Ellaine Celestino is a nurse practitioner who not only helps her patients — she also helps other healthcare workers learn to make their money work for them.
Seeing her parents work in the healthcare field, Ellaine knew she wanted a career in healthcare from a young age.
Her father is a physician, and initially, Ellaine thought she wanted to become a doctor too. However, she realized she did not want to rack up the debt that comes with medical school, and she decided to pursue nursing instead.
“I wanted a career in healthcare because I really love people and I love helping patients,” Ellaine says. “Initially, I wanted to be a doctor, but as I got into the nursing profession I fell in love with it more because of the holistic care and being able to be there for patients at the worst times of their lives, or even the best times.”
Ellaine has a passion for working with underserved communities. When she was first working as a nurse, she worked with a patient population that did not have health insurance. This is one of the more challenging aspects of Ellaine’s job — seeing patients struggle with financial barriers to healthcare.
“It’s hard to do your job as a provider of care when, at the same time, it costs to provide that care that a lot of your patients cannot afford,” she says. “Some people do not have that privilege and money.”
Her career has also been incredibly rewarding. She describes it as a “never-ending learning experience.”
Ellaine specializes in pulmonology and sleep medicine, and it brings her joy to help her patients breathe better and change the quality of their lives.
“I love that I get to work with a team of people who also want to help patients,” she says.
Ellaine and her family immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines when she was a teenager. Ellaine was able to start university earlier than most students in America when she was 16, and she became a nurse at 21.
“It was such a culture shock for me because I lived my whole life in the Philippines,” Ellaine says. “When we moved to California we didn’t really have any family where we lived, and family was such a huge thing in the Philippines. Here, we really started from scratch. My parents both worked as nurses — they really worked hard.”
Ellaine says that money is often considered a taboo subject in Filipino culture, and growing up, very few people around her talked about the importance of personal finance.
She was unsure how to manage her money and found herself living paycheck to paycheck, even though she was making a good amount of money.
She decided to educate herself about finance when she became pregnant with her first child.
“I realized I had to be more financially responsible because I’m going to be responsible for another human being,” Ellaine says. “I don’t want them to struggle financially.”
Ellaine began taking finance classes and earned a certification in personal finance education. She wanted to share her new knowledge so others do not struggle like she did.
Over the past few years, social media became a way for her to express herself, and later she realized that there was a need for financial education for healthcare workers. She started posting about personal finance to help fill this gap and provide more resources.
“It’s crazy — I didn’t think people would actually follow me for that,” she says.
Her TikTok following has grown to over 44,000 followers and almost 5,000 on her Instagram. Growing this community inspired her to create her own website called “Nursing Flow Sheet,” which includes a blog and personal finance resources.
Ellaine is also a mother of two, on top of her healthcare career and social media content creation. Above all, she says being a mom is the No. 1 role she loves to fill.
“I’m really proud of the person that I’ve become after becoming a mother,” Ellaine says. “I never thought I’d be able to do the things that I’m doing, and a big part of it is because I think of my kids. Most of the things that I’m doing are for their future.”
While raising a family, Ellaine has realized the importance of a good support system and getting back up when you fall.
“It’s difficult to be in two roles at the same time, but I think if you put your mind [to it] and persevere, it’s doable,” she says.