As soon as Beth Rose returned to Scottsdale from one of her international consulting trips, she called Sally, her classmate from St. Anthony College of Roxas City. For a couple of nurses, Beth and Sally, the purpose of getting together over dinner is to reminisce the past of former college acquaintances. As their silly conversation proceeded to become a serious one, the question arose about the existence of a Filipino nurse association in Arizona. A negative discovery incited these two nurses to pursue the founding of the Philippine Nurses Association of Arizona, PNAAZ. On September 30, 2001, a group of five visionary nurses: Marcie Abad, Yvette Beltran, Sally Bernardo, Stella Parry, and Beth Rose, gathered at 10943 E. Cosmos Circle in Scottsdale, Beth’s residence, and discussed definitive goals and mission of organizing the Association. On October 28, 2001, nine (9) nurses attended the meeting at the Maricopa Public Library, Phoenix, Arizona. These nurses elected the first officers of the Association as follows: President: Beth Rose; Vice-President: Sally Bernardo; Recording Secretary: Stella Parry; Treasurer: Yvette Beltran; Board Members: Marcie Abad, and Connie Lahera. The attendees developed the following goals and objectives of the Association: 1.) To welcome and assist the newly relocated Filipino nurses; 2.) To provide professional enrichment among members through continuing education; 3.) To participate in the socio-cultural programs and activities of the Filipino-American communities. Thus the slogan, “TEAMWORK, LEADERSHIP, COACHING” was adopted. Subsequently, Beth Rose reserved the name of the Philippine Nurses Association with the Arizona Corporation Commission.
In the meantime, a couple of nurse educators, Nelly Peterson and Fred Calixtro, met to discuss a mentoring partnership for a graduate school project. The project focused on forming an association of Filipino nurses. The Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA), national organization, knew the intent of both groups. The information and encouragement provided by the PNAA propelled the meeting of these enthusiastic groups. On November 4, 2001 at Arizona State University West Campus Library, both groups conferred and agreed to meet their efforts in making the Association a reality!
The aggressive recruitment of new Filipino nurses to the Valley hospitals and the need to provide these nurses with professional support became the driving force for the Association. A formal meeting on November 16, 2001 was sponsored by St. Joseph’s Hospital, one of the leading hospitals that actively recruit Filipino nurses to the Valley of the Sun. Nelly Peterson facilitated the meeting with a total of 27 Filipino nurses in attendance. The highlight of the meeting was the election of the other officers such as, President-Elect: Nelly Peterson; Corresponding Secretary: Sallie Weems; Board Members: Jo Barone and Fred Calixto, Jr. A delicious lunch, socialization, and gracious support of hospital nursing administrators added to the overwhelming atmosphere of enthusiasm, camaraderie, commitment, and sense of accomplishment. The moment captured the true “Kababayan” spirit!
Since the inception of the Association, officers and members propitiously tackled the challenges of fund-raising, networking with other nursing and non-nursing organizations, community service, i.e. health fair, mentoring newly arrived Filipino nurses, offering NCLEX-RN review courses, and recruiting for membership.
As the influx of new nurses permeated the Valley of the Sun, PNAAZ continued to build up a cadre of professional and dedicated nurses who were committed to providing quality-nursing care to the diverse community. It will be a long road for the Association to explore but with teamwork, knowledge and perseverance, this endeavor for unity and nursing excellence will flourish.
On December 4, 2001, the Articles of Incorporation of the Philippine Nurses Association of Arizona were filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission. On February 2002, with the strong support from the 11th PNAA President, Pete Calixto and PNAA Western Regional Liaison Officer, Linda Ascio, the Philippine Nurses Association of Arizona became the 28th Chapter of the Philippine Nurses Association of America. Three months later, on May 3, 2002, the first Founding Executive Board of PNAAZ under the leadership of Beth Rose, Founding President, and Nelly Peterson, President-Elect were inducted at DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel, Phoenix, Arizona. This Inaugural day marked the hallmark of the VISION that came to REALITY and the PROMISE of tomorrow’s RECOGNITION, VIABILITY, LEADERSHIP, and EXCELLENCE of all Filipino nurses in the State of Arizona.
2008 – Filipino Organization of the Year
2008 – Legacy Award in Excellence, Rotary Club of Iloilo
2008 - Plaque of Appreciation, Rotary Club of Iloilo
2009 – Certificate of Appreciation for the Sagip Ondoy Relief Efforts
The mission of the Philippine Nurses Association of Arizona, Inc is to support the principles of the Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA) in fostering education, research, and nursing practice and to promote unity and fellowship among Filipino-American nurses in Arizona.
Philippine Nurses Association of Arizona envisions to be the premier Filipino-American professional nursing organization of choice in Arizona.
Promote activities which will unify the Filipino-American nurses in Arizona.
Collaborate with professional organizations and agencies in developing and implementing programs relevant to nursing practice, education and research.
Participate actively in community activities which directly and indirectly impact nursing and healthcare.