Where Are They Now? Meet Glen Villadelrey, BSN, RN, CMS-RN, RN-BC
March 19, 2021
Glen was born and raised in Pampanga, Philippines where he completed his nursing education. He arrived in the U.S. ready to pursue better opportunities and to achieve the American Dream with Avant.
Why did you join Avant?
The moment I took up nursing back in college, I already knew I wanted to practice my nursing profession in the United States. After passing one exam after the other, in compliance with the immigration requirements, I thought everything was falling into place. However, the very first agency I signed up with sent me an email informing me that they were abandoning my petition because the agency could no longer sustain their business due to an issue with visa availability. For a time, there was a delay in bringing Filipino nurses into the United States.
However, that did not stop me from reaching my goal. After being abandoned by my first agency, I was fortunate to find a direct-hire employer through a home health agency based in California. Many of us foreign-educated nurses think that direct-hire employers are always a good catch. However, for me, it did not turn out that way because my petitioner abandoned my case once again.
This was until Avant petitioned two of my former co-workers, and they advised me to give it a try. As hopeless as I was with my immigration journey, I still decided to sign up and entrust my case with Avant Healthcare Professionals. When I signed up with them, I was already working at The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, a U.S territory.
Having previously been abandoned by past petitioners and already working in a U.S. territory, this made my case even more complicated. I was being processed differently than nurses being recruited directly from their home countries. Despite these complications, Avant did not fail me that time, as they knew exactly what to do.
How was your Avant experience?
It was a delightful experience working with Avant Healthcare Professionals from the very beginning. Avant guided me throughout the entire immigration process.
The day I finally arrived in the U.S, the support was tremendous. I felt that Avant specializes in helping foreign-educated nurses transition into becoming successful nurses in the United States.
Before relocating to my place of assignment, the cultural and clinical programs were a big help in preparation for the real thing. Avant supports and guides their HCPs from day one up to the last day of their contract.
I remembered my unit manager saying amongst other agencies, only Avant has a regular meeting with them to ensure that their nurses are doing well.
As nurses trying to start a career and life in the United States, there are many challenges both at work and in everyday life we must face. With Avant, I never felt that I had to go through those alone. I felt guidance and support until I was ready and prepared to be on my own.
Where were you placed and why did you convert to the hospital's full-time staff?
My initial place of assignment was in the medical-surgical unit at a client facility in Texas.
In less than two years of my contract with Avant, I converted to be a full-time staff member at the hospital. During my stay, I also became a preceptor for newly hired nurses. One of the highlights was when I won a DAISY Award.
The hospital treats all its staff, whether agency or core staff, equally. The people of West Texas are also warm and very accommodating to us foreign nurses.
How have you integrated with your community?
I remembered when my transitions specialist bid her goodbye to me when she returned to Florida after assisting me in settling in my place of assignment. I became teary-eyed as things started to sink in, and I realized that I am in an unfamiliar place, doubting whether I will make it or not. But through the assistance of Avant and the people I met, I adjusted and learned to live the American way of life.
Any advice to other nurses thinking about coming to the U.S. to pursue their American dream?
It always starts with a dream, but sometimes you need help from agencies to make that dream into a reality. However, when choosing an agency, select the agency that will not just bring you here but will help you succeed in reaching that American Dream. I am glad that I chose the right one.