Forty-year-old RN Francis Paul Narciso considers himself very lucky. The first job he landed in New York City – fresh from Cagayan de Oro – is already a supervisory position.
He is currently a Nursing Supervisor at Village Care Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Lower Manhattan, a position he has held since arriving on July 9. He was hired as a supervisor with no local experience, although back in the Philippines he was an emergency room nurse and later a senior staff nurse at Cagayan de Oro Medical Center where he worked for eight years.
“With the help of RN Express,” he stressed, giving thanks to the agency that helped him get a foot in New York’s highly competitive health care profession.
Actually, Nursing is Francis’s second college degree. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Agriculture major in Animal Science from Xavier University. His love for “taking care of people” prompted a career shift to Nursing.
Early last year, around February, he attended an orientation given by RN Express in Davao.
“My sister told me to go buy a ticket and come to Davao,” he recalled. He was glad he followed his sister’s advice.
At VillageCare, a sub-acute rehab facility for post-surgery patients, he was warmly welcomed and given a signing bonus. He blended right away with the staff and fellow nurses, and his patients seem to like him.
“I have no problem dealing with people and I have a lot of patience with patients,” Francis said, laughing at his unintended pun. According to feedback from his superiors and co-workers, “Mabait daw ako, matulungin, and magaling makisama" (I'm kind, helpful and a people person).
He has learned to deal with families that demand prompt attention in a calm way. “Just talk to them in a nice way, be cool. Just listen to them. They just want to be listened to.” If necessary, he explains to the families that they are understaffed and there is only one nurse on the floor.
He said he keeps busy learning the ropes, and also getting adjusted to NYC culture. “Working in New York is really different. Pag trabaho, trabaho talaga" (Working in New York is really different. Work means work).
He is grateful to RN Express for getting him this job at VillageCare quickly and with no hassle at all. “They are all very friendly and approachable. They answered all my questions – Ma’am Sally, Lea and Alex,” he said.
He met with RNE in February 2016; by July 2017 he was in New York on an EB-2 employment-based visa for professionals with an advanced degree or at least five years work experience. Contrast this with his application in another agency, which remains in limbo after three years.
“Pag dating ko talagang grabe ang support ng RN Express,” he continued, recounting how RNE co-founder RN Florida Lucas gave him an orientation for a week, and administrator Alex Alejandrino prepped him for the job interview. “He was with me during the interview, nasa gilid ko, very helpful and very supportive,” he said.
On his days off, Francis – a marathoner in the Philippines -- usually jogs around the park in Elmhurst, Queens where he lives with his sister’s family. It is his past-time. “I’m still adjusting to the weather,” he said. “It’s very cold.”