited of how much our health care system is growing. And to Adrian's point, we're accessible. We have easy access to all of our health care systems, whether it be by flight, by ground. We're accessible, and we support each other as a health care system. Okay. That's fabulous.

So really, a lot of the healthcare system really has a very big impact on the state as a whole. I think everybody can see we're getting a lot of questions in the chat, and it's got 34 years of experience.

That's great in there. Please go ahead and apply. Lucky is interested. A registered nurse and nurse can't speak this morning. Please go ahead and apply. Lucky to Tender. He's asking about NCLEX preparation training. We're going to talk a little bit about that later in the show. So please continue to watch. Arlene is chatting in from Jamaica. Tender is asking what's the age limit? There is no age limit to Tender in the US. Chokee is interested and please go ahead and apply. Julie's watching from Melbourne, Australia.

I'm still waiting for the van to assess my documents. When would you recommend I get in touch with the Connetics? Should I take my NCLEX first? Julie, go ahead and connect with Connetics USA international nurse recruitment agency right away.

Our team on standby to speak to you and see how we can help you. And Obedi is saying I'm interested to know more. So lots of interest already in Penn State Health, which is great. Okay. So, Patricia, can you talk a little bit about the climate in Pennsylvania? Because coming from international, I think it was probably quite different for you and Joy. Yes, I can speak to that a little bit. I think if you ask me what my biggest challenge has been living in Pennsylvania, I would say dealing with winter, it has been my biggest challenge. Every time when it comes around, I'm like, okay, Patricia, you can do this again. I came from Trinidad Tobago with this beautiful weather, and that's one of the things that I miss a lot, that it's warm out when I'm in my office. I'm always cold. So, yes, I do like spring. I do love the fall, and I love summer.

But winter is a little bit challenging for me. I don't know if it's the same for Joy. What about you, Joy?

Joy, is it the same for you? I felt the same way when I came to the United States. It was March of 2003, and it was still cold, and there was still, like, snow on the ground. I'm like, oh, there is snow. It was kind of exciting to see it, but then it was too cold for me. And Luckily I had a big jacket. I was able to bring a big jacket because I knew Pennsylvania cold. And then, like Patricia, I came from a warm weather country, and it's like tropics beaches and all that. But coming to Pennsylvania and Harrisburg, central Pennsylvania is really in the middle of everything. So you get the four seasons. So I love the summer, not the winter. It's okay. But as long as you're warmed up. But the three other climates are good, especially fall and spring. Summer gets a little bit too hot, but it's manageable. Okay, good. Well, I think for any international nurse, it can be a big change. But, I mean, the two of you are still there and still going and enjoying everything that the four seasons have to offer. So that's a good sign. If we talk a little bit about the cost of living, Krista, I think we have some slides about the cost of living, but if you can talk just a little bit about what the cost of living is like in Pennsylvania. Sure. Penn State health offers very competitive wages, which compensates our nurses and our staff very well. So living in Pennsylvania is certainly very reasonable. We are not, you know, though, we're close to the big cities where you may cost of living, maybe higher. Housing is very affordable. Food, gas prices, and just the ability to really.

Yeah, there you go. There's the graphic. Now, certainly compared to the cost of living at some other States, Pennsylvania is very moderate. Rent is down, food expenses are down, transportation expensive.

Well, I see we're a little higher than California. I was a little surprised there. But we don't have here in central PA the mass transit, as you would see in a bigger city, such as the subways and whatnot. But we do have our busing and whatnot available. But just the cost of living overall for a family is very reasonable and again, close to big city, but you're not paying the big city prices. Okay. So I think that's important because I think a lot of international nurses don't really realize how different the different

States are in terms of cost of living. So it's really important to educate yourself. And that's where our show Onward and Upwards, I think, is really so helpful. And we actually have a show coming up in a few weeks. And so please, all our viewers keep watching where we talk specifically just about living in Pennsylvania and dig into that a little bit more. Deeper, but definitely a very reasonable cost of living, very family friendly in Pennsylvania. Joy, can you maybe talk a little bit about the culture and the community? For an international nurse, the culture is pretty much very subtle. Everyone's very accommodating here in Harrisburg area. So when I came, it was like family. So even though I was alone and there was nobody else that I knew, everybody, even when you go out to shopping or in the grocery, people would see like a foreigner. They would kind of like, look at you first, but then they say, Hi, Hello.

