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Filipino nurse asks should I move for better working conditions?

Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I'm currently working on a Telemetry floor at a [community] hospital about 50 miles east of Raleigh, NC. I'm torn between the idea of moving back home to California by the end of the year, and staying for three to six more months. I'm a foreign graduate from the Philippines, just started my endorsement/reciprocity process.

One of the reasons I want to move back to California is for a better working condition. I was only trained for 8 weeks even though I asked to be trained the full 12 weeks. In my one month of being off orientation, I had to take care of six patients -- the last time I had to do that was 2 months ago. Any thoughts?

If not California, what compact state would be the best to look into?

Dear Wants to Move,

Stay until you have completed at least 1 year of employment, and until your endorsement to California is complete.

In your next job, you will not be considered a newly licensed nurse, but an experienced nurse. Newly licensed nurses are given longer orientations than experienced nurses. For example, a newly licensed nurse may be given 12 weeks of orientation and an experienced nurse, 4-8 weeks. Every facility is different in terms of what they provide.

There is no doubt that the workload is better in California, and the nurse-patient ratios are protected by law. On Tele you will have only 4 patients. No other state has comprehensive mandated staffing ratios. I can't speak to working conditions in other states, including compact states, because they vary greatly from facility to facility.

I'm unclear on how you are working as a nurse while just starting your endorsement/reciprocity process. Once you are eligible, apply for endorsement to California. The process can take some time, and some foreign graduates have to make up some curriculum. Just follow the steps and stick with the process.

Filipino nurses have a strong presence in California and we've benefited by the diversification. Their core values include group harmony and a high regard for the elderly and authority. I personally love the sense of humor and playfulness not to mention the pancit and lumpia at every occasion.

Who knows? Maybe we will work together and I can help you pass your Arrhythmia competency 🙂

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth (Miss Beth)

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

Start your job search today!

Lorri Cook specializes in ER, Psych, Chemical Dependency.

Amen to working with nurses from the Phillipines, and to potluck lumpia and pancit!


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