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Paul Biluan TCUPaul Biluan ’22 DNP, APRN, FNP-C is an NCLEX expert, CEO of AspireRN and an advocate for immigrant nurses. Born in the Philippines where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing, Biluan served 10 years as a staff nurse and nursing instructor before migrating to the U.S. in 2017 to pursue a doctorate degree.

How has your cultural background influenced your college experience and your journey as a student?

Coming to the U.S., I had to learn and adapt to the culture and fill the gaps with curriculum and experience differences between my home country and the states. I don’t believe my race, nor my cultural background, affected my application for the doctorate degree. I simply focused on my academic and professional achievements.

Paul Biluan TCUIn what ways did/do you actively engage with the AAPI community on campus or beyond?

We did mostly virtual classes and only met once a year, but I did run for the graduate student council, advancing my diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) advocacies. I currently have memberships with several professional nursing organizations like the American Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Texas Nurse Practitioners and DNPs of Color, where I am a DEI committee member.

 Additionally, I currently serve as a founding board of director and treasurer for SIENNA (Society of Internationally Educated Nurses of North America). As a member of its JEDI committee and policy committee chair, I advocate for immigrant and BIPOC (Black, indigenous, and other people of color) nurses.

I also host and produce the podcast “DNP Unlocked: An Immigrant Nurse Talkshow.” On social media, I talk about the struggles, challenges and opportunities for IENs (internationally educated nurses) in the states. I’ve participated in multiple talks and webinars advancing and advocating for the interests of IENs.

As an AAPI student, what do you hope to contribute to the college community or society as a whole?

I aim to continue representing BIPOCs in nursing organizations at a national, state and local level to ensure that IENs and BIPOC nurses are represented and have a seat at the table. I will continue to use my voice, my experiences and my story to inspire nurses like me, from disadvantaged backgrounds, to inspire them and motivate them to pursue nursing and continue advocating for the next generation of nurses. In the near future, I hope to be able to serve the TCU community, as well.

What advice would you give to other AAPI students who may be navigating their own identities and experiences in college?

You are not alone. You may feel different, awkward, out of place or not blending in because of your color, or your background, your culture, or even your accent. But these qualities do not define you as a person and as a nurse. Look within and find your purpose and potential. You have so much to offer. Get yourself out there, speak up, offer your perspective, participate in the community and show them what you are capable of. Use your unique background as leverage to propel you to greater heights. We are here; we’ve walked this journey just like you. We will continue to pave the way for you so you can achieve your highest potential and be the best version of yourself. And we hope you do the same for the future generation of students and nurses who are like you and me.