Ms. Terada – Consular Processing
Country: Japan
Nursing Specialty: Telemetry

Personal Background:
Hi everyone, I am a registered nurse came from Japan.

I graduated with my Associate’s Degree in Nursing from Chiba University, Chiba, Japan in 1995. After I graduated, I have worked at Chiba University Hospital in Chiba, Ayase Cardiovascular Disorder Hospital in Tokyo, and Matsushima Hospital in Yokohama.

Why Chose Universal Staffing Solutions (USS):
In 2005, while I was working at the Matsushima Hospital, in Yokohama, Japan; I joined a NCLEX-RN review agency to study and pass my NCLEX-RN. I had to stop working at my hospital for 6 months to concentrate on studying NCLEX-RN. With hard work, I passed my NCLEX-RN in 2006.

However, my biggest fear after I pass my NCLEX-RN was that the agencies in Japan were not able to help me to find way to work in the United States. “They did not know what to do and how to help their students to work in the United States after they have passed NCLEX-RN.” I was so frustrated!

One LUCKY day in 2008, I received an email from one of my nursing friends that was in my same NCLEX-RN class. She told me that she is already working for a hospital in United States under Universal Staffing Solutions. “Universal Staffing has hired her and is sponsoring her for her US Permanent Resident application”. I was so happy and immediately contact Universal Staffing and spoke with their recruiter. Afterwards, my I-140 petition was filed, and I completed my final Visa Interview with the US Embassy in Tokyo in February, 2011.

Current Employer/Sponsor:
In 2011, after I arrived to United States with my US Permanent Resident Status (Green Card) from my US Sponsor/Employer, they assigned me to the White Memorial Medical Center located in Los Angeles as a full time Registered Nurse in the Telemetry Department.

Currently I am still working in the White Memorial Medical Center. (12 hours shift per day; 3 days per week)

Goals:
As I graduated with my Associate’s Degree in Nursing from Japan and have worked in the US hospital settings, I realized that completing a higher degree will enrich my clinical knowledge and help me to achieve my future goal of becoming the nursing director in my hospital. Last year, I have enrolled to a US nursing college located in Los Angeles to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. I should be able to graduate with Bachelor’s Degree by 2016!

Ms. Numata
Country of Origin: Japan
Nursing Specialty: Telemetry

Personal Background:
I graduated with my Associate’s Degree in Nursing from Nagasaiki School of Community Health and Nursing in 1993. After I graduated, I have worked at Aichi University Hospital in Aichi, and Kawakita General Hospital in Tokyo.

Why Chose Universal Staffing Solutions (USS):
While I was working at the hospitals in Japan, I was always fascinated about working in the United States as a nurse and its different lifestyles of living environment. The US lifestyle seems more relax than Japan. In 2006, I finally started studying for NCLEX-RN and passed it during the same year.

After I passed my NCLEX-RN, my NCLEX-RN school/agency told me that I can go to United States and will be able to find a hospital job and work as a nurse easily. Anxious to go to the US, I applied for my US student visa to study at a language school in Los Angeles in September, 2006.

After I have arrived to the United States, I found everything is completely different than what the agency in Japan had told me. I applied for jobs in many different hospitals, but all of these hospitals can not hire me, because I did not have a Green Card or Work Permit (I was an international student & nurse). I was so confused and felt so helpless. I did not know what to do at all.

One day at the language school, I met another student; she told me she is also an international nurse and is currently working at a hospital in Los Angeles. I was so surprised. She told me that a staffing company has recruited her and is providing immigration sponsorship for her. I was so shocked! I did not think it is possible at all.

I immediately contacted her company, Universal Staffing Solutions. After meeting their recruiter for an interview, they started my USCIS sponsorship process right away! Within 3 months, I received my Work Permit and started working at their contracted hospital, White Memorial Medical Center in 2007.

It was amazing, I never knew there is a proper way to work in the US hospitals and immigrate to the US as an international nurse. I am so grateful that I met my classmate at that language school.

Current Status:
I received my Permanent Resident Status (Green Card) in 2012; and have travelled many times back to Japan to visit my family and for vacations. I am still working at White Memorial Medical Center.
As I reflect my journey of becoming a nurse in the United States, I feel so fortunate! It was such a simple process, but without the “right information and US sponsor”, I will never be where I am today. This is my story of achieving my American dream!

