Transferring Nursing Experience & Planning for the Future - Health Workforce for the Future Success Story

The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County is devoted to creating sustainable career pathways aligned within our Focus and Watch Sectors. Health Workforce for the Future provides an exciting opportunity for individuals to find not just a job, but build a career within the healthcare sector. HWF is a local project of the Health Professions Opportunity Grant (HPOG) initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Below we’ve highlighted the story of Getachew Haile, an individual who immigrated from Ethiopia and was able to transfer his existing nursing experience through collaboration between the Health Workforce for the Future and the Welcome Back Center.

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Getachew Haile came to the United States in May 2015 from Ethiopia, where he had practiced as a nurse. He was referred to the Health Workforce for the Future (HWF) program in April 2016 by staff at the Puget Sound Welcome Back Center (WBC) at Highline College, who had assisted him with compiling transcripts and documents for formal credential evaluation in the U.S.

With the assistance of his HWF Navigator, Getachew enrolled in Nursing Assistant (NAC) training, which he successfully completed in May. By the end of June, he had taken and passed the NAC licensing exam, received his license to work from the state, and connected with the HWF business services rep to identify and begin applying for available jobs in the area. In July, Getachew began working as a Nursing Assistant at an Alzheimer’s and Dementia facility.

Getachew works with 20 residents on a daily basis, following their Patient Care Plan and assisting with daily living (bathing, feeding, grooming, dressing), ambulation, medication reminders, and vitals monitoring. He continues to work closely with his HWF Navigator and Welcome Back Center staff to prepare for the next step in his career. Once the credential evaluation process is complete, Getatchew will be eligible to sit for the national nursing credentialing exam (NCLEX). His HWF Navigator has assisted Getachew to enroll in an NCLEX prep course at Highline College, where the Welcome Back Center is housed. Together WBC and HWF staff are providing Getachew the guidance and assistance necessary to navigate the complex process of articulating his training and experience in Ethiopia to the U.S. workforce.

His HWF Navigator says that Getachew is very appreciative of the HWF program, in spite of the heavy lifting he is doing to prepare for his exams. His navigator frequently encourages him to take time to reward himself for his hard work.