Yes, I’m Filipino But That Doesn't Mean I’m a Nurse.
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Yes, I’m Filipino But That Doesn't Mean I’m a Nurse.

Nursing isn’t for every Filipino-American Millennial out there, especially not for me.

Yes, I’m Filipino But That Doesn't Mean I’m a Nurse.
Allyson Dia

I’ve been approached by complete strangers, classmates, coworkers, and distant family friends all asking how nursing was going. While it appears to be a harmless question, the problem was that I was not actually a nurse nor was I planning to be one. I was happy in a different field that I had chosen for myself, but I was frustrated feeling that I should have chosen a different profession due to the stereotype: “If you’re a Filipino then you’re a nurse.”

It was in the 1960's when thousands of Filipino nurses migrated to the United States due to two factors: "The main push factor is the poor Philippine economy where an average RN earns only about 5% of what an RN is paid in the US. The main pull factor is the nursing shortage in the US." This historical trend created a stereotype for many Filipino-American Millennials, encouraging them to follow the path of being a nurse because it's known to be the Filipino profession.

However, Filipinos are not confined to one profession; nursing is neither a passed down vocation that our ancestors did before us nor is it in the family genes. I know Filipino-American Millennials who are successful in the worlds of business, marketing, and fashion, or instead found a passion for teaching, writing, acting or singing. There are others who became engineers, politicians, or scientists and those who had a different calling in the medical field as physicians, physical therapists or pharmacists.

Also, the stereotype “If you’re a Filipino then you’re a nurse” degrades every Filipino who works hard to become one. The Filipino-American Millennials who are nurses now didn’t choose the nursing field because of their ethnicity. Nursing is a profession that involves much more than "being Filipino"; it involves saving lives and taking care of others. They chose to be a nurse because they found passion in that career.

Being Filipino and the nursing profession does not explicitly go hand in hand. These are two separate entities and two independent identities. To all the Filipino-American Millennials who believe that their future is ambiguous because of a stereotype, don’t let that stop you from choosing the field which is right for you. Filipinos are comprised of different individuals who have different dreams and hopes for the future. We should not be confined to one thing or, in this case, one career.

To the classmate in my senior core not-nursing class, this is an incredibly awkward situation as you ask me, “Every Filipino person I know is a nurse, how come you’re not a nurse?” My answer to you is that my ethnicity has nothing to do with my career and my career has nothing to do with my ethnicity.

To the stranger who was taken care of by a Filipino nurse at your previous hospital visits, you've randomly come up to me asking what to do about the infection on your finger. However, my knowledge of anything medical is learned from "Scrubs," "House" and "Grey’s Anatomy," so my best advice is to not ask me.

Yes, I’m Filipino, but no, it doesn’t mean I’m a nurse. I hope you can understand that nursing isn’t for every Filipino-American Millennial out there, especially not for me.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

How I Celebrate Valentine's Day

Every person, every couple celebrates Valentines in different ways, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

How I Celebrate Valentine's Day

Ah, Valentines Day, a day of excitement for some and heart break for many. There are three kinds of people on Valentine's Day: the ones who make it a big deal, a little deal, and those who are single, but Valentine's Day can be fun for anyone if you have the right spirit in mind.

Keep Reading... Show less
Warner Bros. Television

1. You don't have to feel guilty about flirting with customers for tips (or just for shits and giggles).

2. You can be obnoxiously flirtatious with anyone you want. You are free to be that girl that flirts with everybody and makes 'em all smile (it's especially fun when the guy is as cute as Collin Jost). No shame.

3. Making random men nervous with your superior beauty and intense eye contact just for the hell of it is really amusing and empowering.

4. No one gives two poops if ya legs are hairy (your man shouldn't either but *Kermit the Frog meme* That's none of my business)

Keep Reading... Show less

Black History Month? Try Black History Year

What does Black History Month mean to you?


African Americans have done so much and will forever be remembered for their accomplishments. In my opinion, there is no such thing as Black History Month. All year, we should celebrate the amazing poetry, music, inventions, and accomplishments that has surfaced over the last 100 years. Let's take a look...

Keep Reading... Show less

A TikTok Ban? Nope, That's Not Happening

We've seen this movie before with the popular social media app.


Here we go again. There's a groundswell of support to ban TikTok in the United States.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Check out what's trending on Odyssey!

writing on a page with a hand holding a pen as if the person is beginning to write something

Looking for some inspiration to kick off your Monday? Check out these articles by our talented team of response writers! From poetry to tips for manifesting your dream life, there's something for everyone.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments