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Four Filipino nurses join Decker program


Joyce Ferrario, dean of the Decker School of Nursing, center, shares a laugh with Filipino graduate students, from left: Mylene Jumalon, Ana Mar Jimena, Emma Mantilla and Charmaine Carpiz during a reception held earlier this month at the school.
Four Filipino nurses have joined the master’s degree program at the Decker School of Nursing and will be working at Lourdes Hospital while studying at the University.

Charmaine Carpiz, Ana Mar Jimena, Emma Mantilla and Mylene Jumalon were honored during an Aug. 2 reception at Decker, where they had an opportunity to meet faculty members as well as administrators.

The women were stunned by the attention, joking that the experience must have been like a day in the life of Princess Diana. The four, who are sharing an apartment, are already becoming friends. They even performed a brief cultural dance for the crowd gathered at the school.

Mantilla, who already holds a master’s degree and was a faculty member at the University of the Philippines in Manila, left her 8-year-old daughter to come to the United States.

“She understands that I have to do this,” Mantilla said. “She’s very wise, very practical. She understands why I need to go through this. She’s my inspiration.

Mantilla said her daughter is living with relatives while she’s away. They write and call frequently.

Jimena emphasized that she feels privileged to be here.

Jumalon, who also seemed somewhat shy, was almost literally speechless in front of the large group at the reception. She said she has worked as an operating room nurse and recovery room nurse and specializes in neurology.

The program, coordinated by the Global Scholarship Alliance, addresses the U.S. and Filipino nursing shortages. It provides Decker with well-prepared, funded graduate students. Lourdes, meanwhile, gets highly qualified nurses. The students earn a master’s degree and training that will help them become leaders in their home country’s health-care system.

“This is a program that will help us focus more on our clinical specialties,” Mantilla said. For her that means medical/surgical work.

The rigorous screening process included the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX) as well as other immigration reviews.

“This is a great opportunity to partner with Binghamton University,” said Cheryl Orzel-Teris, a Decker alumna who works at Lourdes.

Decker Dean Joyce Ferrario said the program has been two years in the making. She’s looking forward to welcoming two more Filipino nurses in January and another next fall.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08