The Surprising Impact of an International Nurse’s Dream
A thank you to Clarissa and all our international nurses
We recently produced a video about one of our Shearwater nurses, Clarissa Fontanilla, traveling to the U.S. Creating the video brought me into the nurse’s home in Manila, Philippines, and being a part of this process unexpectedly inspired me to reflect on what our nurses experience.
Growing up in America, we hear about the ‘American Dream.’ But when we are born into the ‘American Dream’ do we really understand what that means?
The U.S. is a place of opportunity where if you work hard, you are typically rewarded with career advancements and a comfortable income. The individual traits that help a person to achieve this success are personal drive, self-motivation, and dedication. In working with our international nurses, I realize they have all these traits, but they add a couple more – courage and sacrifice.
I was warmly welcomed into Clarissa’s home during our shoot. I had the joy of playing with her children, who are a similar age to my own children. I played peek-a-boo, read books, and sang songs just like I would with my children. Clarissa has a beautiful family, and she had to temporarily leave them to make a better future for them.
Could I leave my children, even temporarily? Could I be that brave? Could I make that sacrifice?
I’m not sure I could.
Clarissa left her family to work as a nurse in America, caring for patients and families who are not her own. She will smile. She will listen to grievances and griefs of families. She will help people at their most vulnerable moments.
And she’ll do all of this while thinking about her children and focusing on her goal to make a better life for those two beautiful children you see in the video.
Clarissa, thank you for allowing us into your life and teaching us the difficult decisions our nurses have to make when committing to work in the U.S.
We have shown Clarissa’s video in meetings with some of the nurse managers and nurse executives who work with our nurses. It leaves everyone touched, humbled, and teary-eyed.
Clarissa, I know you will be successful, and we’re thankful to be alongside you to watch your success. We wish you and the rest of our international nurses our best and appreciate your courage and single-minded focus to make a better world for yourselves, your families, and families in your care.
VP, Clinical Services