Working as an rn in puerto rico

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    I read some of the other threads about pr, and had some questions. I briefly met an rn in passing who was working at presby in san juan.she spoke zero spanish. My impression was that to work in pr you have to pass boards a second time in spanish via the pr nursing board. I speak a decent amount out spanish and am trying to become fluent, but I couldn't pass boards in spanish. Are there options for people like me? Presby or va? Is the pay that bad in san juan? Does everywhere have like 13:1 staffing? Also are there nurse practitioners in pr? I can't find the np act

    Thanks!
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  4. 1
    This post is somewhat dated but I will try to answer some of your questions. You can take the board in English. The nurseatient ratio is more like 1:20. It will be hard to find a job with absolutely NO Spanish. You will need to speak a good amount. Presby and the VA are good starting places, but good luck with the VA everyone wants to work there. There are NP educational programs there, but NP cannot practice there. They'd have to go to the States.
    PR NURSE likes this.
  5. 0
    Quote from phosphorus
    I read some of the other threads about pr, and had some questions. I briefly met an rn in passing who was working at presby in san juan.she spoke zero spanish. My impression was that to work in pr you have to pass boards a second time in spanish via the pr nursing board. I speak a decent amount out spanish and am trying to become fluent, but I couldn't pass boards in spanish. Are there options for people like me? Presby or va? Is the pay that bad in san juan? Does everywhere have like 13:1 staffing? Also are there nurse practitioners in pr? I can't find the np act

    Thanks!
    Sorry there's no such NP practice in PR, patient ratio could be 1:15 or more, and the pay is miserable ashamed. Don't go there. I am a nurse PR and I know what am telling you. And the board office is always full I couldn't find their web page if any.. I heard that in Turk and Caicos the pay is very decent with a Canadian company don't know the name but can do some research, good luck..
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    the short time that i worked in the beautiful island of puerto rico as an rn, i came to realize that nursing is nursing no matter where you go, the only difference is the language. needless to say, the pay was less compare to the states but it was manageable, at the time that i was there in 1990 for 6 months. with that said, i worked at the "centro medico hospital". consequently, my only trouble was that i was more interested in exploring the island and partying all the time, plus swimming in their beautiful beaches, therefore, i couldn't concentrate in working all the shifts they offer me lol....hey i'm being honest here....just saying
    pnut8377 and AbiHabichuelas :) like this.
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    Resilient nurse, you seem very helpful. I am assuming I can work in p.r. as a nurse? (from ohio, graduation in four months) What steps would i need to take? no reciproc. ? how does it work? and do you know the pay down there?
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    Hi phosphorus,

    I'm sorry I have no information in the nurse-patient ratio. There are programs here for NP but the only place that I know of them practicing is in the VA.

    As far as the boards go, it can be taken in Spanish and English - no problem there. Puerto Rico does not endorse any other state's license so your nursing status anywhere else won't matter you still have to pass the PR "revalida". Just about anything official in PR (driver's license, taxes, ect.) will have an English and Spanish version so you should not have a problem there but the primary language is Spanish so it would be extremely helpful for an easier transition.

    Everyone is trying to get into VA. It's government so the benefits are great and the pay is to par with that of the states. Otherwise, working for a 'civilian' hospital you'd probably do much more work and get paid much less. You can definitely survive off of what you're getting paid because, in my opinion, many things in PR are cheaper. The one exception that I've found has been groceries; they're so expensive it's ridiculous! Also, it would be better to not live in San Juan because, as with any big city, it's more expensive. Living in the metro area would be cheaper and it's not a bad commute to SJ if that's where you work.

    Your options for work are not as limited as you would think. Yes, you need to speak Spanish to communicate with co-workers and patients but most people will not care if you speak "broken" Spanish so long as you can get your point across. I would suggest that if you cannot get a job at the VA that you do look for jobs in San Juan tourist areas. Your English skills could actually serve as an asset to the hospital as there are many tourists that do not speak spanish that need medical attention. Also, because hospitals in PR are JCAHO accredited all doctors must write their notes in English. There are no rules against nurses writing their notes in English so you can if you choose to. That may make nurse-nurse communication a little difficult if they cannot read English though.