So it's really like the people are very nice. I didn't feel any kind of difference at all when I came. And then I got acclimated to the area. Eventually we were able to buy our own house. Living in a suburb neighborhood, people are very nice. And now, actually, our neighborhood has different nationalities from Filipinos, Indians, Nepalese, all over the world. So it's really very diverse area here in central Pennsylvania. Okay. Well, that's good to know. And for everybody watching, just for you to know,

Penn State Health hiring hundreds of international nurses. So there is enormous opportunity.

There's already an existing community, very multicultural, and there's going to be even more international nurses coming to this area. Okay. I think we've got a lot of questions in the chat.

Eldon is saying, so excited being hired by Holy Spirit. So Eldrin will be coming to Holy Spirit soon. Welcome. Tamzin is watching from Kenya. We have a question. Do you have any hospital except USM that has no hospital experience but willing to go back to the bedside just to complete the required work experience? Yes, we do. So please go ahead and apply to Connetics USA to tend to asking, what's the coldest it can be. Krista, what is the coldest it could be? Well, it's gotten below freezing. It has gotten below freezing. It doesn't sustain lawn. It really just depends on the winners. But they're short and you get through them and before you know it, you're onto the next season. Okay, good. And also lost to do in the winter. Yeah, exactly. I think it was Joy who said she saw snow. Was it for the first time,

Joy, when you came to Pennsylvania? That's true. It was the first time. And as I was picked up from the airport, I saw it on the ground. I'm like, oh, there's the snow. It's real. We can touch it. Winter Wonderland. Yes. Masumi is saying chemical connectors hustles for applying without agencies, is it possible? So Masumi, just for you to know, most hospitals in the United States will work with a partner like Connetics USA and Kinetics don't charge you anything. We have a lot of services that we provide, and most hospitals do that because they don't really have the bandwidth to be able to help the international nurses through the immigration licensing credentialing onboarding process. So we'd be happy to help you with that. Shed is interested as a lab technologist, and yes, we do have opportunities for that. So go ahead. She has and apply. And that basically asking how to apply. So please go to the Connetics USA website and you will see a link for application. And our team on board to speak to you as soon as possible. Wow. We're getting lots of questions coming now. Okay. We've got a LinkedIn user, so I'm not sure of the name. Excited to join Penn State in Hampton, hopefully by the end of the year or the start of new year. So that's exciting. And we have hundreds of nurses that are already in the pipeline for Penn State Health. Obedi is I'm in Ghana, but we don't have a center for NCLEX exam. Please now know what arrangements can be made. And so, Obert, please go ahead as well and apply. And our team will speak to you about our NCLEX scholarship and see how we might be able to assist you. Okay.

We have some fun facts about Pennsylvania. So I wanted to see if the viewers can maybe guess some of these fun facts. The Pennsylvania Wat was founded by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Bond and became the first Watt in the United States. Does anybody know? If you know, put into the chat what is the first something in Pennsylvania? I don't see any answers there. If anybody doesn't know, it's the first hospital, first hospital in the whole of the United States was founded in Pennsylvania. And Kenneth Square, Pennsylvania is considered the what capital of the world? Anybody know? If you know, please put into the chat. Oh, my goodness. Everybody is learning a lot today. Is it the best capital of the year to tend to say, well, I think according to the Penn State help people. Yes, but it's actually considered the mushroom capital of the world. And we know about Hershey's Chocolate factory. So that one we already spoken about. But the last one, Betsy Ross made the first Watt in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Anybody know the answer to that fun fact about Pennsylvania? There? Lucy got mushroom.  Well done, Lucy. Anybody know what Betsy Ross made? Lucy on a roll the flag. So Betsy Ross made the first American flag in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Amazing. Lots of history in Pennsylvania. Okay, moving on.

