I met Clarissa’s 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son a few days before she left them in the Philippines to begin her assignment in the U.S. with Shearwater Health. Witnessing the separation of this beautiful family caused me to fight back tears. You’ll understand why when you watch the video below (spoiler alert: it shows her reunification with her children after months of separation).

If you’re like me, you felt connected to Clarissa.

Clarissa’s separation from her children was heart wrenching but always hopeful. She knew from before her departure that leaving them behind (unimaginable from my perspective!) was going to end in reunification.

I was struck by Clarissa’s resilience during the seven months she lived in the U.S. away from her children. During this period, she relocated to a new country, overcame culture shock, oriented to a new healthcare system with protocols and terminology new to her, and performed at a high level.

And she accomplished all of this with a massive hole in her heart caused by the absence of her children.

It turns out that there is even more for us here than fulfilling clinical shortages in the U.S.

Watching her video inspired me to be a better parent. I am a father to 9-year-old twin boys. As I heard Clarissa talk about the fact that “when you become a parent…you become second. It’s their future first,” I suddenly remembered my own tendency to want to usher my kids out the door, so I can put myself first. After seeing her example, I desire to appreciate them more, and to reflect on the vital role I play in their future by asking myself: in what ways can I put them first?

Apart from our goal as a company – providing our hospital clients with nurses that give safe and high-quality patient care – we also believe that we are helping these nurses improve their lives, both professionally and personally. We assume we are doing them a favor by giving them an opportunity to live in the U.S. and escape a dim economic future. But when Clarissa inspires me to be a better dad, it is obvious that I benefit from her too.

I wonder how many lessons are gained each day from international nurses like Clarissa across all our hospital clients in the U.S.

Her story reveals yet another benefit of a great partnership. In the video we watch two precious children reunite with their mother. The experiences those children will have by living permanently in the U.S., and likely their children at some point many years from now, will impact our society far beyond this short employment period.

Bringing international nurses to the U.S. sets in motion events that will shape lives beyond what we will ever be able to keep up with or understand.

Nathan King
SVP, Global Nurse Recruitment