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Nursing In Ireland - An Filipino Nurse's Experience

Where are you from? I came from Manila, the capital of Philippines

Can you give us a snapshot of your nursing career thus far? I started my nursing career in Makati Medical Centre from December 2010 to January 2011, then I worked in Saudi Arabia from December 2010 to December 2019 and at present in Dublin working at the Blackrock Clinic, one of the finest private hospital here in Ireland.

When did you travel to Ireland? I came to Ireland on 12 February 2020

When and why did you decide it was time to take your nursing career abroad? After almost ten years of working in Saudi Arabia, I decided to have a change of environment and expand my nursing career.

Why did you choose Ireland as your destination? I have worked with Irish colleagues before and they encouraged me to try to work in Ireland.

What was the registration process like? You’re undertaking adaptation to complete your registration – what is that like? I applied to Nursing and Midwifery Board of Nursing in Ireland and it took 3 months before I received my Decision letter. I took the RCSI exam last 16 February 2020. I was very pressured. Though I have an idea on the topics, the mere fact that it’s time pressured is really something to consider.

How long have you been in Ireland? And how are you settling in? Are there a lot of differences between your home country and Ireland? What are you doing in order to adapt to your new environment? I’m here in Ireland for 2 1/2 months now. I’m still trying to adjust with the weather and the culture that is totally different to what I got used to. There are a lot of difference between working in Philippines and Saudi Arabia compared to Ireland. People here are more independent and the way the Nurses are empowered and being treated fairly. The weather is unpredictable but I asked my colleagues on recommendations on how to adjust with the weather. But for now, heater is my “best-friend”.

What is your social life like? What do you do on your days off? There are a lot of pubs and café around the area. We like to roam around the City centre trying to familiarise with the different areas and just have a stroll. I love mostly are nature especially now it’s spring.

What part of your new life have you found the most surprising? I find it challenging at first to start in a new environment and with 10 years experienced working abroad, I was surprised that I started to feel homesick but everyone are so warm and welcoming it really means a lot to me.

What are the positives of living in Ireland? People in Ireland are very warm and easy to talk to. I find them very polite as well. The environment/nature is very uplifting.

What is your most memorable moment so far? The most memorable for the meantime was before the RCSI. It took me weeks of sleepless nights and stress and finally paid off after passing my exam.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced and how have you manage them?

  • First the RCSI exam. I studied and prayed hard.
  • Homesickness, I’m still trying to overcome it for now.
  • At work: having a new environment, I always observe and ask if needed and I noticed in Ireland they are more than willing to answer questions.

You’re currently working for the Blackrock Clinic – How did the hospital help with the transition from your old life to your new life? The hospital and the staffs are very supportive. We always have a free ride when we had to apply for GNIB, PPS and RCSI. It’s a big help budget wise. The management always see to it that staff are well taken cared of by providing information may it be work or how to adjust in the country.

How are you finding nursing in another country in general? What differences are there & how are you adapting to the differences? I find Nursing in Ireland challenging. Starting from a new place again and it really makes me strive and learn more about the culture and protocols in my new environment.

It differs in a way that it is not the culture that I got used to. I need to adjust when it comes to asking questions to a patient or how to approach a certain situation. My colleagues are very supportive giving me tips on how adapt.

How are you finding your department in particular? What support is there and what are you colleagues like? My new department is challenging being assigned in a different specialised Intensive care. My colleagues are incredibly supportive since day 1 and giving chance for learning.

What career opportunities or professional development have you found there? BlackRock Clinic is funding an entry class for those who are interested, and anyone can have an opportunity to take Master’s degree. New exposure to Cardio-thoracic Intensive care is highly specialised and I’m more than happy to learn about it.

How are you finding the cost of living in Dublin – is it very different to home? Cost of living is quite expensive in Dublin but it’s a good way to learn how to properly budget.

What were your goals before travelling to Ireland? Are you achieving what you set out to do or have these changed? My goal is to advance my career and travel Europe. I am starting to achieve my goal step by step starting from my new area which is Cardio-thoracic from General intensive care. Travel might be delayed for few months but it is really something I look for.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of travelling to Ireland? I would advice that an applicant must research and know what they really want before deciding to work in Ireland starting the registration to employment until the way of living and weather. One should have an open mind and ready to be flexible with the new culture.

What is your overall opinion to date? I was hired under CCM recruitment under the care of Cathee. CCM is very reputable agency. I can’t say enough how professional Cathee is. When I send an email during office hours, I can guarantee to get a response within 5 minutes once urgent, I can easily send her a message on messenger for faster response even off hours. I cannot complain where I am right now. I am more than satisfied to be deployed in BlackRock Clinic.

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