My Name is Maykel Verdecia Alonso. I studied registered nursing in Cuba for 5 years (from 1996 to 2001). Before taking the national state licensing exam, I legally migrated to the United States as a refugee. The reason why I did not take the national licensing exam in Cuba was because I was afraid that I was not going to be able to leave the country (the Cuban government, in order to avoid professionals leaving the country, has dictated laws that prohibit graduated students from leaving unless they spend 3-5 years performing social services). Since I had the urgency to leave the country, I decided to voluntary drop out of school and immigrate to the USA.
Soon after I arrived in the United States, I went to City College of San Francisco to learn English as second language. I discovered that City College also had an LVN refresher program for foreign nurses, so I enrolled in that to become a licensed nurse and apply to the CA-LVN Board. My hopes to be a nurse started to become a reality; even though, I was considered to be a drop off nursing student-immigrant from Cuba.
Soon after a fully credentialed evaluation and completion of the LVN refresher program, the LVN Board granted me the authorization to take the licensing exam. Since 2001 I have been working as an LVN in the United States.
When I felt confident working as a nurse, learned more about US law, rules and regulation, and gained more skills following policies and procedures; I decided to apply to the RN Board. Soon after I applied, the CA RN Board wanted my official transcripts from Cuba again (Cuban transcripts are to be use in Cuba National territory ONLY unless they are released by the government). After waiting a response from Cuba for several years, my immigration status in the US, Cuba-USA embargo, and after I realized that everywhere I go, institutions would request official transcripts, I decided to go back to school and retake all the classes I took for nursing in Cuba.
Since City College of Saint Francisco was the first institution that I enrolled in when arrived to the United States, I decided to complete my general education with them, and I have earned more than 80 units of general education. It is time for me to pursue my educational goal in this country, which is why I have applied to Indiana State University (ISU) to hopefully get into their LVN to BSN program.
Before I enroll into ISU, I first need to pass the ISU pre-exams which educational materials and preparation is offered by The College Network. Thanks to the excellent customer services of College Network and the excellent study materials offered, I already completed two of the pre-requisite exams needed for the LVN to BSN program of ISU.
Thanks to The College Network, Indiana State University and City College of San Francisco for allowing me to pursue higher education. I had to struggle with the political struggles between US and Cuba but it does not mean that I will not pursue my educational goal which is to become a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
As of today, I have an LVN license granted by the CA-LVN Board, I have 80 units of general education earned at CCSF, I have eight years of experience as an LVN, I have successfully completed the joint LVN-refresher refresher training program for foreign and American nurses, which is equivalent to two hundred twenty hours of nursing theory at CCSF, and 360 hours of laboratory and clinical practice in medical surgical nursing at St. Francis Hospital, General Hospital, and leadership / skilled nursing at Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center; thus, 5 years of nursing education in Cuba, whose courses and grades were officially evaluated by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools.
I would imagine there are other foreign trained nurses like me that would like to go back to school and that are not able to get their documents from their home countries (i.e. the school has closed, has changed name, has burned down during the war, are not politically related with this country, or simply are not willing to produce this type of document). For them, I would like to share my nursing experience.
Name: Maykel Verdecia