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Dream. Become. Inspire. Meet Dionesio, RN.

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March 27, 2024

Dionesio is originally from the Philippines. In this blog, he shares his story about becoming a USRN with Avant Healthcare Professionals. Dionesio now has a successful career and life as a U.S. citizen. 

Where are you from? Have you always wanted to become a nurse?  

I am from Davao City, Philippines. It is in the Southern Part of the Philippines, which Avant Healthcare Professionals visited in 2006. I have always wanted to become a healthcare provider, specifically a medical doctor, but God eventually led me to become a nurse. My aunt also influenced me- she was a nurse in the Middle East until she retired.   

Why did you decide to become a US-RN? What convinced you to join Avant?  

One main reason is that I wanted to broaden my horizons and get more opportunities as a nurse. I heard many beautiful stories about nursing careers in the United States, not just from seeking greener pastures, but more importantly, career growth and development for nurses in the United States.  

When I was still a neophyte nurse in an Adventist Hospital in Davao City, I met a nurse who saw potential in me while precepting me. She introduced me to Avant in 2006 and gave me information about the agency. I immediately emailed the recruitment team, and they immediately responded. When Avant came to visit Davao City, I attended their recruitment presentation and met Lesley Hamilton-Powers, who interviewed me in person. I found the program good, so immediately after that, I signed a contract with the team, and the rest is history. 

How was your Avant experience? What's your favorite part of the program?   

My most unforgettable experience with Avant was during the NCLEX preparation and travel. In 2007, I was one of the ten nurses sent to Saipan to take the NCLEX. The preparation process was remarkable, and it helped me pass the exam. Another favorite of mine is the five-week Transitions Program in Florida, where new US RNs were prepared for clinicals and learned how to adjust to culture in the U.S. During the transitions program, I met incredible people and clinical instructors from Avant. I also had assistance when I transitioned to my place of assignment. I had the best Transitions Specialist, who was from St. Louis, Missouri, too.  

Where were you placed, and why did you convert to the hospital's full-time staff?  

I was assigned to a facility in St. Louis, Missouri. I was so proud of myself because this hospital is one of the best in Missouri and the United States. I converted as a full-time staff because I have the most supportive Nurse Manager. She takes care of Filipino nurses and helps us in every challenging situation; she addresses and understands our needs as international nurses. Staying as a full-time employee was an easy choice.  


How have you integrated with your community?  

It wasn't easy, especially since it was my first time working abroad. I have been a nurse since 2006, and all those years are in the Philippines. Back home, I thought I was perfectly ready to communicate with the Americans, but it turned out to be challenging: the accents, idioms, and slang words were not something I was used to. It was stressful at first but quite amusing to handle later on. For me to meet the gap, I studied even more. On the clinical side, I have always been open to learning as much as possible. I had to unlearn my old nursing practices and adapt to how things are done in U.S. facilities.  

How has your life changed since living and working in the US?  

It has changed significantly, particularly in the practice of nursing, though fundamentals of nursing are still intact, it has changed a lot, especially since I have been on the pediatric floor for a solid 14 years. Now, I am on the Acute Care Medicine floor. I have learned to properly work with team members and have developed my skills in being assertive to advocate for my patients the way nurses in the U.S. do.  

Furthermore, it has also improved the quality of my life. I can purchase most of my needs and wants, and more importantly, I was able to provide for my family's needs back home in the Philippines. I can now travel to places I have never been to and only dreamt of visiting. I purchased a car - with the help of Avant. And with that, I am grateful to the Lord Almighty, who used Avant to fulfill my heart's desires. 

What is your current title, and what are you doing now?  

I am a full-time staff nurse of Acute Care Medicine at the same hospital in St Louis, Missouri. I am also one of the preceptors who help new nurses, particularly international nurses who are transitioning with us. Also, I precept nursing students doing clinical rotations and externships on our floor. 

Any advice to international nurses about coming to the US to pursue their American dream?  

I will tell international nurses who want to be one of us here in the US: Take your time and get more experience in the Philippines or wherever you are because it is a whole different thing when you get here.  

Learn to be patient enough to wait and always put GOD first in everything you do, as he will always be your source of strength and help.  

When Avant hired me in 2006, there was a problem with immigration, so no nurses were coming into the United States. I tried to apply for jobs in the Middle East to support my family. However, I was not fortunate when it came to applying for jobs in the Middle East, primarily because I am a pediatric nurse. It took me 14 long years to finally be here in the United States in January 2021. Nothing is impossible with God.  

Prepare yourself emotionally and psychologically - life in the United States is different. Homesickness is a challenge - thus, learn to relate and reach out to other Filipino nurses or communities where you will be assigned.  

I will admit that I struggled when starting my new job. Still, with constant prayers and faith in God, I was able to finish my contract with Avant, and finally, last  July 30, 2023, I am officially a regular staff member of the hospital—all thanks to God.  

Avant Healthcare Professionals is the premier recruiting and staffing specialist for internationally educated healthcare professionals. When you join the Avant Healthcare Professionals program, you have entire teams of experts dedicated to your success in the USA! Take the first step toward your new life and a new career. Apply today to find out if you qualify to be part of this exclusive program. You could be working in the U.S. in as little as 12 months!

About Avant Healthcare Professionals

Need nurses? Avant Healthcare Professionals is the premier staffing specialist for internationally educated registered nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists. Avant has placed thousands of international healthcare professionals across U.S. facilities to help improve the continuity of their care, fill hard-to-find specialties, and increase patient satisfaction, revenue and HCAHPS scores. Avant is a Joint Commission accredited staffing agency and founding member of the American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment (AAIHR). Avant Healthcare Professionals is a member of the Jackson Healthcare® family of companies.


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