Filipino Nurses: New York's Frontliners | 101 East

Filipino Nurses: New York's Frontliners | 101 East

An estimated 150,000 Filipino nurses work in the US, earning up to 30 times more than they could back home.

But at what cost?

Many nurses work long hours, some juggling multiple jobs to support their families. Others are exploited, intimidated and forced into indentured labour.

Now Filipino nurses are on the front lines of New York’s COVID-19 crisis, some losing their lives as they battle to keep Americans alive. Meanwhile, the Philippines is facing a dire shortage of medical workers at this critical time.

101 East investigates the price of chasing the American Dream.

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Footage credits: US National Archives; US Library of Congress (Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division); Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, PA.

“Were promises broken” and “A tale of access to influence”: From Newsday. © [2007] Newsday. All rights reserved. Used under license.

“Fair & Ethical Recruitment of Foreign-Educated Nurses”: © John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation – Used with permission.


Al Jazeera English


  • God bless Ali’s family. 🤍 may God keep you safe, healthy and loved.

  • I do salute to all filipino nurse

  • I’m a Filipino American in nyc. One year later Filipino doctors and nurses had the highest death rate of any ethnic minority in nyc

  • Gemma was my night nurse during my kidney stone crisis in Elmhurst Hospital. She was the most caring , most devoted to the patients , most human nurse who attended me during the 5 days care. You saved me hours of suffering in pains. Thank you! God bless you ,and your parents who raised you a wonderful person!

  • The reason my fellow Filipinos choose to work overseas is because our corrupt government does not care about them. Everyday our government officials only care about pocketing money while the working class struggles on earning money for themselves.

  • UK is better treatment to there nurses than USA though.

  • The first nursing school in the Philippines is Illoilo Mission Hospital now the CENTRAL PHILIPPINE UNIVERSITY( in the Visayas) .. .. that's where the first Pinoy nurses came from who migrated to the USA. Proud to be a CPUCN grad. 💝

  • Without Filipino nurses, the U.S. health care system would have been paralyzed

  • Watching this now is really proud but then this year 2021 theres a lot of racism happened …

  • God speed to protect everyone.Amen.

  • Gemma is Bisaya….proud Bisaya!

  • Filipino nurses are the best health workers

  • thank you for your services, thank you for risking your life for us! btw I have an apt for rent in Woodhaven, studio!

  • same here in saudi filipino nurses are the ones who faces on the frontline risking everything just to perform our duty fighting back against this pandemic..everyday exposed to patients positive with corona and still we do our job.God guide us in this war against this pandemic.

  • But U.S still Discrimanate us…..all asian specially PHILIPPINES

  • I was going through my nursing program back in 1995, but I ended up joining the U.S. Military. I salute all you mga pinoys for your service!!

  • Philippines needs to pay their nurses what they are do! Stop hiding all the gold. Give it back to the people!

  • I have worked in healthcare for over 30 years in multiple capacities and have a different experience with the Filipino nurses and staff.
    I have met some wonderful Filipino co-workers. We have developed long term friendships outside of the health care environment.
    Realistically they are no better or worse than any other immigrants.
    There are good and bad motives in every established culture.
    Always love and respect your fellow humans.

  • Still getting yelled at with "go back to your country" and at the same time being called "disease carriers" 😑

  • My daughter is a frontline but I do not worry. My son has all the Chinese blood in the family, a potential target for haters, and that I worry about.

  • And Idiot biden and democraps spend billions on foreigners and foreign countries. While our nurses are improperly dressed to treat patients of this deadly disease. The nurses have to raise money online to buy proper protective equipment.

  • What's left in the medical field if there are no Filipino nurses? Go figure…

  • Everybody in the world thinks that Filipinos are black. No we are not in Africa. People living in the Asia Pacific are brown naturally. Our skin just turn darker because of too much sun that give us sunburn especially those that worked long hours under the sun like farmers, fishermen, messengers, bill collectors, etc. But those who worked in shaded office, their natural brown color reveals. The race scientist think Filipinos and the rest are black. Thats because they have not studied the brown people thoroughly. They just refer our skin color as light black, then what happen to the color brown. Even the American military who came to the Philippines and colonize called us brown brothers. Nowadays the unmix Filipinos remain brown in color but hundreds of thousands more are fair skinned due to mix marriage with colonizers and foreigners.

  • Praying for all the filipino nurses working all over the world especially my 3 cousins in the US.

  • In WW2, most filipino soldiers were used. I cant believe that Filipinos again are the ones being a 'soldier' battling in the frontlines in this era.. Much respect!! God please protect us all

  • Filipinos are one of the best healthcare workers – they have the greatest sense of sympathy for their patients

  • There's something about Filipino nurses or workers that they seem to ease your feelings, they calm you when nervous and they will make you feel as if you are a family.

    PS. kuddos to all front line workers! Be it medical worker, janitorial personel, grocery workers etc! Thank you for your service!

  • Imagine,
    Taking cared by an Asian people
    and then discriminate them because there Asians..Best plot twist ever.

  • My classmate didn't die he is 55 years old that was last year' he is still alive until now

  • Fake pandemic I don't believe this the virus is not deadly bullshit

  • documents must open because some doctors to the Philippines apply to the America but deny because other people in the America tells that they don't have the talent and Filipino doctors high knowledge but the america said you are position of nurses only in the america not doctors (discrimination in America). Behind the your back some of them.

  • In the Philippines nurses are under appreciate. Hayyy 😩🥲😭😢

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