Filipino nurse community leader Francis Michael Fernando is Global Nursing finalist

Francis Michael Fernando Global Nursing finalist
Filipino Nurses Association in the United Kingdom (FNA-UK) Founding Director Francis Michael Fernando is among the ten finalists of the Inaugural Aster Guardians Global Nursing Awards. Screengrab from Aster Guardians FB.

Filipino Nurses Association in the United Kingdom (FNA-UK) community leader Francis Michael Fernando has been named a finalist in the inaugural Aster Guardians Global Nursing Awards for championing the welfare of overseas Filipino nurses in the United Kingdom.

Fernando is among the ten finalists chosen from over 24,000 nurses across 184 countries in the first edition of the awards which aim to recognize the contributions of health workers worldwide.

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The Filipino nurse is vying for the recognition and grand prize of $250,000, competing against fellow nurses from Kenya, the United Arab Emirates, India, the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, and Afghanistan.

Fernando, the Associate Director of Nursing and Quality at the North East London Foundation Trust, was cited by the awards body for championing the welfare and growth of his fellow Pinoy nurses in the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom.

Fernando started the Filipino Nurses Association in the United Kingdom (FNA-UK), a non-profit organization and growing alliance of Pinoy nurses working overseas that was formed in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak to give the community access to networking and support.

Last year, the organization won the Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Community Initiative of the Year award while its president Ariel Lanada was named Nurse of the Year for outstanding work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The (FNA-UK) association highlighted the high number of deaths of Filipino nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic and pushed decision-makers to act. This lobbying resulted in the provision of PPE kits for frontline employees and a specialised helpline for Filipinos,” Fernando’s story on the Aster Guardians Global Nursing Awards website reads.

Fernando also addressed the low level of representation that Filipino nurses have in the NHS, despite forming the majority of foreign nurses in the service. Believing that Pinoy nurses have a greater leading potential, he founded the National Head of the Nursing & Midwifery Network. He also set up the Senior Filipino Nurses Alliance UK “which seeks to increase the number of Filipino nurses working in senior roles.”

“Additionally, Fernando started a quality improvement project called Striving for Excellence in Hip Fracture Care to help his institution successfully satisfy national requirements. While he engaged in the process from start to finish, many doctors were reluctant to come on board. Despite this, he persisted and as a result, his hospital ranked no.12 among the best-performing hospitals in the country. His resolve to lead has resulted in positive changes for nurses, the medical system, and various patients,” the Aster Guardians Global Nursing Awards website adds.

Of the ten finalists, one winner will be awarded the grand prize of $250,000. The remaining nine finalists will also receive monetary awards.

Voting for the Aster Guardians finalists begins on April 26 and ends on May 6, 2022.

The winner of the inaugural competition hosted in Dubai will be announced during International Nurses Day on May 12, 2022.

Filipino healthcare professionals in the UK have been receiving honors including Dennis Singson and Marc Rodriguera who were recently named the recipients of the first-ever International Community Nurse award from The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) in the United Kingdom.

SEND CHEERS and WELL WISHES in the comments below to Filipino Nurses Association in the United Kingdom (FNA-UK) community leader Francis Michael Fernando for being named a finalist in the Inaugural Aster Guardians Global Nursing Awards.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.