Now let's talk a little bit more about Penn State Health. And also just remind everybody to check out our 50 States handbook, which you can download and tells you everything about Pennsylvania as well.

As all the 50 States. And you can go to our website and download that and or use the QR code.

We've got a short video about Penn State Health. And if anybody wants to put into the chat, also, what are you looking for in a healthcare organization? So while we're watching the video and please put into the chat what you are looking for in a health care employer.    And we're going to roll that video now. This is Harrisburg and Hershey, West Shore and Wyomissing, Lancaster and Lingelstown. This is hard working people, growing families and Friday Night Lights. This is Hope, Heart and Heroes. This is our community at its best. This is the help we need to live the way we want. This is Penn State Health.

Learn more at Okay. So really impressive organization. And we can now take a little bit more of a deep dive talking about the hospital organization and what everybody can learn about this awesome institution. Okay. So we have a map of where all the hospitals are located that we're going to

put up again and show everybody where in Pennsylvania the Penn State health facilities are. And when we put that up, Andrea, if you maybe want to talk a little bit about how the different facilities are different in the system. So I had to find the unmute button. So Hershey is kind of like our mother ship.

I believe they were the original Penn State facility. And they're our largest. And again, they're the level one trauma. They have a whole children's hospital attached, and they're academic, so they

have residents within the facility. And Krista is at $500. As far as bed count. Yeah, we're up to about 600 bed count there at the Hershey Medical Center. But yes, it's the first hospital built by building Nest Hershey back in the 60s. And it is again, like Adrian said, our trauma center we're tied to the College of

Medicine, is also located on this campus, too. So a lot of medical students will be involved with the care of the patient as well. Okay. And I think we've got another slide about the vital statistics and just some basic overall information about the organization. Patricia, do you maybe want to share any information that you think is interesting for international nurses to learn about the organization? I think one of the great things I know as an international list that I was looking for in an organization was the ability to grow. And when you look at Penn State Health, we have Penn State Hershey Medical Center. I mean, amazing opportunities there. They're also magnet hospital. We have the children's hospital. If your passion is to take care of kids, you can do that there. And we also have amazing cancer care for patients as well. We do provide world round renowned care in that area, too. And if you would like to work at a

community hospital, we also have three community hospitals. So whether you're looking for a larger academic medical center, or you'd like to work in a community hospital, or you would like to work in an

ambulatory setting after you move here? The opportunities are just amazing. And we're also associated with the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Hospital as well. I think you would find that we at Penn State Health, our culture is pretty amazing. It's amazing to see how diverse we've become in our community and all the opportunities there are for growth here at Penn State Health. Thank you, Patricia. So lots of opportunity and lots of different options. So if you're looking more at a magnet system, a larger facility, if you want more of a community hospital, if you're looking for kids, psych, lots and lots of opportunity to grow within the organization. Krista, can you talk a little bit more about the magnet status?

Yes, absolutely. So Hershey Medical Center, we are on our fourth magnet designation right now.

So it is a really great if you're familiar with magnet hospitals, it's really about delivering the highest

quality of care, evidence based care to our patients. A lot of the magnets what we pride ourselves in is our shared governance model. And this gives the staff nurse the voice to make changes at the hospital, to bring that evidence based care forward, and to really commit to providing the excellent care that we provide our patients in our community. Okay. And for international nurses, you may or may not know this, but to achieve Magnus status is a massive, massive accomplishment. And only 9% of hospitals in the whole United States have actually made that have been able to claim magnet status. It's a very difficult thing to achieve. So it really is an incredible accomplishment on the Penn State Health side.

