Passport USA arrives at Mercy Medical Center

Passport USA arrives at Mercy Medical Center

Over the next number of years, the United States as a whole will need one million nurses to fill a shortage.

Mercy Medical Center is combating that shortage by participating in a program called Passport USA.

"We can recruit internationally and bring nurses from other countries to help care for patients," says Tracy Larson, vice president of patient care services at Mercy Medical Center.

The nursing positions are for a period of three years. After that, if they choose, the nurses can stay and take permanent positions in the hospital.

"We will always have a position open for them," says Larson, "So we definitely want to keep them here in our community."

Since 2016 ten nurses from the Philippines came to Mercy Medical Center.

A few nurses say their experiences have been unique, and they love the opportunities provided to them.

"I love the people here," says Mary Ann Ebe, a Passport USA nurse. "They have been so nice to us, and everyone is so polite. I've never had an issue with anyone."

"There are different difficulties like the culture and the language barrier as well, but eventually I'm able to adjust," says Paraluman Lacea, a Passport USA nurse.

"Being here in the Midwest, I'm being exposed to outdoor activities and parks," says Maria Padilla, another Passport USA nurse. "I'm not an outdoor person. I lived in the city for most of my life."

Jacob Trierweiler manages where the nurses work in the hospital. While talking with patients, he hears positive feedback about the program from the patients.

"It's not everyday you meet someone from another country," says Trierweiler. "You can get to know them and learn about their culture. Everyone has their differences, and we can learn and grow from that."

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