‘My perseverance for the nursing licensure examination as part of the Special Professional Licensure Examination (SPLE) in the UAE was one of the highlights of my dedication’
My perseverance for the nursing licensure examination as part of the Special Professional Licensure Examination (SPLE) in the UAE was one of the highlights of my dedication to bring into reality the dreams of aspiring nurses from the Philippines.
By Gelin Castro
DUBAI: She is the reason why the Nursing Licensure Examination was officially put in place in the UAE. Her initiative allowed nursing graduates from the Philippines who are working in the UAE to take the exams without having to go home.
She is Divina Ballesteros Digap, BSN, RN and a clinical resource nurse at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) in Abu Dhabi. She is also recipient of The 2017 TFT Healthcare Professional of the Year.
“My perseverance for the nursing licensure examination as part of the Special Professional Licensure Examination (SPLE) in UAE was one of the highlights of my dedication to bring into reality the dreams of aspiring nurses from the Philippines,” said Ballesteros.
“The passers and examinees from 2012 till 2016 are the living proof of my legacy. Most of the passers are now back home to practice and fulfill their dreams as a registered nurse,” she said about her accomplishment.
It all started when management of SKMC saw her leadership qualities and her sense of initiative and later on appointed her as the hospital’s “ambassadress” to the Philippine Embassy and created the Damayan Para sa Kabayan – Coming Together as a KSMC Family initiative and fundraising drive.
“It was the time when the Philippines was hit by typhoon Yolanda. The main objectives were to develop a database for all caregivers affected so that we can reach out to each one and determine what we can do to help and assist them as the time; to allow caregivers and visitors to make donations, to provide financial support for those in need’ and to offer grief counseling and emotional support to our caregivers in need,” Divina said.
The initiative which took place in November 2013, successfully collected 18 jumbo boxes of needed supply and Dh74,000 cash donations.
In 2009, Ballesteros founded and led The Filipino Nurses Association in Emirates (FNAE), following a mass termination of nurses in Mafraq Hospital.
“I was motivated and challenged by these circumstances to uplift my co-nurses and FNAE was born. Under the auspices of the Philippine Embassy, we initiated the project with the psycho-socialization program at POLO-OWWA, which assisted distressed OFWs and helped them in going home to the Philippines,” said Ballesteros.
She was voted first chairwoman of Philippines Professional Organization- UAE (PPO), an organization also under the auspices of the Philippine Embassy in the UAE. The group has helped various professionals take board examinations in the UAE, of which over 1,000 have successfully passed the examination under her leadership.
“During my term with Resolution no. 2017 – 1037 series of 2017, we managed to increase different disciplines under the Licensure Examination from 12 to 14,” she said.
Her accomplishments and commitment brought her honor and recognitions, including the SKMC Excellence Award, Caregiver Award, and CEO Leadership Award.
“There is no fixed formula for success and everyone succeeds in their own way because in the first place we are the captain of our own ships,” she said.