Joy, I know that many international nurses these days have lots of choices. Why would you say an international nurse would choose Penn State health? I was trying to look for the mute button. I think international nurses should choose Penn State Health because Spencer Health is a big institution,

and as everybody had said, it has all these different hospitals connected to it. Ambulatory setting the Cancer Institute Psych hospital. So there's really very wide variety of choices you can find just with Penn State Health and you can grow your career very quickly. Penn State Health support nurses with just everything if you want to progress your career from staff nurse into management, all that are supported. And as a staff nurse, even you get supported as you grow your career, just from being a staff nurse to a charge nurse to be a receptor, all that you have that opportunity of education and training from Penn State Health. And I think the four of you, your backgrounds really just say it all because you all have been able to achieve that within your careers. Andrea, did you have something to add?

I did. Another thing I like is our advanced technology. Some patients come from other States. We have a lot of research. We do a lot of things. We're involved in experimental trials. So the Watchman's trial, we had patients at the very beginning, and now it's kind of a standard procedure. Same with tappers trans aortic, something where it's a catheter process, where we are replacing the aortic valve in the Cath lab versus an open heart procedure. And we were groundbreaking with that in the beginning. We were there doing that. And I think that's something that I enjoy about being here is many of our patients

don't have to go anywhere else. We can do all of the care and make them better. And that's something I enjoy. Okay. Well, thank you for sharing that. That really says a lot about the organization. David Thai has a question. Do you sponsor nurses for H1? Because I'm from a country which is experiencing

a backlog for the EB3 visa. So, David, most international nurses come through on the EB3 green card because nurses are Schedule A occupations of short supply. So that really is the best option for nurses.

But we do have some of our employers that will sponsor for an H1 for a specialty. So go ahead and apply, and our team will be able to see if you would qualify for that. We have a question from a LinkedIn user. By the way, how is driving in the snow, Patricia, what's it like driving in the snow? Well, I can say that over the years I have to share tidbit. When I came to United States, I could not drive. Would you believe that? But yeah, I quickly got a license after three years, and I can say I do pretty good in the snow. It's a skill that you learn, and you would most likely have to make sure that you have very good

tires, which I try to make sure that I do and to be careful when there's ice on the road. But you would have to do that anywhere where there's winter. It's not too bad. I don't think that I love it, but it's manageable and it's okay. Okay. That's good to know. And that's encouraging for a lot of international

nurses because many international nurses don't drive. So it can be even scary just to drive, let alone driving in the snow. But there are many places in the United States that have snow in the four seasons and all the good and the bad that goes with that. So it's good to hear that. That's very manageable. Okay. I wanted to just bring up some of the wars up in state Health because I think that this is really interesting for a lot of the nurses all over the world that are watching lots and lots of awards of this organization. And two, to highlight one, obviously, is the magnet status that we spoke about. Only 9% of hospitals achieve magnet status in the whole of the United States. And the other one is 100 great places to work in healthcare. So really great organization for those nurses who are interested in Pennsylvania.

Before we move on to the international nurse program, we just wanted to share some more fun facts

about famous people that were born in Pennsylvania. Anybody know the answers to these questions?

Please put them in the chat. Famous people born in Pennsylvania. One is the 46th President of the United States. Anybody know who that is? Put the name into the chat. Another was an American professional basketball player. Anybody know who that is? Put your answers into the chat. And the last one is a famous person born in Pennsylvania, is a very famous pop singer who is an American singer songwriter. Okay, there we go. Lucy and Milana's. Got Joe Biden. Excellent tattoo. Got Joe Biden and Kobe Bryant. There you go, Edrick. Kobe Bryant. Ronnie says Kobe Bryant. Anybody get the last one? Edrick's? Got it. Taylor Swift. Joyce has got Joe Biden. Okay, so Joe Biden, copy Bryant and Taylor Swift.

Three very famous people born in Pennsylvania. Okay. Thank you, everyone. Eileen has also got it. Good.