CONSULAR CANDIDATE – Nicky Pan

My Name is Nicky Pan. I am from Chingmai, Thailand. I have been a Surgical nurse for over 20 years.

I first came to the United States as a tourist and fell in love with this country. For this reason, I decided to pursue my dream of moving here to work as a registered nurse. I studied and passed the NCLEX-RN in New York.

I had heard about the wonderful things that Jonathan Chen (with Universal Staffing) was doing for the nurses in Los Angeles. I realized that I had to contact him.

I spoke to him and he agreed to take my case. He immediately began the job-selection and preparation process. Through the internet and over the phone he helped prepare me for my interview.

Within one month I had received two job offers from two separate health care facilities. I chose Advanced Diagnostic and Surgical Center in Alhambra, California.

I was so impressed and grateful for the support that I received from someone I had never met in person. Jonathan not only picked me up at the airport, but arranged my accommodations. I know that without his assistance I could never have been able to make my dream of working America come true.

After I was official offered the position we began the application process. In November 30, 2004, we submitted my I-140 application. This became my “priority date”. I understood that the process would be long, but I did not waste time.

I knew I had to really work on my English if I wanted to pass the IELTS exam. After all, I started with an overall score of 4.5! I took the test a total of 11 times! I NEVER GAVE UP! I finally passed the exam around September of 2007. I interviewed with US Embassy, Thailand in September of 2010. I was issued my green card in February of 2011.

When I returned to the United States I did so as a permanent resident. It was only two weeks later that I received my actual green card.

When I first started my process I thought that that day would never come, however, it was here before I knew it.

I am really enjoying my life in the United States. I have to say, though, that I was very nervous at the beginning. Jonathan suggested that I volunteer at my workplace first. I did and it was very helpful.

I had always wondered how people were able to work abroad and now I am one of them! People do make a lot more money than they do in other countries, but they work a lot harder, too. I find though, that there is a lot of respect among all workers. Doctors and nurses and medical technicians are all treated equally and they all respect each other. I really like that!

Everyone is very helpful and most people are very pleasant. One thing that I find fascinating is my co-workers as well as my patients are from different countries. American is really a place that is filled with a variety of nationalities and cultures.

When I am approached by people who want to come to the United States I tell them that if they really want to come they can! They must only believe! I certainly did, and so did all the other people who came to work here from other countries! Obviously it is possible! We didn’t only sit back, talk and fantasize. We took actual steps toward pursing our dreams!

If you really want to come here you can – you just need to go for it!

Maggie Tsai

Unit: ICU Salary: $85,000 USD/year

Hello Future Nursing Applicants,

I am currently a full time nurse working at Intensive Care Unit, Centinela Medical Center, Los Angeles. I have been a nurse in the US for 7 years now. Prior to starting my US nursing career, I graduated from National Taipei College (Taiwan) of Nursing in 2000, and worked in Taipei city hospital for about 5 years.

As a former international nurse to the US, I would like to share some of my insights and past experiences for you to become a successful RN to work in this country.

What is the most important thing that a new international nurse must know about be a nurse in US?

Most people around the world know about the nursing shortage in the US, and are under the assumption that by passing NCLEX-RN, you will easily find a job in this country. To some extent, these people are correct, but what many failed to know is also the importance of the following:

USCIS immigration sponsorship. Many US hospitals do have many nursing shortages, however 99% of these current hospitals do not provide any US immigration sponsorship to new international RNs. I remember about 6 years ago, many of my former NCLEX-RN classmates were excited in coming to this country and applied for numerous job openings. However, little did we realized, when the hospitals accepted us to work, these hospitals do not want to provide any type of immigration sponsorship for us to work. What does it mean? It means the Job Offer is useless if the hospitals/employers cannot provide immigration sponsorship to us. It is when I realized the importance of obtaining the “right, and work permit” in this country.

Even on this very moment in 2012, there are many international nurses with great nursing experiences/backgrounds residing in the US. However, they cannot work with any of the potential employers because they don’t have work permit nor US immigration sponsorship. (Note: I was fortunate enough to have filed my green card application in 2005, and received my green card in 2008. After I have received my green card, I finally could concentrate 100% of my efforts to work as an American nurse and not worry about sponsorship any more.)

Good clinical foundations. Establishing a solid clinical foundation in your home country prior to arrive to US is extremely important! Although there is a nursing shortage in US, many international RNs failed to realize the importance of having a good clinical foundations. Most hospitals are willing to hire new RNs, but they prefer any RN with good previous nursing experiences. By obtaining good clinical backgrounds in Taiwan, you will be qualified for a wider range of job selections.

