Experienced RN share your thoughts

Experienced RN’s share your thoughts to our new RN’s in the Philippines that are facing great challenge on where and how to start their career in the midst of global economic crisis.

If you are in a situation where there are no opportunities of finding a job abroad, a job in a local hospital or even a chance to work as a volunteer, and If I may ad, to make things worse, without financial support from parents or relatives…

Without resorting to any illegal activity, what is your strategy not only for survival but to make sure that you continue to keep abreast of your Nursing skills and to make sure that there will be no long gaps of Nursing related activities on your resume.

I need to mention that because every hiring manager looks at the gaps of nursing related experience when reviewing an applicant’s resume.

Post your strategy here. Hopefully we can share some practical yet valuable information that the novice nurses will be able to pick up and apply.

Here’s my strategy;

First step:

“Quit blaming anyone…the life I choose dictates the way I live.” Get over it I decide to choose Nursing when it is already saturated.

Day one is to write plans and set my goals. I have to make sure that I see it every day. This is not a picnic, this is survival. I have to transform my mind into believing that I can do anything that I set my mind to do. That’s very important milestone to develop the mindset of a “just-do-it-no-matter-what attitude”.

Whatever it is that I wrote in my plans and goals…I’ll make sure that all my activities are moving towards that direction. I WILL NOT waste any time on silly activities. I WILL NOT even spend time thinking about self-pity. I’ll keep my mind focus on the outcome of my plans and the bright future that awaits me.

My first course will be to look for an employment to secure a regular income. It don’t matter what it is as long as it’s worth enough to pay for my food allowance and living expense, even barely.

I will keep in mind that this is temporary.
With access to the internet, I will research nursing specialty information that will add to my skills and background.

Good examples will be:

Infection control education for the public in
community health center settings
Wound care techniques
Drug abuse prevention, rehabilitation and treatment information
Natural Health and Wellness prevention
Forensics (assist the Coroner’s office in gathering evidence)
Safe sex and birth control education
Children’s health and disease prevention
Information on the care of children with special needs especially those with congenital abnormalities
Equip with these information, whatever specialty that will provide the most information and interest on my part I will pursue looking for means to apply what I’ve learned by looking for places close to where I live.

On my free time I will look for those places, organizations, centers whatever group where I enhance my skills related to improving my nursing ability and perhaps even earn a certification, acknowledgment or even appreciation from where I volunteered my time and expertise.

Any skill I’ve developed that can add strength and credibility to my resume.

The places outside of Hospital that will likely take a volunteer apprentice with nursing background especially a Registered Nurse.

Drug Rehabilitation facility
Local jail (to work alongside as an assistant to the nurse or doctor
NBI (Forensics)
Community Health Center
Dialysis Centers
Stroke Victims Rehab Centers
Orphanage for Children or even Geriatrics
Non-profit organizations involved in health care and medical services
Non-profit groups that has medical mission network
These are but a few that I can identify, I’m sure there are many more
With the number of new nurses that are willing and able to do this…not only that they will earn worthy experience, developed skills and improve their marketability when the hiring resumes our community will reap the benefits before this professionals leave the country for a better life…

If you put yourself in their place now…what cha` gonna do, experience RN?

Easier said than done?

BTW, I had my own struggles to tell in real life when I move from Davao to Manila without my parents and relatives support.

If you want to know here’s my story…

After graduating, even before I took the board exam, I took a job as a medical sales representative because I did not have the money to spend for my trip to Manila. Back then, in 1989, the Nurses board exam and review are only held in Manila the NCR. So I did not have any choice but to earn and save some money.

After 9 months of employment I manage to convince my Dad to support me financially to take the board exam. After 6 weeks of review I then took the exam then went home to Davao and waited for the result.

While in Davao, I couldn’t find a stable work so after three months of barely scraping to make a living, I muster up my courage.

With half a sack of rice, a cook stove, few hundred bucks (pesos) a lot of courage and a good friend who was already a board passer, we decide to make a trip by land.

Remember Philtranco?

Arrive in Manila and negotiated for a bed space lodging (250 pesos/month) and live off on ramen noodles, eggs and sardines. Luckily, my good friend got a job at St. Lukes while I was waiting for my result.

With a contract for 2 years and 3,000 pesos/month salary, that gave us some hope that we will be able to pay our bed space rent and have some money left for food the following month.

Three weeks later the results came out, even with marginal score I got so excited that the following day I borrowed my landlord’s typewriter to work on my resume (no computers or word processors then).

My marginal score was not surprising to me because I was not the brightest kid on the block, matter of fact I barely graduated because of compliance and grade issues.

After big struggles with typing and re-typing I came up with a decent resume (I think).

I took a walk on all the closest hospitals to where we reside and drop off my resume.

The following week, my schedule was filled with interview. Four weeks later, I landed a job at Metropolitan Hospital. After a year, I caught Chicken pox and felt so bad from my workplace that I resigned.

Then I took a volunteer job at Veterans Hospital in Quezon City. While volunteering, I took private nursing duty job, until I was given a full time position.

I’ve had much more struggles before I was given the opportunity to go abroad. Matter of fact I lost my hope and was not interested in working abroad anymore.

After failing the CGFNS three times…yes three times…and never pass. I almost turned my back from this profession.

Now I’m working in three different facilities with three different specialties here in NY. When there is scarcity of jobs here in US, the demand for my service is at its peak.


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  • margie ilustre

    thank you for sharing your story…it inspires me more despite of the economic crisis happening here in our country….god bless you maam….keep safe always..