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Pinay Power: Filipina Nurse Achievers in the UK

We have met and featured amazing women who are thriving in their nursing careers and some are even able to achieve great things outside their profession. As we celebrate International Women’s day, we showcase & share highlights of their stories.

Mary Anne Lagmay Tanay, a Nurse Academic, NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow & a Board Member of the UK Oncology Nursing Society and Communications Working Group Member of the European Oncology Nursing Society

“If you love learning, sharing knowledge and creating knowledge, you should consider a career in academia. Build on your clinical skills, knowledge and expertise as these can help greatly with your confidence. Conversely, be aware of your limitations. I have confidence that the nursing degree obtained from our home country will help you set in and most likely flourish in a career within UK academia.”

Mae Cometa, Infection Prevention & Control Deputy Lead Nurse and an active member of the Infection Prevention Society.

“In a foreign country, having someone from a minority is not a usual scene, more so women. I felt that in order to get up there, we must challenge ourselves to look beyond what is now and think of who we want to be in the future. There are vast career paths available to nursing professionals in the UK, thus I encourage anyone to choose one that you would like to pursue. The roles that we aspire are achievable but we must be willing to spend our fair share of time and effort.”

Minnie Klepacz, British Empire Medal Awardee & Nurse Matron for Ophthalmology at the University Hospital Dorset NHS Trust

"I will continue with what I have been doing-- helping my colleagues and the Filipino community get through the hurdles & aftermath of this pandemic. Yes, I have my own fears but I have to put a brave face and put all those fears and worries aside to support my colleagues and those who are in need and show to them even the simplest act of kindness and humanity. If people need help, then I’ll help them. I will go out and make good things happen. Fill the world with hope, and you will fill yourself with hope. Take the challenge of paying it forward. It takes each one of us to make a difference."

May Parsons, Modern Matron for Education & Interim Modern Matron for Respiratory & World’s 1st Covid Nurse Vaccinator

"I have since learned that the values ingrained in me by my family has not only strengthened but also confirmed the type of leader I want to be-- a compassionate, honest, respectful and transformative leader which underpins all the values I hold dear."

Myrna Maquinana, a Research Nurse and Midwife

“I can say that my journey has been unique, tough yet fulfilling. Looking back, the challenges I have encountered have opened opportunities for me, way better than I have imagined. I feel blessed to be presented with these opportunities and be surrounded by people who have supported and guided me into becoming a better nurse, midwife and human being. My hope for the future is that the standard of midwifery in the Philippines can be elevated to match the midwifery standards of the UK. It is my dream that Filipino midwives can be given the chance to be registered as midwives in UK.”

Angela Coronado, Nurse Specialist & UK Fintech Founder

"By being the co-founder of Nova Money, I became an advocate of financial education, especially to people like me. I am doing my best to help spread financial literacy to my fellow Filipinos. I’ve gone through a pretty peculiar path in life, but I do owe it to my mom for asking me to take up nursing in the first place. Otherwise I wouldn’t have moved to the UK, and I wouldn’t be where I am now. It’s funny how life works out sometimes, but I am grateful for the opportunities God throws my way and the people I meet in my journey."

Joy Oncachuy, Awardee Officer of Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Nurse Lead Robotic Surgery

Joy's passion to care for people and dedication at work led her to provide a high standard of service that's worth recognising. She modestly said, "I was only doing my job that night to ensure all the patients were safe under our care." Little did she know, she was giving above and beyond what was expected of her. The OBE award is a tangible reminder for the great contribution she provided to the lives of the people they have saved that night.

Ediscyll Lorusso, Our Health Hero’s National Lifetime Achievement Award Finalist and Thrombosis Clinical Nurse Specialist

"Coming from a different background and learning to adjust in a new work environment does not always come easy. If you like working autonomously, enjoy teaching and looking for a challenge and chance to shine, I encourage you all try this part of nursing. Being a thrombosis nurse is like a superglue in the middle- someone who can pick up patient concerns and act on those concerns but can also provide empathy, support and health promoter type of role."

Cielito Caneja, Advanced Research Nurse Practitioner, Research Postgraduate and World Champion of Eskrima

"Believe in yourself but always remain grounded and humble. Filipino nurses are world class nurses. We just need to believe in our own skill, drive our careers forward and push for greater heights. But as we achieve these dreams, we need to know how to reflect, recognise and remember where we came from."

Rhoda Mina, Care Home Manager & successful You Tube content creator

"Go for your dreams and never give up. If your dream is to work here in the UK, go for it. There are a lot of good opportunities here. Do not be afraid to try out new things and find your passion then pursue it.

Lastly, remember Philippians 4:13- “I can do all things to Christ who strengthens me."

They are just few of our fellow Filipina nurses who are thriving in their careers and passion in life. There are still others who we were not able to include and some who we have not met yet.

To all our Filipina nurses in the UK and all over the world, you make us all proud!

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