General Discussion about Filipino RNs currently working in the U.S.

  1. for filipino rns currently in the us whether still undergoing the proper documentations or already working please kindly share your experiences on this thread.

    topics maybe from experiences at the workplace, impact of the new culture to you and your family, general do's and dont's, and others.

    this thread would serve, hopefully, as a general resource thread for would-be u.s. nurses in the near future and to dispel myths and rumors and of course general advice coming from those already in the u.s.
  2. Visit lawrence01 profile page

    About lawrence01

    Joined: Aug '05; Posts: 4,785; Likes: 900


  3. by   Rep
    Quote from lawrence01
    for filipino rns currently in the us whether still undergoing the proper documentations or already working please kindly share your experiences on this thread.

    topics maybe from experiences at the workplace, impact of the new culture to you and your family, general do's and dont's, and others.

    this thread would serve, hopefully, as a general resource thread for would-be u.s. nurses in the near future and to dispel myths and rumors and of course general advice coming from those already in the u.s.
    lawrence, please make this thread a sticky. in that way, anybody who is viewing the philippine forum can immediately access this thread.

    for sure, a lot of filipino nurses can start sharing their experiences here.

    and advices on what to do when our kababayans arrived here.

    Last edit by Rep on Nov 4, '06
  4. by   suzanne4
    It is now a sticky....................

    And for those of you that are going to post here, please keep to the topic at hand, this is not the place to post about issues going on in the Philippines.
    Strictly for those that are in the US, or in the final stages of working in the US.
  5. by   Rep
    Let us start on the first step of the journey. On the first plane ride to the US.

    Remember, that we were instructed to bring along our x-rays from St Lukes. I believe most of us had bought the square plastic bag outside of St Lukes. I bought mine there. Well, you can just put it in your handcarry luggage, just fold the top portion of the envelope and it will fit right in your handcarry luggage. If you brought the square plastic, yiou will stand in the crowd as a first time immigrant and sometimes in gets in the way when you are carrying your hand luggage. The US customs will not ask for it when you arrive at the port of entry. They will only ask for the folder which the US embassy provided to us. Believe me.

    Also, we Filipinos are so fond of bringing extra foods which we want to eat when we travel. My experience was my wife brought a lot of biscuits for our snacks and we did not touch any because during our travel, lot of foods/snack were offered to us during our plane ride and upon disembarking, we have to declare to US Customs that we were bringing some foods from the Philippines. The US customs will ask you that when you arrive at the port of entry regarding food, if you have any contact with plants, farm animals, etc.

    Be also ready about informations about your employer, your address in the US and other things related to your immigration. They will ask you that. Sometimes, they will ask how much money are you bringing in. They asked me that.

    If they asked some questions, just answer with a simple answer.

    My experience was smooth, they asked about my employer, they ask about my children and asked them some question regarding their birthdate .

    After they stamped your passport, the US Customs officer will say which you have been waiting ofr a long time to hear. " Welcome to the United States of America!"
  6. by   Rep
    Applying for a SSN.

    Frist of all, you need to know where to find the nearest office of the Social Security Administration. You can check it using a telephone directory or check in the internet.

    Bring your passport when you apply for the SSN. In my case, I prepared my birth certificate and passport but they only asked for my passport and the visa stamped on it.

    In my experience, I received my SSN a week later.
  7. by   lawrence01
    Thanks, Rep. I know you'll be one of the 1st to post here.

    Hope their will be more.
  8. by   ancella marie
    I'm working for a year here in Florida, and I can say that my transition was very, very good. My family and I have been blessed by an American who's very supportive from the time that we arrived until the present time. She is like a mother to us. And when we came there were 10 Filipinos who picked us up in the airport, plus this American that I have told you about, and I can tell you that seeing them at around 12 midnight made us feel welcomed and understood - and it meant a lot.
    There were about 15 Filipino families when we came. And they are pretty close to one another. They would come visit us and introduce themselves. They would dropped by on their way to the grocery store to check whether we would want to buy something, since we don't have a car yet.
    There are places here in the United States that have very good public trasportation services but in our place car is a necessity. And I advice you to take driving lessons and pass your driving test - both written and practical there in the Philippines. This saved my husband and myself in taking the DRug test online which would normally take about 4 hours. We only took the written and the practical test to get our licenses.
    At work communication was my problem. I know that I understand spoken English but when I started work, I found it quite alarming that there are people that I simply cannot understand. When this happens I just ask them to repeat what they said and sometimes politely I would ask them to speak slowly.
    A preceptor was assigned to me. And I can say that background in basic bedside nursing would have helped me adjust better, I needed it for my self, not for them, because they will teach you how to do it, but it would have been better if I have the necessary basic skills.
    I hope somehow I have been of help to those who will read this. I wish you all the best of luck
  9. by   adangerousbeauty sticky...po st away!:spin:
  10. by   lawrence01
    Some of you may post some specific questions to facilitate the discussions.:wink2:
  11. by   Rep
    Starting and Building a Credit History

    When you first arrived here, your credit history is zero.

    Without a credit history , you will have problems when you apply for a cellular plan, utilitites and buying a car. when I applied to have electricity connected to my apartment, I have to deposit $100 to PG&E because I don't have one.

    Without a credit history, means people/companies who provide services do not trust you when it comes to payments. You can not get better terms from them and they will charge you with high interest rates.

    To start creating and building one, the faster way to do it is to apply for a secured credit card.

    A secured credit card is when you apply a credit card and put a deposit as a collateral which will be your credit limit. The minimum deposit is $200. There are many banks that offered secured credit card like Citibank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Washington Mutual, etc.

    Once you have your secured card, start using it and submit your payments before the due date. By doing this, you start building a history that you are paying your bills on time and you are a customer who knows how to manage your finances.

