We recently had a chat with Michael Jade Tumaneng, TrueProfile.io’s February Scholarship Fund winner. Jade works as a triage nurse in Fujairah City, U.A.E. He talks about the growth of his career in nursing certification and the steps he took to become a nurse overseas.

TrueProfile.io: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, Jade. Can you tell us about your experience and the process of applying for a nursing position in the UAE from the Philippines?

Jade: I moved to the UAE in March 2015 and it was quite a challenging experience. I had to deal with a new culture and a totally different environment from what I was used to in the Philippines. It was my brother who suggested that I advance my nursing career in the UAE. At first, I was hesitant because there were many variables and uncertainty about what my experience might be in a foreign land. Despite all of my misgivings, I traveled to the UAE and immediately took the Ministry of Health (MoH) nursing examination within one week of landing in the country and I passed! 

While you waited to receive your license to practice nursing in the UAE from MoH, what work did you do? What advice can you give to anyone awaiting their license?

Before joining Al Sharq Hospital as a triage nurse in 2016, I worked in the sales industry selling car parts while waiting for my nursing registration. It was all worth it because I was able to sponsor my wife and she’s here with me now! My wife has been in the UAE for four years now, working in an office in Fujairah City. My advice to anyone in a similar circumstance is to be wise and when an opportunity knocks at your door, grab it. Take a risk and explore.

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You successfully progressed your career working within the rural Philippine Department of Health (DoH), through the DoH Hospital sector and on to overseas employment in the UAE. How has this experience shaped you as a nurse?

I was new to nursing when I began work as a Rural Nurse. Through the leadership of my mentors, they changed and shaped my way of dealing with patients. In rural areas, there are a lot of differences compared to hospital settings. In rural nursing, I treated my patients using limited resources and I apply this experience to my work as a triage nurse in the UAE. I recall attending Medical-Dental Missions in remote areas where the resources available to us were scarce.

When people in the Philippine nursing profession think about Rural Nursing in relation to getting a job abroad, they think it’s hard to get a Work Certification. Was that the case for you?

No, it was a breeze getting my Certificate of Employment (CoE) and getting it verified. Instead of getting my work certification from the Department of Health, I got my certificate directly from the municipality in Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya, where I was assigned.

What were the biggest cultural differences in moving from a rural area in the Philippines to Fujairah City in the UAE?

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Fujairah City at dusk.

When we speak of culture, there’s not much difference here in Fujairah, other than the religion. When Filipinos visit Fujairah, they are surprised because it feels a bit like home. Fujairah is comparable to most provincial cities in the Philippines, but unfortunately there’s no Jollibee (the Philippines’ best-known local fast food restaurant) here. For travel and sightseeing, Fujairah is just an hour or so away from Dubai. 

How has the pandemic affected your work as a nurse?

The pandemic did not affect my work at all. As a nurse, with your talent and skills, you adjust and accept the challenges. The only thing that was affected is that my wife and I have not been back home since 2019 because of travel restrictions. Before the pandemic, we traveled back to the Philippines annually by taking advantage of budget Philippine airline sales.

You have a great digital CV on TrueProfile.io. Your country preferences on your myTrueProfile page include the UAE, USA/Canada, UK, and Europe. Where do you hope to travel to after your stint in Fujairah?

My next destination would be Canada.

Would you recommend TrueProfile.io to nurses aspiring to work overseas?

Definitely! I recommend TrueProfile.io to nurses aspiring to work overseas because it’s easy to use and part of the most trusted company for document authentication. It’s an honor and a privilege to be featured on your blog and inspire other healthcare professionals about my experience with TrueProfile.io.

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