Nursing diversity is essential to better health and improved patient outcomes among Hispanic patients. Why? Quite simply, patients respond better when their caregivers know and understand them.
As a result, nursing diversity is on the upswing; however, the representation of Latinos among the nursing ranks still falls way short of their percentage make-up within the general population. Latinos are slightly more than 17 percent of the nation’s population, yet out of the nearly three million nurses in the U.S., only about three-and-a-half percent are of Hispanic origin.
To help close the gap to rectify the discrepancy, the federal government has made more than $13 million in awards and grants to schools through the Nursing Workforce Diversity program. This program provides college assistance to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The program currently is recruiting nursing candidates to begin programs, such as RN to BSN, this year in the hopes it will help recruit more qualified Latinos to the profession and will help those who are already nurses to advance up the career ladder within the profession.
While recruiting more Latino nurses is a priority…so is retaining those already on the job, and opening doors to advancement to encourage them to stick with the profession. The just-concluded National Mentoring Month (January) marked the fourth year of the Hispanics in Nursing campaign – one element of which is access to Mentors Connection, a database of Hispanic nurses who provide career guidance, advice and cultural perspectives to others.
Overall, the U.S. Hispanic community is rather young – averaging about 26-years-of-age. But, the number of Hispanic nurses is not keeping up with that growth. Nursing leaders are needed to point to the rewards of becoming a nurse, then pointing students to seek careers in the field. In addition to encouragement and inspiration, nursing mentors help with the transition from nursing school into the workforce.
Fortis Colleges and Institutes are part of one of the largest nursing education networks in the country. With their focus on interactive learning technology, such as nursing simulators, Fortis campuses can open the door to exciting careers in the field of nursing.
To learn more about the campus nearest you offering nursing programs, and more about career expectation as a nurse, visit our Nursing Programs page.