Long before becoming a leader at a South Carolina hospital, Leah Ramos was an international nurse.
She was born and raised in the Philippines. She initially wanted to become a math teacher, but ended up choosing nursing school and fell in love with it.
“It's really the opportunity for a better life, not just for me, but for my family,” she said.
Ramos now works as executive director of nursing for the Adult Hospital at Medical University of South Carolina.
Like many hospitals, they have staffing gaps with the nationwide nursing shortage — but MUSC has found a solution they love: International nurses.
“I knew that international nurses will be hard workers,” Ramos said. “I know that they'll be able to adapt, because they really want to excel and they want to be perceived as an asset to whichever organization will hire them.”
International nurses also bring different experiences and ideas into the facility. “It just really adds diversity in the mix, which is an important value for us as an organization,” Ramos said.
Through our international recruitment brand, PassportUSA, we have the largest network of highly-qualified and credentialed global healthcare professionals available for interview and selection available anywhere.
The PassportUSA relocation and resettlement process includes greeting healthcare professionals at the airport, helping them to establish households near the assigned work location and supporting their family unit.
Christy McEachern, the clinical director at MUSC, said the international nurses have been a relief for staffing.
“Before, we had such a hard time recruiting,” she said. “The other option would have been a traveler, who we have to renew their contract every 13 weeks. And so there's a lot to be said for that knowing that we have these individuals here for sure, for three years, but hope they will want to continue to stay with us forever.”
Ramos and McEachern spoke to Health Carousel more about international nurses and the other innovative staffing solutions they introduced to MUSC.