Okay, so let's talk now a little bit about the Penn State Health International Nurse program. Krista, can you tell everybody why Penn State decided to hire international nurses? So really for me, international nurses, we will be hiring them. We will have several coming to our organization this year. And I have to say I'm very excited about this opportunity, just the experience that the nurses are bringing to us, the backgrounds, just all that they are giving us as Penn State and really about our core values, too. We're excited to hiring internationals for those core values of the respect, the integrity, the Team works, the excellence. Just really looking forward to this opportunity. And we have such a respectful and inclusive educational work environment. We're looking for others to join our team, to just bring forth ideas and just to help provide and fully leverage creative talents and potential excellence here at Penn State. Okay.

And I see there are lots of people in the Chat that want to join and are interested. So please go to the Connetics USA website. Roger is asking about the interview dates. And we do have Penn State

Health interview dates coming up, Raj. So our team will advise you of when those are Queen is asking after passing the NCLEX and the IELTS, how long will it take to transfer to the United States?

So, Queen, the good news about Penn State Health is that they have already done the prevailing wage, which is the first step of the green card process. So the whole process takes about twelve to 14 months.

But with Penn State help, they've already completed that first step. And that first step takes about six months. So you can take six months off the processing time. So it's a really good option from a timing

perspective, Penn State Health also pays for premium processing, which is an expedite fee for international nurses. So really one of the quickest green cards that you can get to come to the United States. So we'd love to help you with that. Andrea, can you maybe tell us what Penn Statehouse look for in the interview? When you interview an international nurse, what do you look for? Actually, I was involved in some of the interviews that we did six months ago. It was super exciting. I have to say, I really enjoyed all the different cultures I talked to and just different wordings for things, but I think it's excitement. Yes, of course. I like to hear your experience so we can figure out the best place that you would fit within our organization. I need to know that you care. I'm looking more. We can teach you some skills. We can teach you how to use our equipment, which may be different from yours, but

I can't teach someone how to care. I can't teach them to be kind. I can't teach them to treat the patients like they're their family. So I'm looking for those kinds of responses that I know, the things I can't teach you. I know you already have that you're going to come here and you're going to add to what we already have and be part of our team. Okay? So hire the person and train the skills if need be. It sounds like looking for the caring and compassion. Patricia, anything to add about what you think Penn State Health would be looking for when they're interviewing for international nurses? Yeah, I think it has come up very well in our values because it's right values, R-I-T-E. So we respect each other at Penn State Health, and we expect our team members to do that as well. And integrity. If you go to any of our hospitals, it means a lot to us. And so that's one of the driving forces for everything we do here at Princeton. And I have to tell you, teamwork is evidence. I mean, I've worked in a couple of places at different hospitals at Penn State Health, and it's one of those things that it's special to my heart when I come on the unit and I see how the team we work together, the leadership team, our leaders here at Holy Spirit Hospital.

I mean, just amazing. And I love that we just gravitate towards excellence. We want to be the best.

We want to help each other be the best. And especially for things like reduced infection rates, we're chasing zero. We want to do great procedures here at Penn State Health. We want every patient to be safe. We're working on reducing full I mean, it's such a great safety, cultural place to be. And I think that's one of the reasons why people should want to come work here. Fabulous. Well, that's so encouraging and so exciting. And I'm looking at Mbjo Mel, who's saying just the info I needed. Thank you. I signed up last month for Hamden, so there you go. Lots of people joining Penn State Health.

Joy, did you always want to become a nurse in the United States? And why did you choose Penn State Hill? I did as a Filipino nurse, as everyone probably heard that most Filipino nurses always want to go abroad. So either the United States, United Kingdom, or anywhere else in the Middle East. I always wanted to come to the United States because of everything that I've heard about the nursing careers here in the United States. And now I work with Penn State Health. I've achieved everything that I wanted, and now I'm a leadership position, and that's just, I think, the best thing that I've ever achieved in being a nurse. Wow, that's incredible. What a story of inspiration. Andrea, can you tell us a little

bit about Penn State Health initiatives on how to orientate and train international nurses? Yes. And actually, we have partnered with Connetics for part of that because we purchased the concierge package. So you guys will be helping us with some of that because we realize we have to Orient you to our hospital, but we also have to help integrate you into our communities. So we will do that as a team.

