Nursing in USA- a chat with Macanjons

Sunday was a sweet moment of solution to years of questions as regarding Nursing in USA especially for oversea nurses. For many people, they just want to leave and for others, it’s more of wanting a place to fit into. In all of these, as nurses, I have found it necessary to gather deeper questions about many of these places by contacting the people i know. This time, I have been able to get a nurse in USA answer these questions about USA through a Whatsapp chat that started at 1227 Nigerian time till 1510.

NOTICE: we have covered the process to USA migration in one of our posts, kindly  click here. 

Nursing in USA

A copy of the chats will be detailed below: (edited for some parts and approved by interviewee to suit reading).

 

Olurankinse Olumide:

So, my name is Olumide Olurankinse and the co-founder of HealthWorkersBio.

I am now somewhere but the things i found out here are most of the things many people usually keep from us in Nigeria or let me say they say it in different ways. Some are unreal, some are real, some are kept and all sorts. So i began to think about many things that i can do differently to bring everything to light and since, my mind has been set on exploration of how to do it differently. On USA, i realized there is very few information out there and it’s almost like “secret”. The first person I feel i could chat and have a *transcribed conversation on the website about USA is you. My mind was like ahhhh “macanjons”  naim fit do justice (English: Macanjons would be the one to do justice to the topic.😀. And luckily for me, you are happy to participate in this chat when i contacted you about it.  Thank you once again for that.

Can you please introduce yourself chief?

Macanjons:  Lol thanks am honored to be in this . you have been so active in building nursing in Nigeria and I appreciate you for that. Congratulations on your *whereabout (excluded for some reasons)

Olurankinse Olumide: Thanks chief

Macanjons: My name is DURUAJONUMA Mcandy Chinaemezu-  A registered nurse in Nigeria and in the USA. I’m the co founder of nurses got talent foundation (Oyewole ABIODUN and I founded Nurses Got Talent)

Olurankinse Olumide: The impact of your foundation is well felt in (Nursing) Nigeria. Personally, i envy it😀

  • So i will ask you a couple of Questions that would help myself and others have a clearer view of the said United States of America – USRN.  Recently, i made a post publication from a social media adaptation of the process of migration but one thing i realized is that it is no longer about the migration but the things involved when it comes to actually living there.  So my first question would be to know how long you have been in the United States…

Macanjons: I have been in the US since 2016 , I landed new york usa sep 2016

Olurankinse Olumide: That’s nice. So it will be 5 years this year. That’s enough to say you are US ancestor. lol. So,  how many years experience did you have in Nigeria before this NY job?

Macanjons: Lol . Well if you say so . Lol . I graduated from SON UCH in 2012 November. So I will say 4yrs

Olurankinse Olumide: Okay, 4 years, that’s good. Would you say your 4 years experience in Nigeria had an impact on getting the job/working the job/on the process of migration?

Macanjones: Yes, especially my perioperative nursing experience. I presently work in the OR (Operating Room) here in the US because of that foundational experience. I did my post basic in Nigeria. 2013/2014.

Olurankinse Olumide:  That’s good. So, you had post basic Nursing qualification before leaving…. Good. What is then your first advice concerning qualification and experience as a prerequisite to US process?

Macanjons:  It all matters – You experience and qualifications. Experience will give you more edge to be employed. Qualifications will help in placing . So, they place you in a field you are familiar with just as I was a qualified OR nurse in Nigeria and I was placed in the OR here (Which is what I love to do)

Olurankinse Olumide: Okay, does more/higher qualification result in more pay unlike UK when you start with mostly with band 5?  E. G. Rn alone, rn wirh post basic, bnsc etc

Macanjons: Hmmmm, our post basics are not regarded as anything here . So no increase in pay. But bnsc? yes. You just have to evaluate and verify your credentials.

Olurankinse Olumide: Now, knowing about experience and qualification. What is the starting pay for a nurse in US? Oversea RN nurse in terms of the least obtainable, average obtainable, and highest (as far as it can get) for someone just starting.

