Philippines: A Nurse Nation

 General Program Description:


            The Philippines Nurse Nation is an organization with membership of Filipino nurses around the word; an alliance of Filipino nurses organizations and other non-governmental institutions for the promotion of the Philippines as a Nurse Nation and the Filipino nurse.

 Mission: To recognize and salute the Philippines as a nurse nation and promote Filipino nurses.

 Vision: The Philippines will become a world leader in the provision of professional nurses for the international community.

 Philosophy: The Filipinos’ culture as loving, peaceful, hardworking and dedicated nature and the improved standard of Nursing Education in the Philippines consistent to the guidelines of the International Council of Nurses and the American Association of Nurses will develop Filipino nurses capable of skills and competency required for their role as professional nurses and healthcare providers in a culturally diverse international healthcare setting.


The 7th International Nursing Convention in pictures

Cebu City, Philippines January 7-9, 2010



Clarita G. Miraflor, PhD, RN

1st PNAA President


Phoebe C. Andes, MA, RN

2nd PNAA President


Maria R. Couper, PhD, RN

3rd PNAA President


Emma B. Nemivant, MSN, MEd, RN

4th PNAA President


Filipinas J. Lowery, MA, RN, CNOR

5th PNAA President


Remedios A. Solarte, MSN, RN, NP

6th PNAA President


Beatriz F. Miranda, MSN, RN, FAAN

7th PNAA President


Carmen, T. Galang, PhD, RN

8th PNAA President


Ampy A. de la Paz, MSN, RN

9th PNAA President


Lolita B. Compas, MAN, RN, CEN

10th PNAA President


Pete-Reuben Calixto, BSN, RN, CNN

11th PNAA President


Anunciacion S. Lipat, MA, RN

12th PNAA President


Mila C. Velasquez, MN, RN, CS, APRN, BC

13th PNAA President


Rosario-May Mayor, MA, RN

14th PNAA President


Leo-Felix Jurado, PhD-c, RN, NE-BC, APN

15th (Current) PNAA President 









     Clarita Miraflor was elected as the First President of the Federation of Philippine Nurses Associations in the United States (FPNAUS), later renamed as the Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA), after presenting a topic on The Unification of Philippine Nurses in the United States at the PNA-New Jersey (PNA-NJ) convention held in East Brunswick, NJ, on April 21, 1979. A post convention meeting in the evening attended by Filipino nurses from Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Southern California unanimously organized FPNAUS to address issues and concerns of Filipino nurses and elected Dr. Miraflor as its First President.


    Her dauntless leadership skills were attributed to her previous roles in professional organizations in Illinois and California. Prior to moving to California, she was a President of PNA-Chicago (PNAC) now known as PNA-Illinois (PNAI) for five years, a Board Member and Vice-President of the Illinois Nurses Association (INA), and President of the State Nurses Active in Politics in Illinois (SNAPI), the political arm of INA. Later on, she became a member of the California Nurses Association and held positions as Chair of the Human Rights Committee and Commissioner in Nursing Practice. She also became a member of the Advisory Council of PNA-Southern California.


   Dr. Miraflor’s experience in leadership can be traced to many years back. As PNAC President she was invited as PNA (a professional organization of Philippine nurses in Manila) convention speaker in 1973 where she led a delegation of sixty nine nurses who were granted parole visas by Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to attend the Manila convention. At the American Nurses Association (ANA) Convention in San Francisco, CA in 1974, she spoke in behalf of PNAC to fight a highly discriminatory resolution that would have deprived all foreign educated nurses from coming to the US. It was also during her presidency in 1978, that the PNAC House of Delegates passed a historic resolution to form an umbrella organization of Filipino nurses to be known as PNAA.


   She was born in Esperanza, Agusan Del Sur on February 22nd, happily married to Manny Miraflor and blessed with four children, eight grandchildren, and a great grandson. She continues to serve the profession by teaching as an Adjunct Professor at West Coast University and by providing consulting and travel seminars for MIRAFLOR and ASSOCIATES. She has been to many interesting places around the world but her favorite travel ever is attending PNAA conventions..!! 