    If you would like any more info don't hesitate to ask me! I am only a nursing student in PR at the moment but I will try to answer everything to the best of my knowledge and I could ask my mother about more nurse specific questions for you (she's an RN here). Also, if you have any non-nursing questions about PR I'd be happy to answer those too! I was raised in the states to PR parents and moved to PR after high school with really suck-ish Spanish so I understand the fear you may have of coming here with English as a dominant language.

    For more information the PR BON website or the 'Colegio de Profesionales de la Enfermeria de Puerto Rico' is www.cpepr.org

    For a list of hospitals in PR go to Asociación de Hospitales de PR
    RNmr, PR NURSE, roseleon, and 1 other like this.
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    abihabichuelas, your post was very helpful to me. i am a state side born pr with poor spanish. i have been an lpn for ten years and currently in nursing school to get my rn. my dad wants to move back to pr(after 40 years state side) and asks if i would like to go with him. thanks for the info. i still have time to think it over, so i may contact you for any questions.
    msiris and AbiHabichuelas :) like this.
  10. 0
    Quote from phosphorus
    I read some of the other threads about pr, and had some questions. I briefly met an rn in passing who was working at presby in san juan.she spoke zero spanish. My impression was that to work in pr you have to pass boards a second time in spanish via the pr nursing board. I speak a decent amount out spanish and am trying to become fluent, but I couldn't pass boards in spanish. Are there options for people like me? Presby or va? Is the pay that bad in san juan? Does everywhere have like 13:1 staffing? Also are there nurse practitioners in pr? I can't find the np act

    Thanks!
    Hello, Iam also a PR nurse and I have to say that my experience working there was horrible. patient Ratio can be more than 20 per nurse. Believe me is so sad to say but hospitals are gone from bad to worse. You can say that they are more quantity that quality. The pay is bad and you have to do everything. I mean LPNs all they do is basic stuff, cant give out meds, nothing like the RN. Rns are responsible for everything and get no help. NPs are only found in the VA hospitals and if you want to study for NP you have to be either unemployed or be very lucky that a hospital will work around your studying scheduled. I wanted to study for NP but wasn't able to because the hospital I worked with wouldn't work around my scheduled because they said that i wouldn't be of any use to them with an NP tittle. I have to say that even though nursing is nursing no matter where you are, there is a difference.
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    hi lpnsoonrn,

    once you arrive in puerto rico you need to apply for a provisional nursing license from the "junta" until you can take the licensing exam. there are only certain dates out of the year that it is offered. you can take it in english. it is much easier than the nclex. however, as there are only specific dates it is offered you may wind up working with a provisional license for at least a year if not longer. it depends on how organized they are now. with the provisional license, you will join the "colegio de enfermeria" and they will issues a membership id card that you need to show in order to gain nursing employment along with the license.

    you cannot apply for all of this stuff via mail. you must do all of this in-person.

    i worked as a bsn and earned $13/hour! welcome to pr!
  12. 0
    Quote from resilientnurse
    Hi LpnsoonRN,

    Once you arrive in Puerto Rico you need to apply for a provisional nursing license from the "Junta" until you can take the licensing exam. There are only certain dates out of the year that it is offered. You can take it in English. It is much easier than the NCLEX. However, as there are only specific dates it is offered you may wind up working with a provisional license for at least a year if not longer. It depends on how organized they are now. With the provisional license, you will join the "Colegio de Enfermeria" and they will issues a membership ID card that you need to show in order to gain nursing employment along with the license.

    You cannot apply for all of this stuff via mail. You must do all of this in-person.

    I worked as a BSN and earned $13/hour! Welcome to PR!
    $13 an hour with a BSN? Jeez!!!! That is so wrong!!!!


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