Macanjons:  It varies depending on the state. I am in new york and it’s 35 dollars per hr. Nursing is diverse now so travel nurses are earning 100 dollars per hr. Especially during the covid era. So their is no max limit in nursing salary. But for the least in new york, it is 35 dollars per hr.

Olurankinse Olumide: Talking about hours per week, in UK, it’s “compulsory” 37.5 hours per week. Does USA have something like this?

And what are travel nurses just as you mentioned earlier for people who would be reading this later to comprehend?

Macanjons: In new york usa it’s 40hrs per week. I am specific because USA is a big place and i am talking about New York in particular and it may be different about other places but my experience will be about New york city because i am more familiar with this place.

Travel nurses are nurses that help with emergencies, say low staffing in some hospitals, they are not permanent staff, they go to these hospitals in need, make their money for their stay about 3-6 months and leave because they are temporary. They travel up and down. For instance, during covid, many hospitals were in need of nurses, if they need you in New york, leaving florida to work for them, they have to pay really well. So, that’s the scope of travel nursing.

Olurankinse Olumide: So, calculating all these fees usually looks good but what people don’t say is the breakdown. What does tax, housing and other expenditures look like in US?.  In UK for instance, i think tax is about 20%. Average cost of housing about 300-600 depending on location. In big cities, you even pay 600 for a room in shared accomodation where you share toilet e.t.c.

Macanjons: Tax is based on how much you earn, i really don’t know IRS charges because we really don’t know but what i know is that we are taxed fairly comparing with what UK taxes. It’s fair here. The more you make, the more your tax.  They take the money but you still save. Housing is expensive in new york compared to other states but for shared accommodation e.g. 2 bedroom with a shared toilet and bathroom say 700/800 dollars per month and For like self contain, about 1000 dollars. It’s quite expensive here in New york. Other expenditures are relatively fair, phone bills (like 50$ per month if you bought your phone at a go or financing if you are paying per month), TV etc. So, i would say it all depends on you. Everyone has their spending habits – for instance, hustler won’t bother about TV, they’d use laptop or phone etc. So, it depends on individuals. It you want to show off too, you make the money and save and still show off. Myself is not married and for instance, i can’t talk more about even for married people etc. But in all, the cost of living is relatively fair and depending on how YOU want to live your life.

At this point, i went online and found this youtube video helpful on tax: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yLjv59AfeI .)

For rent, websites like: apartments.com zumper.com etc for you to see more about rents.

Olurankinse Olumide: Nice one. Well explanatory. Now, still on the financial aspect, for an average spending person, what’s the least saving a month?

Macanjons: hmmm, that’s like a tough question. For instance, for us Nigerians, when you move, you have a lot of people on your back to spend. Most people infact spend on others than they spend on themselves. People are like, oh, he’s in US now, dollars!! etc. But my advice for others is that you spend on yourself first, stabilize yourself when you come, invest in yourself here. If you are here, not doing locum etc, average is about 4000 and you should be able to save at least 1500 every month.

Olurankinse Olumide: Let’s move to Practice.

How is Nursing Practice in USA?

2. Are there workplace bullying?

3. What’s the progression like in terms of promotion and all that?

4. Personally now, have you ever felt different at a time like wanting to leave US for another place? If yes, why?

5. How is it like for someone just starting, any development/support in place?

6. How does US handle workplace incidence with mistakes and all that?

Macanjons: Your first question about practice, the practice i have seen is Nigeria and US. Nursing practice in US is best compared to Nigeria. You have a body of nursing here willing to help at Anytime of need. It is also a very lucrative profession with a lot of opportunities where you can advance in education, learn more, build better and others. So, it’s far better than what we have in Nigeria. We are more respected in US. 

