“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” - Pele
This quote is the exact epitome of Mr. Francis Fernando’s career journey as a nurse in the United Kingdom. His clinical expertise and talents have been well recognised by prestigious awarding bodies in the UK. He started his career in the Philippine Orthopaedic Center and now works as a Matron in a well known hospital in London. He is also one of the most decorated Filipino - UK nurses in the country.
His interest to pursue healthcare profession was deeply influenced by his grandfather who was a surgeon in the US Armed Forces many years ago. Instead of following his grandfather’s footsteps to become a doctor, he went into nursing due to lack of funds and with encouragement from his relatives who are already in the nursing profession.
He started his career in the Spinal Injuries Unit in Salisbury in the year 2000. His passion for caring for people along with hard work catalysed his career progression. He was promoted to be a junior charge nurse 18 months after getting his pin and consequently further developed to be a senior charge nurse after 4 years.
“I got my first award through NHS Clinical Leaders Network and Aqua Henderson Quality Award in 2012 who recognised the service improvements we have implemented whilst caring for patients with hip fractures", he proudly said.
His career continued to go above and beyond expectations. He became the first Filipino Florence Nightingale Travel Scholar, wherein he pursued to learn from two of the best fracture prevention services in the UK and share that knowledge back to Salisbury.
At some point in his career, he tried to work into the private sector and realised his passion is for the NHS. This led him to go back to the NHS and became a Clinical Matron.
Through his dedication and reliability, he was named as one of the NHS Ambassadors for Nursing. His advocacy revolves around encouraging people to work and progress their career in the NHS.
Even though he had risen through the ranks, he reiterated that he never stops learning to progress further in his nursing career. In fact, he completed his master’s degree in 2014 and currently pursuing his PhD. His ultimate goal is to become the first Filipino Chief Nurse in the UK.
He offered advice to nurses aiming to achieve progression and excellence in their career and emphasized, "Look for your passion. Find some role models and Network, Network, Network."
He is truly an inspiration and a source of pride for every Filipino nurse around the world. If you are still wondering if it is possible to succeed as an overseas nurse and advance through a higher post in a foreign country… It is a resounding YES!!!