Updated: Aug 4
Welcome to the Part 2 of our Blog Series: Filipino Nurses Around the World! Now, we'll hear from a USRN and she'll be taking us on a journey to the US, the land of dreams where many Filipino nurses aspire to work. We'll explore the experiences and stories of this dedicated USRN as she makes a difference across borders.
Meet Carmela Salta, USRN, married from Tarlac, Philippines, currently resides in Las Vegas. She started her nursing career in the US at a long-term care/skilled facility. After gaining valuable experience there for a year, she moved on to an Acute Hospital as a staff nurse in the Ortho-Neuro Department, where she worked full-time for three years. Currently, she works as a Travel Nurse and also holds two PRN nursing jobs on the side.
What is it like on a day of a USRN?
Now that we know a bit about Carmela, let's explore her daily routine. She claims herself as a night owl, her day starts at 5:00 pm when she wakes up and prepares for work. She works the night shift, from 7:00 pm to 7:30 am, and when she gets home around 8 am, she takes a shower, eats breakfast, spends an hour playing with her 4-year-old son, and then heads to sleep. It's a unique routine that showcases the adaptability and flexibility required in the nursing profession.
What’s Your USRN Story?
Carmela's story is one of perseverance and determination. After failing the local nursing board exam in 2010, she didn't let that setback define her. Four years later, she decided to give it another shot and passed the exam. With her fiancé already in the United States, Carmela took the bold step of joining him in 2016. She knew that to pursue her nursing career in the US, she needed to take the NCLEX, which she did in 2018. The following year, she obtained her nursing license and began working as a nurse.
Like any foreign worker in a new country, Carmela faced challenges when she first started working as an OFW nurse in the US. The language barrier and cultural differences, both with patients and coworkers, presented obstacles. However, with a supportive team at work and an open mind to learn new things, Carmela quickly adapted to her new environment. She actively sought guidance, asked questions, and embraced feedback, all of which helped her overcome the initial challenges.
How Much is the Average Pay for a Starting USRN?
Working as an OFW nurse in the US provides unique opportunities and advantages. The salary and benefits, including health and retirement, are significant advantages that attract Filipino nurses to the US. Based on Carmela's experience, the average starting pay for a nurse is around $30-40 per hour, with the potential to earn up to $120,000 annually, depending on specialization and additional work opportunities. It's a rewarding profession both financially and personally.
Success Story From Your Time as a USRN…
According to Carmela, her time as a USRN holds a lot of memorable and successful stories. One that truly stands out is that after just one year of hard work, she managed to save enough money for the down payment on her family's first house. It's a testament to her dedication and the opportunities that the US provides. This achievement serves as an inspiration to all aspiring nurses, showing that with determination and perseverance, dreams can become a reality. Carmela's story reminds us of the boundless possibilities that await those who are willing to work hard and chase their dreams in the United States.
Advice to Aspiring USRNs…
For aspiring nurses considering working in the US as OFWs, Carmela's advice is simple yet profound. She urges them to follow their hearts, conquer their anxieties, and pursue their dreams relentlessly. The beginning may be tough, but with time, things will get better. Taking risks and stepping out of one's comfort zone is essential for growth and success.
If you had the chance to rewind time, would you make the same decision to work in the US? Why?
If given the chance to rewind time, Carmela states that she would make the same decision to work in the US without hesitation. The income, experience, and friendships she has gained have all contributed to her growth as a nurse. The opportunities she has found in the US have been invaluable, making it a journey she wouldn't change for anything.
Carmela Salta's story is just one among the many inspiring tales of Filipino nurses making a difference around the world. If you are one of the aspiring USRNs that is reading this blog, we hope that Carmela's journey serves as an inspiration to you, and urge you to pursue your dreams and embrace the challenges that lie ahead. The world needs more passionate and dedicated healthcare professionals like Carmela, making a positive impact, one patient at a time.