As far as clinical orientation, it's always tailored to the individual, your experience, your leadership is

going to check in with you very frequently. I know on my floor we check in every two weeks, the leadership team to see how you're doing, how's it going with your preceptor. We also have educators that are going to check in with you on the floor, as well as you're going to have a preceptor. And we try and limit that to one preceptor who's going to help you acclimate to how we do it. Here our charting system, how to find our policies because everyone might start blood at a different number. So we need to start blood at the number we started here. So learning our policies is key, but also like, hey, where do we get our cars fixed? What's the best place to go find groceries? We plan to help with all of that.

We also have an office of diversity, who they are very part of who we are. At every meeting, every leadership training we have, at the end, we are asked to how to incorporate this in our diversity plans.

And we learn a lot so that we can be accommodating to everyone, because the more diverse we are, the

better we're going to be able to serve all of our population and just really learn from each other.

We love that. And it's a great plan and a great collaboration between connetics USA and Penn State Health. And I think really for any international nurse who's probably sitting at home and now thinking, well, that sounds very exciting. And there's so much opportunity and so much career growth and educational opportunity here, but it just can feel a little overwhelming and very exciting, but also kind of scary. I think hopefully you can give you some reassurance that there's a plan and there's a lot of support that's going to be coming your way when you arrive. In fact, we have our circle of support, which is something that you can see on the connetics USA website. And this is all the different ways I'm not going to spend time going into this right now, but all the different ways that we support our nurses and set you up for success when you arrive in the United States, where there's the education, which is what Andrea was just speaking about, and the bridge training to help you adjust to clinically, to working in the United States, or a connetics clubhouse, a connetics angel network, places of worship, transitional modules, all different concierge, all different kinds of ways  that we support nurses when they arrive in the United States. So, Patricia, can you maybe talk a little bit about any surprises or challenges that you

experienced when you came here and what advice you might give to an international note? So surprises, as I said earlier, I think my biggest surprise was not planning adequately for Winter. Go back to Joy. So what Joy said when I came I came on April 4, 2004, and we didn't have Winter quote. So make sure you plan well, know when you are coming. Plan for a rainy day, so you probably want to have some resources so that you can step back on. make plans with your family as to how you would want to navigate, whether you're going to practical things. Am I going to get a car? Finding out where transportation is, how far away my home is from, where the hospital is like making all of those preparations. So when you get here, it's practical and we have tons of resources here. So you can speak to anyone here and we'd be able to guide you where the groceries are, where the best places to eat are.

And if you're like me and you miss your Caribbean food, because I'm not sure how many of you are

listening from the Caribbean, but I'm from Trinidad and Tobago and we eat lots of Curry and roti, and I

missed my doubles and pillori and that stuff. Finding out from the people in the community here,

hey, where can I get my international food? I can tell you to me, I have to drive to either Lancaster, which is like I think like an hour away, and I can find a restaurant. There are some restaurants around, but you probably want to plan as to what you would eat, how you get around and that type of stuff.

I hope that was helpful. Yeah, very helpful. Lots of good tips. And also just for everybody to know that connetics USA provide you with a lot of information you'll see in the circle of support of things like

the ethnic food places or restaurants that are in the area, transportation, housing, lots and lots of things.

You're not alone, so that's good to know. Aline is staying in Jamaica. We eat a lot of Curry goat.

So there you go, Patricia and Rottie. Joy, can you maybe share with everybody what you

if you think back now, if you were talking to yourself when you joined the organization, what you wish someone had told you before you came and embarked on this journey and came to Pennsylvania, that's

a long time to think about. Let me think. Oh, just one thing. So my background and experience in nursing

is NICU and babies and children. So when I came to the United States, I was assigned to a cardiac unit.