    Paying your bills on time also goes with your telephone bills, water bills apartment rental, electricity and other services. You have to pay them on time and they will help you start your credit history but the faster way to create is to have a secured credit card.

    In my experience, I applied for loan to buy a Dell computer but was turned down because they said my credit history is zero.

    On my third month using a secured credit card, I have received a pre-approved credit card offer froma credit company which I immediately accepted to help my credit history. A pre-approved means it is already approved and all you have to do is accept it if you really wanted it. This can comes in offers of credit cards or loans for car.

    They rate your credit history based on a credit score or FICO score. The higher your credit score, the less interest you are going to pay for yours loans and other services. The better terms you can get when you buy a car, a home, appliances, etc.

    So, when you arrived here and after you get your SSN you can immediately apply for a secured credit card.
  12. by   RNHawaii34
    here is the story of nursing life, or whatever you call it :-) my parents and i along with my 2 little siblings migrated here in the usa back in 1992. i was 2 semesters away from graduation from the philippines, and of coarse, i was not happy about the migration thing because i really wanna be with my friends in nursing school, and at least graduate with them. however, i went anyways because my parents told me to come in the u.s. and maybe come back after 6 months ( not!). i was terrified the night before our flight to
    the u.s. because i barely speaks english, and my accent is horrible. anyways, we landed in honolulu airport and was surprised that it was not that cold, no snow, and not all people are blond or blue eyes. hawaii is nice, everything is green and people speaks english, and other languages. there are a lot filipinos here, mostly from ilocano and visayan ancestry. a month later we got our social security card,and green card ( it's pink, not green) then i was forced to work.( yes, there is no such thing as free here in the u.s.a...even you live with your own relatives). my very first job was at a local fastfood restaurant, no it's not mcdonald's. i had a hard time because the local foods is so new to me, and i was shy, i had a hardtime understanding the costumer, because they speak really fast. one my first week, i almost quit because it was too much for a 19 years old to take orders, give the costumer their foods and take telephone orders. my manager then pulled me in the parking lot and i was crying. i told him, " i gave up", and the unforgettable line i got from my dear manager was " if you quit now, nobody will hire you", and that did it, i was on my feet and earning $6.50 an hour everyday, for 4 years. it was really hard because i worked non-stop, but i became independent at 21, i rented a small apartment, and did everything on my own from doing laundry, cooking, and also had made lots of friends and had a good time.
    then i decided to take the nursing assistant training at a local community college for 3 months, which is pretty good because they teached us how to do nursing assistant stuff from taking vital signs, making beds, bathing the patients, roms, blah blah...i graduated in may 1996..after passing the exam at the american redcross, i got hired as a home health aide, which is pretty good for a starter like me because i can choose my own schedule, and deal with one patient at a time, and the routine was pretty light. i take care of the patient under a supervision of an rn. then i got hired at a hospital. hospital job was much much complex for a nursing assistant because you do so many task not only the basic one, but i get to take care of patients with different problems, and i learn new things everyday, it was a hard, backbreaking job, but the pay was good, to travel several times around the u.s.a., and to be honest i look forward to do that every i decided to put myself back to school. i wanted to go back to nsg. unfortunately, college in the u.s. is very expensive, i was able to stay in local community college for 2 years studying prerequisites for nursing, such as anatomy and physiology, microbiology, the dreaded math!, and other classes. studying in the u.s. i think much better because we used modern technology, such as high speed computers, and we have high tech laboratories, in which we did a lot of hands on learning....however, it was hard to study and work full time at the same time..and also, there was a long list of applicants just for the associate program in nursing in my campus, so i decided to go back in the philippines to finish my last two semesters in nursing. but that was not easy either, because that would mean i have to leave my job, my boyfriend, my friends and the worse part was to leave my american way of life for a year! so finally i came back to pi in 2004, i came back and felt like a total stranger... but like they said, "if there's a will, there is a way...." i finally graduated in october 2005, and became a u.s. rn in june of 2006.
    Last edit by RNHawaii34 on Nov 10, '06
  13. by   lawrence01
    Now, I have a question about credit history.:spin: Does having a credit history from an American Int'l bank and/or having an account w/ them for years in the Philippines or from any other country for that matter mean a thing?

    I would imagine setting-up a new account will be faster if one has an account already here but what about credit card applications? Can the Int'l bank endorse to the new branch that their client who will be setting-up a new account on their North American branch (the local branch will be facilitating this of course - or so they say) has a good credit history even though of course N.A. uses a diff. credit score rating.

    How about having a credit card from non-Int'l banks?
  14. by   lots_of_luv
    My two cents on credit building in the US.

    I lived in Nevada from 1989 to 1995 so some of these info may be outdated but my sisters are still there and did the same things...

    When you start working in the US as a nurse, it's good to have your utilities (phone, power, cable) under your name. Open a bank account, checking would be best. Use it for all your payments. US bank is a good bank because they don't charge fees even for withdrawals. After working there 6 months, try applying for local department store credit cards, because these are the only ones that will approve you. Try Target, Macy's, Penney's... don't apply to too many because they will not all approve you and every time you apply, your credit rating is viewed and this is a minus against your credit rating. Once you're approved for a credit card, use it and pay it on time, it might be good to just pay the minimum monthly required so that they can see you're keeping track of your debts and paying them on time. After about one year, you will qualify for the major credit cards like VISA and Mastercard. Me and my sisters never tried for a secured credit card that requires a deposit... As long as you have a credit card, use it and pay it on time. Pretty soon you'll be able to be approved for a car loan then later on even a housing loan. Save alot of money on the side too and keep it in the bank so that the bank can see your worth. And remember though, paying for something in whole is much much better than installments. You'll eventually pay for it so why not save paying for it once.
    Last edit by lots_of_luv on Nov 10, '06