  Phoebe C. Andes was elected and inducted as the 2nd President of the National Organization of Philippine Nurses Associations in the United States (NOPNAUS), the former name of Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA). She was the very first elected Secretary when the organization was created but credited to be responsible for initiating the birth of a national organization that is now PNAA. She planned and organized the very first convention of the delegates and Presidents of various Philippine Nurses Associations in the United States at that time on April 29, 1979 in East Brunswick, NJ.


     She held her first Executive Meeting on April 24, 1982 at Alexian Brothers Hospital in Elizabeth, NJ. Problems of the Filipino nurses in the US at that time were reviewed and discussed by the Executive Board and goals were set and prioritized. As the new president of an organization that was barely three years old, she knew that she was facing tremendous challenges from lack of funds to continue its operations and lack of memberships. Obvious exploitation of Filipino nurses and worsening illegal recruitments were other concerns. She, then, decided to meet with key officials of the US and Philippine governments to determine if the issues could be resolved.


   In order to increase memberships, the organization had to increase its visibility by collaborating activities with other organizations. In 1983, plans were laid out for its formal participation in the American Nurses Association (ANA) national convention on June 22-28, 1984 in New Orleans, LA. At the convention, NOPNAUS presented its first program entitled “The Asian Nurse in the Health Care Delivery System: Issues and Trends in the 80’s” with Dr. Maria Couper of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois and Dr. Mohammad Ahad of East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina as guest speakers, moderated by Emma B. Nemivant, President of PNA-Chicago. That was June 27, 1984.


   Another strategy was to create its newsletter. The very first issue of the official newsletter, The Philippine-American Nurse, was published for July – December 1982. At the end of her term, there were six paid Chapter Members out of twelve existing PNA organizations with fourteen individual memberships-at-large. In her President’s message, she hoped that the organization will grow in quantity and in quality and advocated for promoting positive image and improvement of the quality of life for Filipino nurses in the US. Prior to her Presidency, she spearheaded the incorporation of the organization in the State of New Jersey which was granted on October 2, 1981. 







     Emma B. Nemivant was inducted as the 4th President of the Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA) in 1986. Her theme was “Working Together and Getting Politically Involved to Achieve Our Goals”. At that time, the organization was named the National Organization of Philippine Nurses in the United States (NOPNUS). It was changed to the Philippine Nurses Association of America, at the General Assembly Meeting held in New York City one year after, on June 20, 1987. A new logo and banner were created for the Association. Prior to her ascent to PNAA presidency, Emma was a three-term President of the Philippine Nurses Association of Chicago (PNAC), now Illinois (PNAI). During her first term, in 1966 to 1967, she made an indelible mark in the organization’s history by raising financial support for the families of two Filipino nurses who were killed in a case labeled as the “murder of the century” in which a total of 8 nurses were murdered.  In her last two terms, in 1981-1983 and in 1983-1985, she successfully lobbied for the elimination of citizenship as a requirement for professional registration of nurses in the State of Illinois and for the revision of Illinois Nursing Act allowing nursing candidates to take the State Board Exam up to six times, instead of three.


At PNAA, President Emma B. Nemivant was an outspoken champion of the rights of Filipino nurses. She established the Political Action Committee (PAC) chaired by Linda Simunek, Ph.D., designed to solidify PNAA’s position of influence and win some battles on health care issues that were of particular interest to Filipino nurses. PNAA led and won the protest against the American Medical Association’s proposal to create a new type of health care workers called the Registered Care Technologists (RCT) in 1988, a move which could have adversely affected the employment opportunities of registered nurses, many of whom were Filipino nurses. She was also successful in lobbying for the extension of H1 visas for foreign nurse graduates, mostly Filipinos, allowing them to stay longer to alleviate nursing shortage. There was a triple increase of PNAA membership, up to 2,540 members at the 1988 election.Emma was born in Lucban, Quezon, Philippines on February 18. She finished her diploma in nursing at Chinese General Hospital School of Nursing where she was a student leader as the President of all her classes. She was a recipient of the institution‘s Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award. And in 2004, Emma received the prestigious Banaag Award given by the Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.~Antonio B. Jayoma