A Typical Nursing Journey

Being a Nurse was really out of my league. When I graduated from High School, my top 3 courses for college are Chemical Engineering, Education and Mass Communication. See?! Nursing was not on my list but because of the”great demand” for nurses during those times, I was convinced by my parents as well as my friends to take this course.

I had spent 4 years of listening to long classroom discussions, waking up early in the morning to study for endless quizzes, dealing with some CI’s na hindi ko alam kung ano ang gusto, at case presentations na pinagpupuyatan para lang matapos. In other words, I survived 4 excruciating years just to finish BSN. I CAN NOT FAIL, I always repeat this words every time I felt like giving up and the fact that BSN is an expensive course, iniisip ko na lang na my parents work hard for my education so whatever hardships I experience, I MUST NOT FLUNK. On the contrary, I have learned to love nursing not because of the NCP’s and Drug Studies but because of the friends and people I had met throughout my BSN journey.The friends that I could tell my green jokes with (I must say Nurses are good in Green Jokes at TAKE NOTE hindi nilalagyan ng malisya), the patients that I took care of and their folks who were appreciative of my work and the mentors who imparted their knowledge to me.

When I graduated, I thought my burden was lessened but I was wrong. Filing for the board exams was chaotic; the long lines, the long wait, the moody PRC checker, I was really annoyed I even thought of not taking the NLE because of this. During the review days, I was a bit apprehended because I realized that what I had learned from college was not enough. I downloaded past NLE questions from the internet, learned some strategies in answering the exams, took down everything that my reviewers said, I crammed. Sometimes while I was reviewing, I couldn’t help but to be teary-eyed kasi natatakot ako that inadequte pa ang nalalaman ko at baka mag-fail ako sa NLE. Although I had 50% discount in our review, it was still expensive and I can’t afford to fail and to take another board exam. In fairness, I became religious during these times, after our review I used to visit the church and even attend mass, which is not so me because I am not a church-goer. Then the NLE came, I took my board exams in Jaro National High School in Iloilo City. I used to sing “WHO AM I” by Casting Crowns whenever I don’t know the answer. Ang katabi ko noon sa NLE inagawan ko pa ng upuan siguro dala na ng nerbyos at sa kachakahan ba naman ng buhay, ang answer sheet di ba sa likod yung unang sinasagutan? eh sa kanya yung sa harapan pa yung sinagutan nya. THAT CHAKA moment talaga increased the anxiety inside the testing room and I could see that all the blood on my seatmate’s body evaporated because of that stupid mistake. November 29-30, 2009 will remain unforgettable.

January 29, at roughly 10 pm in the evening, NLE results was released. My friend texted my brother that I passed the NLE. I was asleep that time and they didn’t wake me up because they wanted to check if the message was true. VOILA! I DID PASS. I couldn’t believe that I am an RN. I was in the brink of crying na talaga. Sa sobrang happy ni tatay ay nagpakape sila at bumili ng pandesal. My heart broke because my best friend didn’t make it at doon na talaga ako umiyak. I wasn’t completely happy dahil hindi sya nakapasa. The moment I got my license, I was genuinely happy that I smiled to every person I happened to pass by. EUPHORIC talaga ako noon.

It’s every RNs goal to work in a hospital setting. Kahit walang sweldo, ok lang sa akin talaga, walang halong kaplastikan. But all my good intentions sank when I was hired as a nurse trainee in the regional hospital. I mean it’s ok to have plenty of patients but sana naman they give us first the mentoring system kahit 2 weeks lang hindi yung nag-iisa lang kami sa ward with 7-16 patients. Hospital duty was not new to me but we had CI’s during those days. Biglain ka ba namang bigyan ng ganun karaming pasyente at bago ka pa lang, naku! sinasabi ko hindi maganda talaga. Doctors are either nice or monster. Ang mga regular staff naman alam na nila na bago ka lang ini-intimidate ka pa which is really wrong. It is my philosophy that whenever I’m in doubt, I should be asking questions and because I was a newbie, I was not familiar with the ward protocols etc. Kapag nagtatanong ako, ang sinasagot naman ng staff at ng ibang volunteer “BAKIT HINDI KA BA MARUNONG?”. To cut the long story short I resigned after 3 weeks.

