It seems like it was only yesterday that I was preparing for NCLEX and tearfully waiting for a good pop up . I was thirty that time! Three years passed, now thirty three, I’m finally here in US.
I can clearly remember, year 2020 in the middle of pandemic when I got my petition approved, I was having a hard time complying all the documents for Ds260 submission. Almost all of the government offices that time were functioning in only a handful of staffs for less COVID exposure.
The thought of it was like a pause of everything. The most dragging year I’ve experienced, everything seems so slow. When I’ve waited 2 years to take the NCLEX, adding another would seem be never ending.
But who would have thought that in the same year, I’d also be making the most important decision in life—to get married still within my 30-year mark.
I guess for nurses who are in a relationship, planning to get married, bringing your family; any major family decision is necessary and should be part of your checklist. The earlier, the better for a clearer mind and a healthy mental state as soon as you arrive in US.
This got my case 6 months delayed but it was all worth it. I wouldn’t even know how to survive if I flew alone here.
The year I got documentarily qualified was also a significant year for my work in the Philippines. The major project I was on was opening a standalone outpatient dialysis clinic of the hospital. I was too absorbed with it that I had to put the expedite request on hold until it was done. Four months later in May, when I was finally ready to expedite my case, USEM stopped approving requests.
My decision of putting my application aside tormented me that even in just a few months, it was as if I’ve wasted my lifetime opportunity. So, the next time, it comes knocking again, I made sure to be ready. I resigned from my hospital dialysis nurse job. I worked as a full time Virtual assistant to save for my US Visa application funds and at the same time, a dialysis nurse reliever at the side for a continual experience.
For the remaining months, it was a never ending story of expedite request letter exchange to NVC. Four times to be exact. All were denied. The last one I sent was November and I didn’t receive any reply after that.
Did I give up? Nope, it was nearing the holidays so more of like, “I got preoccupied.”
After a year of waiting, I finally got the interview date. I was in a mall, in my scrubs with a pink head. Yes, I was too preoccupied that I excitedly dyed my hair pink for the new year forgetting about my application. Too bad, it didn’t last for a month since I needed to turn it back to its natural color.
The same thing with my interview date, it was a quick turnaround. My supposedly February 11 ID was cancelled and moved to May 20th. 3 months of waiting in agony due to sputum.
But just when I thought I surpassed everything after I got my visa approved and issued, I was in for another yet surprising event.
The day before my flight, I received an email about its cancellation. What happened next?
Obviously, I did resolve it a few hours before the flight. I had to be in that same flight since my dependent flew ahead of me and I had to arrive in the port of entry either earlier or together with him. We had the same connecting flight so I got no other option that time. Thank goodness it was all done.
But was it?
My US Journey
If I get to turn back time to change the things I’ve experienced and struggled during my USA Visa application in the Philippines, I wouldn’t. For those have helped me prepare of the real struggles of what I am yet to face—the reality of an OFW nurse.
And my US journey didn’t end on the day I arrived in the country. It just got started.
It’s been only 3 months yet I can’t anymore count the challenges and difficulties I encountered. Even up to my online memories of friends and families, co workmates. The things I am supposed to be holding on, to where I started, photos, videos but my facebook and instagram account got permanently deleted including my Nurse Germz facebook page with 14K followers. I may sound superficial but in this digital age, who keeps physical photo albums when you can do it online?
And I stumbled upon this verse from Job 8:7,
“Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.”
God wanted me leave everything behind and start anew. To remain humble because I totally agree, we can get to be a full of oneself of all the experience we had in the Philippines. I, myself for example, when I’ve headed a dialysis unit.
All I had to do and so is everyone else is to trust God. From Jeremiah 29:11,
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Now, whatever is happening to me right now, the struggles of being a dialysis nurse here in USA, the never ending reality of shortage of nurses, I know this is part of the plan. I just needed to trust God and let him guide me as I make it through.
Life Reset at 33
On September 9th, the day after my birthday, I was informed of a transfer to a different clinic, 35 minutes away from the apartment. I was on for another challenge.
Any plan is never clear at the start and so is God’s.
I never understood the transfer which was hard to accept at first because I was getting used to the routine of the former clinic. Fast forward today. Almost two months after, the work environment is definitely way better. The staff shortage will always be there but in a whole different work atmosphere.
God pulled me from where he sees me struggling! And that’s what all matters!
The current facility may be temporary as my permanent facility is still closed but whatever happens next, I know God got me!
This is Nurse Germz. Thirty three years of age! Three months as a dialysis nurse here in US driving 35 minutes long to the clinic. (Haha should be included, a milestone for me)
Come, as I take you with me in discovering nursing career!