From Nepal to Nebraska: The story of PreeTy
It's a long way from Nepal to northeast Nebraska. Yet, that's exactly where licensed nurse PreeTy found herself arriving one day in February of 2018. The Nebraskan countryside was foreign, but the weather was similarly blustery to her homeland at that time of year. Living in the U.S. was not new to her, however. She'd been here before and felt fortunate to be back.
PreeTy earned both her associate's degree and BSN from universities in New Jersey. She excelled in her schooling and was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. After graduating she remained in the country working legally on a non-immigrant student visa to put her education to practice working in both home health and long-term care.
With her student visa status soon expiring, she returned to Nepal in the Fall of 2015 to work in an award-winning health care organization in Kathmandu.
PreeTy's globe-trekking education highlights the lesser-discussed side of the international migration of health care professionals. We often hear stories of 'brain drain;' health care professionals moving away from their homeland for opportunities in the middle east and westernized nations. PreeTy's journey is one of many tales of 'brain gain,' as she received a world-class education in the U.S. only to return home to share that knowledge and training with fellow nurses in her homeland.
PreeTy had been measuring her chances of securing an immigrant visa and had been following the PassportUSA weekly blog email since her return to Nepal. After a few months of readership, she was convinced that PassportUSA was the right choice in sponsoring her employer-sponsored EB-3 visa (green card). She wasn't wrong.
Fast forward to the day she returned to the U.S. A PassportUSA team member met her as she arrived in Nebraska in February of 2018. PreeTy was reporting to work at a skilled nursing facility operated by an NRHA member hospital. Given her past residence and after a thorough phone interview, PreeTy and the NRHA member organization agreed they were a great fit for one another.
Upon landing, PreeTy and her arrival coordinator gathered up her suitcases, boxes, and keepsakes and made their way to a small town of less than 2,000. After helping set up her new household and making introductions to the facility and nursing team, it was time for the arrival coordinator to leave. Items such as banking, transportation, and schooling for the children had either been arranged before arrival or taken care of on-site.
An Immediate and Lasting Impact
Perhaps PreeTy’s rapid impact on resident care was due to her education, her eight years of total work as an RN, or her passion for nursing. Whatever the case, PreeTy quickly made a great impression with her clinical supervisor. At her 90-day evaluation, her clinical manager comments; "We have been very impressed with PreeTy’s performance. She is pleasant to work with, gets along well with staff and residents, and is very competent in her nursing skills. She is fitting in well with our work environment."
This trajectory of success continued throughout her assignment.
|We have been very impressed with PreeTy’s performance. She is pleasant to work with, gets along well with staff and residents and is very competent in her nursing skills. She is fitting in well with our work environment.
|PreeTy has been a life saver to us! She is very friendly, hardworking, and dependable. Residents and staff love her! I do not have any concerns!
|PreeTy always has a smile on her face. She has an upbeat personality and is very caring towards the residents and staff. She is very competent in her nursing skills and does whatever she can to make sure the residents' needs are met! About one shift a month she calls in unable to work her scheduled shift. However, she is willing to pick up another shift to make up for it if one is available for her to work. She is very flexible with her schedule. She will work a double shift, an extra weekend or help wherever needed to ensure we have adequate staffing which is much appreciated.
|PreeTy has been a great addition to our facility. She has a pleasant attitude and both staff and residents really enjoy working with her. She is dependable, flexible, and does whatever she can to make life at the Avera Creighton Care Centre as enjoyable as possible . . . I definitely would clone her if I could.
During her assignment, PreeTy was also nominated by her coworkers for the Nebraska Nursing Facility Association Champion of Care Award. Her nomination touched upon the time she spends volunteering at the care center and organizing special activities for the resident to do in the evenings and weekends. “She is always looking to see what she can do to make a positive impact on both residents and staff,” continued her nomination.
Reflecting on Her Journey
At the end of her assignment, PreeTy comments, “I am in a good work environment with a supportive team and loving residents. I am thankful for my colleagues and residents who welcomed me from day one and continue to do so. Our small town is away from the city, however, it is a pleasant town with pleasant people and the community welcomes newcomers wholeheartedly."
In her end-of-assignment interview, PreeTy was sure to give heartfelt thanks to members of the PassportUSA team and her co-workers at the hospital-owned skilled nursing facility. But above all, she gave thanks to all of her residents, who she states, "made my life better then and still now." Perhaps this last comment is why PreeTy, like so many other international nurses, make great RNs in the U.S.
In closing, PreeTy shared a favorite quote by Maya Angelou; "They may not remember your name, but they will remember your care."
NRHA adapted the above piece from Health Carousel, a trusted NRHA partner, and its international recruitment brand PassportUSA, for publication within the Association’s Rural Health Voices blog.