Honestly there’s a part of me that regrets; I have many ‘what ifs’. I feel like I’m a failure because I can not be an effective nurse and my license is for wallet display only. It’s really hard especially today that it’s hard to look for a job related to Nursing. Thinking about these things, minsan napapaiyak ako, bakit pa kasi nag-Nursing ako eh… pero inisip ko na lang what I have experienced during my nursing career was worth the pain and suffering. MAHAL KO NAMAN ANG PAGIGING NURSE eh.

I am still hoping for the best to come.

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  • Yami

    Hi.I like your story. As a Nurse not only patience…try to be makapal na makapal ang mukha na kahit ano sasanihin ng ibang tao…bobo tayo walang alam deadma lang. I also experience before binubully ako ng husto,ok lang mambully sa iyo ibang lahi eh kalahi mo pang Pinoy.mgreresign na sana ako,one of babayan said ”kapalan lang ng mukha dito”,so tiniis ko nlng kaysa uwi ako Pinas walang $ he he. Ako sayo mgAply ka ng lugar kong saan madali lang mgCanada,kasi nandoon ang equal opportunity di tayo binubully. Di na uso damdamin ngayon…utak muna,kong makarating kang Canada mglalaway yong nangApi sa iyo noon…bawi ka na kong nasa malamig na lugar ka na may $ ka pa.

  • Lina

    I can’thelp but feel sorry for the new nurses nowadays. After all those painstaking steps to obtain ones’s RN license , it is one disappoinment after another. It is so unfair that one has pay for additional training when you are rendering service to that hospital.
    Ideally, when you are a new graduate , you should have a mentor and shadow them until you learn the ropes so to speak. Thiere is a safety issue here and the hospital should be concerned about patient’s safety.
    At any rate , I hope for some changes in the near future to brighten a nurse’s life and bring the back the pride he / she so deserves.

  • licah

    wow relate na relate aq! super like! pro wat to do dba? we already had the license… minsan kc d nsusunod ang gusto ntin dhil my purpose c Lord i remember what my friend said “GOD INSTALLED US IN A CERTAIN POSITION SO THAT HIS GREATER GLORY WILL BE REVEALED IN US” God bless you po 🙂

  • Randell

    My heart aches when I read these stories. I became interested in the Philippines and the plight of Filipino nurses because I work at UCLA with MANY Filipino nurses. I couldn’t believe the stories they told me about having to PAY a hospital to work for them. Without that original experience there is no hope of getting a job and why would any hospital HIRE a nurse to work for them when so many are paying for the opportunity to work? There are so many nurses that there needs to be added strength to the already present movement in the Philippines to do away with this broken system. Only by getting support from the government, will this practice change. An employee should get paid to work. Don’t give up when you have come so far. The world needs dedication such as yours.

  • yzra

    u really touch my heart bout ur article..had teary eyes on it. yes its true, getting nurse profession is very hard, u need to have money big money. the government should do action on this. the fact that the success of filipino nurses could help a lot in economic progress of our country. i hope p-noy would think again for fair and better program to help all nurses achieved wat they deserve.

  • ur story is nice, many can relate to this, and it has happened to a lot of newbies, nevertheless, i admired your great LOVE for all the sacrifices so you can become a Registered Nurse, just like us. Totoo un, let’s go somewhere, outside the Phils kung maari, mas masakit e bully ng kapwa Pinoy, mas mabuti pang e bully ng mga dayuhan. 🙂

  • LEN

    we hv same story maam RN, being a nurse is not my choice too..kahit minsan dko inakala na maging nurse in my entire life. dahil lng sa naging demand ang nurse kaya din ako ng aral nyan..pro never ako na failed..as i go along the 4 years..na develop nko being a nurse..parang luv life ba..pero the fact is u can use it in your daily life..khit depress ka..u can overcome not to be a psyce pt..

  • Flordeliza Pablo-Sabado

    The more the reason why you have to persevere more. Marami ka nang pinagdaanan, sayang if you will give up and hate the profession. The hardships in getting the dream job are inspirations and reasons why nurses abroad love their job.

  • embracesarcasm

    thanks for the positive comments guys. I am grateful that people appreciate what I have experienced as an nurse.