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International nurses reunited at UHP after two years apart.

Danielle and Chris Abrenica

Maria Christine Abrenica (Chris) and her daughter Danielle previously worked as nurses in a private hospital in the Philippines but have both started new lives in Plymouth through UHP’s international recruitment programme.  

Chris, 53, was the first to move to the UK in February of 2020 after being a nurse for 15 years in the Philippines. During her interview, she was given a list of trusts that had vacancies and she chose Plymouth. Chris, said: “I knew very little about the UK, I only knew about London, but when I was given the choices I was drawn to how serene Plymouth looked and I really liked the lighthouse!”.      Chris and Danielle

Two years later in December 2022, Chris’ eldest daughter, Marie Danielle, 33, made the move to Plymouth to work alongside her mother. Despite having other choices, Danielle decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps by coming to Plymouth, she said: “I decided I wanted to reconnect with my mum, I missed her and her cooking”.

Now the pair both work as nurses on different wards, with Chris working with elderly patients on Marlborough and Danielle working on the Bracken ward. They reflected on working for a public health sector opposed to a private hospital in the Philippines with Danielle saying: “We definitely feel a deeper connection with our patients in the UK, in the Philippines it felt like ‘just a job’, but it is much more personal here”.

Chris added: “We have found the people in England are very polite, it has been a really welcome change”.

Working for the NHS has allowed Chris to gain some independence of her own and hopefully inspire her other children to do so. Chris said: “My other children are grown up now and taking their own paths in life. I wanted to be secure in my own life and follow my own ambitions, as well as being able to provide the ‘little wants’ in life for my children, not just their needs”.

Both Chris and Danielle have settled into the environment at UHP. For Chris, working here has fulfilled her own wants: “I feel so lucky to be on my ward, I wanted to have a good relationship with my co-workers and patients, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have that”

The duo are incredibly thankful for the support that they received from the International Recruitment team, and the opportunity to work in the UK. They said: “Although the exams were extremely hard, choosing to work in England was worth it, and the International Recruitment team were fantastic to us”.

Above all, both mother and daughter are happy to be reunited and living their shared goal. They said: “We have always been so close, so being apart for two years was hard, but now we are back together our bond is stronger than ever”.

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