On October 4, 2001, the Philippine Nurses Association – Austria was conceived due to the diverse issues and concerns of the Filipino nurses in Austria and the expressed call for unity and harmony so that these issues and concerns could be properly addressed. Based on the professional and legal advice of PNA Manila, the group headed by Margie Nessl, then, formed the “Verband philippinischer diplomierter Gesundheits-und Krankenpflegender – Österreich”. The organization was registered at the Security Authorities (Vereinpolizei) of the City of Vienna on October 10, 2001. The election of the first officers was conducted on November 6, 2001 and the names of the elected officers were then submitted to the “Vereinpolizei “which in turn conferred on the Philippine Nurses Association – Austria its legal right to exist by giving its stamp of approval on November 15, 2001.
The elected officers were inducted into office on December 8, 2001 at Marriot Hotel, Vienna, by then Philippine Nurses Association, Inc president and International Council of Nurses board member Dr. George Cordero. Dr. Cordero also conferred on the organization the certificate of accreditation as an accredited chapter in Austria of the Philippine Nurses Association, Inc., Manila, Philippines.
On December 18, 2001, the PNA-A requested the “Wiener Krankenanstaltenverbund (KAV)” for accreditation and recognition of the hours earned during seminars, lectures, etc, conducted by the organization intended to fortify nursing knowledge and skills, and be entered in the Further Education Pass (Fortbildungspass). The “KAV”, through “Generaloberin” Charlotte Staudinger approved the said request.
On January 24, 2002, a 10-year Patent for the PNA-A was secured from the Austrian Patent Office. The PNA-A, whose membership consists of nurses of Filipino origin, is a non-profit, non-partisan, and non-religious organization committed to promote the professional growth of its members, geared toward the attainment of the highest standards of nursing care as well as the promotion of their personal growth, thereby creating an empowered professional organization responsive and committed to the care of the patients they are duty-bound to serve as well as the individual well-being of the nurses and the society as a whole.
The goal of the PNA-A, therefore, is the utmost utilization of professional services to support and enhance the level of patient care to its maximum, regardless of the patient`s gender, status, religion and culture. The organization also aims to unite the Filipino nurses in Austria whereby a profitable sharing of ideas and experiences would be facilitated, and likewise to support the integration of the Filipino nurses into the Austrian work force.
The PNA-A has been conducting lectures and seminars (Fortbildungen) on a regular basis to fulfill its commitment to promote the professional growth of its constituents ever mindful of the new trends and dynamics of the nursing profession. It is also committed to fulfil its social responsibility through yearly monetary assistance to the Sagip-Buhay Foundation, which helps indigent patients admitted at UP-PGH, and also to the Philippine Red Cross through a medical equipment donation in 2010 at the height of the Dengue Fever outbreak in the Philippines.
To foster unity and sense of belonging among its members and also to promote and uplift their physical well-being, the PNA-A has conducted physical and social activities such as hiking, Nordic walking, aerobics, bowling, ballroom dancing, “Faschingsfest” and the like.
The PNA-A membership has been steadily increasing over the years and at present has in its registry, close to 300 members, all of whom are duly recognized by the Austrian government to practice the nursing profession in Austria, though some are inactive due to illness and migration. Most of its members are employed in various government-run as well as private hospitals and nursing homes in the city of Vienna and suburbs. The PNA-A looks forward to further expanding its membership to Filipino nurses living and working in the other provinces of Austria.