Spotlight with Arlene Navarro, Saudi-based Pinoy Nurse Leader

Nursing is a dynamic and challenging profession requiring engaging and inspiring role models and leaders. In today's ever changing and demanding healthcare environment, identifying and developing nurse leaders is one of the greatest challenges faced by the nursing profession. One Filipino nurse leader fits this description: Arlene Navarro.

Earlier this year, the Philippine Embassy-Riyadh presented the Outstanding Migrant Worker to him. This award is a recognition to being one of foremost community leaders for more than 2 million Filipinos in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

Arlene Navarro, RN, COHS, MSN (c)

Arlene is the face of the Filipino nurses’ in Saudi Arabia. The voice of the OFW Nurses. He graced various news articles, TV and radio interviews such as Balitang Middle East, TV Patrol with Korina Sanchez and RadyoNegosyo by Carl Balita. He led PNA ERSA in organizing a campaign for Reintegration Programs for Nurses bringing the tag line “Be prepared and Get ready.” He is a pioneer of promoting Health Awareness to OFW Communities.  

He has been a noteworthy promoter of medical tourism in the Philippines. He linked the Philippines through Ang NARS Representative Leah Goco Samaco-Paquiz to the Ministry of Health in advocating for the plight of Filipino nurses.

A year ago, he was cited as the 2014 Leader of Healthcare by Ireland-based, International Biography.  

A native of Batangas who moved to KSA in 1996, Navarro is the current president of the Eastern Region-Philippine Nurses Association. In that role, he developed innovative programs, providing leadership development, and service to Filipino nurses in the KSA. His PNA initiatives included the organizing of the first All Filipino Nursing Convention held at Holiday Inn which was attended by more than 1200 nurses. Subsequently, he also convened 2 nursing general conventions which were attended by more than 1000 nurses.

His feat for the last five years was amazing. He was instrumental in the introduction of the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program (distance learning) in coordination with Saint Paul's University of the Philippines. His pioneering efforts in organizing and coordinating online course in Health Informatics as well as introducing Nursing Entrepreneurship and Reintegration Program for nurses were trailblazing.

Navarro did not stop there. He was at the forefront of the PNA Bahrain’s formation.
Navarro earned a BSN from the Lyceum University of Batangas. He is currently a candidate for a master’s degree in nursing from St. Paul’s University in the Philippines. He obtained a Post-Graduate Course in Occupational Health and Safety at the University of the Philippines-Manila. He is also a Certified Occupational Health and Safety Practitioner, Certified Day Care Specialist and a Nurse Entrepreneur on the side.  

His caring skills were honed when he served as staff nurse in St. Patrick’s Hospital Medical Center. He witnessed the impoverished state of the Filipinos when he took care of school children as a public health nurse in the Division of City Schools in Batangas City. He experienced the idea of working in a safe environment in JG Summit Company where he worked as an occupational health nurse. 

Moreover, his faith in God keeps him on the right track, keeping in mind the value formation that his parents inculcated to his life.  And his vision of helping others not just the nurses will always be part of his entire professional and personal life.

Arlene's passion and dedication for nursing is apparent to all those that work with him. 

The Filipino nurses at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are at a better place to live and work because of the efforts that Arlene gives each day.