And I'm like, I'm taking care of adults now. So those are kind of the things that I had to get adapted to and try to learn and kind of like look back into your experience as a student nurse and think about the things that you've learned, those kind of things. And that's good. Yeah. If I would have the chance to talk

to myself at that time, I would just say that you started to become a nurse. You just have to get ready, whatever it is and wherever you would be assigned to. As long as you have that compassion to patients

and to take care of patients, you'll survive. Yeah. And that's good advice, especially with an organization like Penn State help because you've got so much opportunity. So you might start in one unit. But look at you and Patricia, like you've grown so much with the organization as an international nurse, and it might be where you start is maybe not where you go to Crystal, on that note, can you tell us a little bit about the professional development courses at Penn State Health? Yeah, absolutely. So I would just say just about every day you can go on to what's called our info. Net and you can find some sort of educational program available to you, whether it be just an hour long session or whether it be a choice where Penn State Health supports growth in going back to school. So we have a great tuition reimbursement program that we are partnered with many of the local universities that promote professional growth and development. We here also have what's called a clinical ladder, where we encourage our nurses

to really apply to this clinical ladder. And it has different levels of excellence that that nurse is performing at. We also have opportunities for certification. Myself, I hold two certifications. So there is just so many opportunities to get your certification, to further your education, to advance yourself as far as education classes, whatever it may be, Penn State offers it all. Well, lots to offer, lots of exciting opportunities. And last question, I'm just looking at the time I cannot believe that the hour has

flown by because we're already at the hour. The last question, I think it's for Patricia. Can you tell us about the programs that Penn State offered to promote RN career growth the nursing incentives? I think we have a program. I know that a lot of my colleagues take the opportunity to utilize the tuition reimbursement program where Penn State House affords you a sum of money every year for you to educate yourself. That's one of the opportunities. However, if that's not the route that you choose, there are tons I cannot even begin to tell you hundreds of educational opportunities that you can take if you are passionate to educate yourself and to advance your career. So at Penn State Health, there is

no lack of educational opportunities at all. And we are aligned with the Penn State University.

So if you'd like to go there as well. And the hospital also is aligned with other universities where you can get reimbursement from as well. So I don't know if Crystal wants to add anything additional. No, really, just like we both said, there are just so many opportunities to develop yourself, your professional,

and your personal self here at Penn State. Every day is a gift here of the opportunities that are given

to us every day is a gift at Penn State Health. I love it. That's a great place to finish off this conversation.

So I want to thank everybody on the panel who has joined us. I think so many interesting perspectives from nurses who have started their careers at Penn State Health to nurses who have been international nurses and have grown their careers and been there now for many, many years. Really says so much about the organization and really a great opportunity for any global nurse that's watching around the world. I want to thank Andrea, Christa, Joy, and Patricia for joining us today. It has been such a fun hour.

I'm sorry that we weren't able to get to all of the questions in the chat, but our team will hopefully try

and answer as many questions as we can for you. And before you finish off, I just wanted to remind everybody about the upcoming shows we do have on the 3 May, the Lahore talk show Self Care during the pandemic. We also have on the 6th, the immigration Q and A with our expert legal panel on the 13th, we're talking about life as a nurse in Nevada. And on the Late talk show, we're talking about

the clinical differences in the US as a nurse. So some great shows coming up. And last but not least, the kinetics initiatives. Please remind everybody our free IELTS course, our scholarship, $1,000 referral fee.

This is our promotion which ends at the end of May. Please watch our podcast Nursing in America.

We're in the top 10% of podcasts worldwide. We also have a nurse aid program. Watch our daily show.

So our weekly show. Onwards and Upwards with every Friday everything that a nurse needs to know about or a health care worker needs to know about living and work in the United States. And then we also have many, many allied needs for our health care facilities. So with that, we're going to finish

off by announcing our aisles raffle winner. And the fun thing is it's Hershey's gas mine, which I thought was such a coincidence that our nurse who won the raffle's name was Hershey and Hershey is famous for being in Pennsylvania. So a great way to finish off and thank you for everybody watching. Thank you to the Penn State health team and as we say at the end, onwards and upwards, everybody. Thank you.

Have a great weekend. Bye.