Episode 10: Filipinos in the Nursing Industry

Catherine Ceniza Choy, Empire of Care, 2003, Book Cover

Are you a nurse?  Do you know someone or are you related to someone in the nursing field? (Hahaha…of course you do!).  Ever wonder why there are so many Filipino nurses in the United States?

The statistics are astonishing.  According to Aaron Terrazas and Jeanne Batalova from the Migrant Policy Institute, nearly one of every four employed Filipino-born women in the United States worked as a registered nurse.  Among the 666,000 Filipino-born female workers in the U.S. age 16 and older employed in the civilian labor force in 2008, 22.9% (or 152,000) reported working as registered nurses (Source: MPI).

In our latest episode, TFAL speaks with Catherine Ceniza Choy, the foremost scholar on Filipinos in the nursing industry.  She is a Professor and a former Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley (Go Bears!).  She is also a core faculty member of the Center for Southeast Asia Studies, and an affiliated member of the Center for Race & Gender.  Her research expertise includes Asian American history, Filipino American studies, immigration history, adoption studies and nursing history.


TFAL got a chance to discuss Ceniza-Choy’s award-winning book Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History (Duke University Press, 2003), which explored how and why the Philippines became the world’s leading exporter of nurses to the United States.

You can purchase your copy of her excellent book here:  Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History.  Also, check out her latest book, Global Families: A History of Asian International Adoption in America.

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here, or subscribe to us on iTunes here.

Are you a nurse and would like to share your experience?  Email it to us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.  Or better yet, leave a voice message on the TFAL hotline (805) 394-TFAL and maybe, just maybe, we’ll play it on our next podcast episode!

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