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Finding a welcoming team on the other side of the world

Teresa Azarcon

Born in the Philippines, Teresa Azarcon was working as a nurse in Singapore when she had the opportunity to transfer internationally. Her husband’s career with the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Center there introduced her to our health system — and what she learned about Duke Health’s compassionate care and innovation made her decision to join us easy.

It didn’t take Teresa long after arriving to confirm for herself the expertise and innovation that drive Duke Health. What surprised Teresa more, though, was the kindness that greeted her upon joining us. She felt constantly supported by colleagues and managers, who were eager to guide her as she transitioned not only into her role, but also to life in the United States.

Teresa Azarcon

I'm just a new team member and my colleagues, they give so much respect for newcomers, which is important.

Teresa Azarcon, RN

Operating Room Nurse, Duke Eye CenterWith Duke since 2023

For Teresa, it was this kindness and support that truly solidified Duke Health as the place she sees herself staying and continuing to grow. The support from her team has continued to this day, with a new focus on growing professionally. After learning about Duke’s Nursing Career Ladder, which is designed to promote career growth through professional development opportunities, Teresa has taken part in new training and become familiar with machines and technologies she hadn’t seen before overseas. She also has the opportunity to float around to different departments, expanding her clinical experience along the way.

Teresa Azarcon

What I'm really happy is Duke giving us an opportunity to cross in other departments like a floater; a chance for me to practice my other discipline of nursing. It's like it's very rare one hospital will support you in exploring or enriching your other skills. All of the people at Duke are focused on how to give high quality health care and service. I am so proud that I am part of this team.

Teresa Azarcon, RN

Operating Room Nurse, Duke Eye CenterWith Duke since 2023

About Duke Health’s International Nurse Program

Teresa’s journey with Duke Health was made possible through our International Nurse Program, which launched in 2021. By collaborating with an international partner, we’ve welcomed more than 120 permanent RN team members from across the world to join us in providing high quality and compassionate care. While here, nurses rotate between three practice areas based on their professional goals and clinical experience. The rotations offer a glimpse into different teams and clinical care areas – as well as the opportunity to pursue passions outside of their experience – before being paired with a home unit.

As part of the program, RNs receive assistance with travel and immigration, and are supported through our traditional and nursing-specific benefits and programs. As RNs acclimate to the area and to Duke Health, we also facilitate social events and activities throughout the program.

Vida's story

When Vida joined Duke Health over a decade ago, she wanted to continue serving others after providing care as a nurse to patients in Ghana. She opted not only to build on her Ghana nursing education at Duke, but obtain the proper licensure for nurses trained outside the United States by first taking a housekeeping job at Duke Health. Fast forward to today, with the support of her team and benefits at Duke Health, Vida has obtained the licensure, and degrees and certifications necessary to begin practicing as a nurse with us. But it’s not just the professional growth that has made a difference in her life – she’s also found a community that has supported her personally throughout life’s major milestones.

Read her story

Photo of Vida Gyamfi smiling

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