Concerning workplace bully, there are, in terms of racial abuse and bully. I wouldn’t say there isn’t. I have heard of some, white/black etc. But personally, i haven’t experienced any because i work with good people and loving people but we hear of it in the news and all.

Career progression is fine and really good here. For instance i started as RN without my BNSC then but i have it now. There are lots of offers from schools, nursing unions etc. Unions even offer discounts/promotions (not much though) , they want people to advance but i was able to obtain an advancement in this. That encourages people. And with BNSC, you earn more. Promotion here is based on qualifications and experience. You get more pay (no much difference with RN but still good). You may still be different and even working on same floor but your pay will be different with more pay. The level of experience pushes you too. More experience and qualification pushes you up.

Wanting to leave US? lol, we die here. That’s by the way though. Maybe when i retire, i may want to come and share the knowledge but for now, it doesnt look good at home (Nigeria) and that’s why we are working on our own way of contributing and developing it. Maybe if there is better opportunity in other countries i may go but for now, i don’t see that.

For someone just starting, when i started it was rough so it could be rough with the adaptation in terms of medications, tools, lifestyle (Jewish, Asians etc). As someone just coming, it takes time but as Nigerians, trust me, we will adapt quickly compared to others, we have the resilience, power, knowledge and all. I had similar experience like when i started, some couldn’t stay saying it’s tough but as Nigerians, lol, we are tough but there are supports available for you.

Workplace incidents are handled fairly. When there is negligence or something against the report, you could lose your license or something like that but when there are things like that, you have a body/union ready to support and all that. Most times, there are panels e.t.c to help identify issues and find solutions to further problems not just about punishments and all.

Olurankinse Olumide: One thing before we move to another aspect, How long do you think the whole process of migration would take for someone just starting?

Macanjons:  The process depends on the route. My own was migrating first through my parent filing for me. It took about 1year and half. Factors that may cause these delays is verification with local council, sending documents and all in Nigeria.

Olurankinse Olumide: U have answered most of the Questions even for education. I don’t think I have gotten these aspects: What’s a shift like: crazy? What’s the shift pattern? 12 hrs etc What’s the pay. Weekly or monthly.

Macanjons: In most hospitals it’s 12 hours 3 days a week double shift of 7-7 and all these depends on sites/hospitals. US is running short of nurses, some norms of 1-2 in SICU now 1-3, 1-4 etc. it’s crazy. But trust me, you work for your money. In Nigeria, you may not have patients scheduled for surgery on some days but here, it’s everyday and they come on and on like that . Most OR work 8 hours and clinics run 8 hours too. I think from 9-4 or so Monday to Friday. Pay is Bi-weekly if you are a staff, Agency pays weekly but permanent staff is bi-weekly. There is no monthly.

Olurankinse Olumide: Now, let’s move to culture. What’s the food like, african stores, Diversity, Relationship across US areas e.t.c

Macanjons: Yeah, the diversity is okay, you also get your foods and everthing though not fresh like back home, these are like refrigerated foods and all that. Relationship across is good. You meat your own people around and all. You can even join association of your own people if you want to.

Olurankinse Olumide:  Then, on benefits, aside from your pay, what are the opportunities available for nurses. Settlement/citizenship/etc…

Macanjons: There are lots of opportunities. Depending on your route, settlement, green card and etc is available for you to kickstart following the guidelines from the route you came in from.

Olurankinse Olumide: And for now, i am out of Questions making us come to the end of this session, but conclusively, what would you like to add as an advice to readers especially nurses reading this.

Macanjons: I would advice nurses to explore -move out, gather experiences, come back and develop. So many have experiences and opportunities to go out and explore but not willing to share knowledge with people back home which is bad. We should think at making things better with the opportunities we have but then, get the opportunities first.

The session ended with appreciations and all. We are glad to have Macanjons on this session and this chat has been approved for this publication on HealthWorkersBio.

Keep enjoying, If you have questions about US, you can drop as a comment below and we will try to update this post in the soonest future.

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