Risk all . Save none. Move forward. Full throttle.
This was my battle cry when I decided to abandon my American dream in search for a more plausible greener pasture as a 21st century nurse in the Philippines. Like most of my colleagues, I was a beggar who had to fight for cutthroat volunteer slots, be pensioned by parents, work graveyard in a call center, purposelessly revalidate NCLEX, and wait years for any news on immigration’s “priority date”. I was one of the thousand nurses back home slowly becoming destroyed by the system, clamouring for a way out.
That was a year ago; until I decided to take matters into my own hands. With the little hope and the little credentials that I have, I started attending seminars that can teach, if not send, me to Middle East, United Kingdom, New Zealand – practically everywhere, anywhere where I will have a better chance on becoming a full-fledged nurse. I discovered that Australia’s bridging program can work on my case, having a relative who can generously sponsor me for this undertaking. I have nothing else to lose anyway. All I have to do is take that risk of spending a borrowed fortune and pray that I will get a job after to pay back. At that point, I was desperate.
As if my patience had not been weathered enough, it took a year for my papers to push through with all its staggered delays. It was too much. During those times, I realized that capping cannot anymore be the rite of passage of being a nurse nowadays; clearly it is the drudgery of finding professional pursuit in or out of the country while staying sane as you can. In my heart I knew that either I am to leave right away or stay downbeat forever. I was ecstatic to finally take that flight to the land down under.
The training lasted for three months after which I was left on my own to job hunt. I had to seek employment with sponsorship before my student visa lapses or I will be a balikbayan, this time with a higher, potential risk of self-harm due to mishap. This was the huge risk I and the rest of my Filipino batchmates in the program had signed up for from the very beginning, where soon as we got our licenses, every day became a ticking time bomb. Needless to say, nobody wants to go home yet.
After four hundred applications, ten interviews, three job offers, and a lot of prayers, I now work as a rehabilitation nurse in one of the hospitals here in Sydney – I would like to think that somehow I have made it. Whenever people would ask me how I got here and tell them my story, I would often hear, “You’re lucky!”, only in my heart I beg to differ. If there is any luck to what happened to me, it is mostly because I was willing to risk my chances and work extra hard on it. It’s true when they say that diligence is the mother of good luck.
The many years of waiting had taught me how to become patient to the highest echelon. It also made me realize how good things come to those who wait, while better things come to those who hustle. That life is about risks, and you may only have to take that one to make things right. Looking back, I am ready to face new battles knowing that I was able to survive staying sour back home. I am now full-throttling my way towards becoming a seasoned, debt-free, happy nurse.
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