My Recommendations. The US immigration process can be a long process; a new international RN must start the process as soon as possible to avoid any potential future complications, as US government and immigration department change their new regulation frequently. I would strongly advise any new RNs in their native country that after they have obtained NCLEX-RN to file for their USCIS applications (I-140) as soon as they can. Once you have applied, you will already be in the waiting list to come to this country! Please note that although the visa numbers for new RNs are not available yet, but you can still file consular processing application while waiting outside of USA! I have many new coworkers that submitted their consular I-140 application in 2006, and arrived to US last year to commence their employment.

(Basically, file your US immigration application = waiting for your green card and US employment; watching = dreaming)

In retrospect, sometimes I cannot help but wonder how fast the time flew by. It seems it was just yesterday that I opened my first NCLEX-RN studying book. In the process, I had accomplished so much, but also made many mistakes. My advice to the current and future new students is that “you must start now, follow each process and be organized!” We will never know what new USCIS policies and nursing needs might affect us in the future, but the opportunity is open right now. By sitting on sofa and keep wondering about the dreams will not accomplish anything; you will only watch others achieve their own glory.

Good luck!

Maggie
June, 2012

Irene Lee

Unit: Medical/Surgical Salary: $70,000 USD/year

Hello prospective students,

My name is Irene, graduated from Chungtai Junior College, Taichung in 1997. After graduated from nursing school, I worked in Acute Intensive Care Unit at China Medical University Hospital for more than 4 years. In later part of 2004, I passed NCLEX-RN, and have been working in Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center and Pacific Alliance Medical Center in Lo Angeles as an Intensive Care Units (ICU) nurse.

How did I decide to work as a nurse in United States? I guess, it was always in part of my plans while attending nursing college at Taichung. During my early college years, I remembered one of my nursing instructors conducted a presentation about how a nurse’s functions/duties are well respected and is considered as a high paying job in America. It had greatly intrigued me. I mean, an American nurse can be making more money than doctors! Also, while growing up and attending nursing college, I have visited my aunt and other family relatives in Los Angeles. As I vacationed in America, I was able to observe the life and admiration an American nurse has to the US society and hospitals. It is then, after working for 5 years in Taiwan that I decided to finally pursue a different path of my life and nursing career.

Pursuing the chance to work as a nurse in America is not a difficult road, but it does take a lot of self-discipline and planning. As I devoted 4 months of working in the hospital and studying for US nursing license, I passed my NCLEX-RN in September 2005.

After passing NCLEX-RN, I arrived to Los Angeles and started searching for jobs and US immigration sponsor. It was really not as easy as I originally expected. Although US has nursing shortage, not many hospitals/employers are willing to provide my sponsorship. Eventually, I have passed my job interview with Universal Staffing Solutions in Los Angeles, and they have provided my job offer and US immigration sponsorship (I-140, I-485, I-765).. I started my first job assignment in Los Angeles Metropolitan Hospital in early 2006.

Regarding my immigration process, it was a fairly smooth and expected flow. My I-140 was approved in 2007, and I later received my green card in 2008. I am very happy that perhaps, NCLEX-RN and IELTS are my very last important tests of my career as a nurse.

I would also like to share my US work experience with the new nursing applicants. As any former international nurse working in US, everyone knows the great life and earning potentials. But there is an “initial transition period”. I remembered the counselor at Universal Staffing had advised me that “the initial 3 – 4 months is the transition/adaptation period and will be the toughest time to work as a nurse in America, and after that transition period, things will become much easier”. Although I was a bit skeptical, but I did treat the first 3 months as when I first graduated from nursing college. During the first 3 months of my US assignment, I did feel like a new graduate. It was not easy, as I had to learn the new medical equipments (example, medical charting via computer), medical terminology, and work in a complete English speaking environment.

It has been almost 6 years since I started the “path to work as a nurse in USA”; and another 5 years since I started my first US assignment. My current salary is approximately $34 per hour. I work around 7 days every 2 weeks.

In conclusion, I would like to tell all the future Taiwanese applicants to try your very best. The path to work as a nurse in United States is not difficult, but is a journey. You must proceed in a step by step manner, and can not rush through the process. Most important thing is to “start the process”! By starting the process, you have completed 50% of the journey! I had devoted myself for about 2 years preparing for this process, and now enjoying the fruits of my labor. Working in US has been everything I originally expected. I love the extra free time of working 3 days a week and the high salary! I am proud to say that I have reached my goal (as other thousands of Taiwanese nurses working in US)! You can also do it. I will hope to see you in US soon.

Good Luck!

Irene L.
July, 2010
Los Angeles, California, USA

Kristine Duya – Consular Processing (I-140)

Unit: ICU Current Salary: $80,000 USD/year

Greetings!

My name is Kristine, and I am an ICU nurse working at UCLA Medical Center. I graduated from “Carlos Lanting College”, Philippines with Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1998; in the year 2000, I passed my job interview and the Universal Staffing and its network provided USCIS Consular I-140 sponsorship (Green Card application). Eventually, I went to my interview at US Embassy – Manila, and arrived to United States with my US permanent resident status in 2004 to commence my employment with the staffing company.

When did you decide to immigrate to US to work as a nurse?

When I was a nursing student in Carlos Lanting Collge, many of my classmates and I had already set our goals in becoming a nurse to work and live in the US. We joked often about how we should work in the same US hospital, and even buy a house in the same neighborhood. Two of the biggest reasons that we wanted to work and live in the US is the salary compensation and better work environment! Imagine, doing the same job in US and get paid 5 to 10 times more than the hospitals in my country! (who doesn’t want to work less and get much more money?!)

It has now been more than 8 years since I arrived to US to commence my nursing assignment. It was such a fulfilling and fun journey. I remember when I first arrived, I had to adapt and adjust myself to the new US healthcare system and living environment. As always, the first 3 to 5 months for any new immigrant was the adaptation period (some called it the “transition period”). As the work progressed, although my daily nursing job duties remained the same, it became easier and easier.

In 2004, I worked 3 days a week as a full time RN at White Memorial Medical Center, and the work load was more than I can handled. I cannot bear to work an extra day. The following year, although my work load remained the same, everything became much easier and I found myself with a lot of free time. I eventually took on an extra part-time job to work in a home care settings (visit patients at their houses; salary: $35 to $120 USD per case).

I am now proud to claim that I am an American nurse. The life is great; I bought a house in 2009 and transferred to work at UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California.

Tell us about your working experiences in the US hospitals.

For me, as a new international nurse, my work schedules and assignments was already scheduled and planned by my staffing companies, so everything was fairly easy and smooth for me (Note: different US hospitals have different nursing requirements and policies in hiring new employees). Example, when I first arrived to US, I did not have any US clinical experiences, so I was assigned to White Memorial Medical Center where they provide 4 months of much needed new international RN training (starting salary was $28 per hour). After working at the same hospital, I transferred to UCLA Medical Center in year 2009 (starting salary was $35 per hour). At UCLA Medical Center, they do require each RN to have at least 3 years of US clinical experiences.

In many ways, I really appreciate my company’s staffer to coordinate my work schedules and locations. As a new international nurse, I would not have known the different requirements and rules stipulated by each different US hospitals. It is the main reason, my past US work experiences has been a smooth ride.

Why did you choose Consular Processing (I-140)?

There are 2 main reasons. First reason, it was extremely difficult for me and my family to apply for other type of US visas. Without other ways to travel to US, I chose the traditional way of apply for US permanent resident status as a nurse (Consular I-140 application; waiting for US permanent resident status in your native country). My US employer submitted my USCIS application in 2000 and it’s when I started my US immigration waiting and “preparation” process.

Why do I call it a “preparation” process? When my US employer submitted my consular I-140 application, I just graduated from my nursing college and had not accumulated any clinical experiences yet. By applying for green card while waiting in my country, I had time to get myself ready to work in the US (second reason). These include accumulating my ICU clinical experiences in the hospital settings; adjust my personal life and spent time with my family and friends prior to my departure from the Philippines.

I do believe by applied for consular I-140 application was better for me because it allowed me to have more time in my native country to better prepare myself for the future life in US. Now, I do visit my home country at least 2 times a year. I have to tell you, it is great making good money in the US, and spending it my native country. My life and financial situation is very much different now than 6 years ago. With my greatly improved income, not only I bought a house for myself, I also bought a house for my parents.

Many of us have travelled down the same path to work and live in US as a nurse. If we can do it, so can you!

Best of luck to you!

Kristine
July 2012
Los Angeles, California