Recruiting More Hispanics to Nursing

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Recruiting More Hispanics to Nursing

Campaign aims to increase diversity in the profession

By Working Nurse
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Although about 17 percent of the U.S. population is Hispanic, Hispanics make up only 3.6 percent of the nation’s nursing workforce. The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) and the Hispanic Communications Network (HCN) seek to change that with the latest phase of their “Hispanics in Nursing” campaign.

Hispanics in Nursing seeks to provide one of the most important components of any diversity recruitment campaign aimed at young people: role models who can help kids envision themselves in that career. 

Reaching High Schoolers

NAHN and HCN launched Hispanics in Nursing last year with a bilingual ad campaign. Now, that campaign is turning to the radio to attract more Hispanics — particularly high schoolers — to the nursing profession.

The focus of the radio ads is on the real-life experiences of 21 Hispanic nursing students who have been selected as NAHN role models. According to Project Director Angie Milan, RN, DNP, FAAN, these 21 students “took time while in nursing school to volunteer and share their personal stories of challenges and solutions.”

With the need for culturally relevant care becoming more and more acute, NAHN and HCN hope the ads will inspire a new generation of Hispanic young people to explore the careers available in nursing and healthcare.

“Hispanics in Nursing was designed to address the educational and professional disparities in the healthcare field, increasing the exposure of successful Hispanic role models in the nursing profession,” says NAHN President Daniel Suarez, RN, M.A.

Additional Resources

The Hispanics in Nursing website ( or offers additional resources in both English and Spanish, including information on academic preparation for nursing school and a tool to help connect interested students with potential mentors.   



Latinos make up a much larger percentage of California’s population than of the nation as whole. In fact, since 2014, Latinos have been the plurality in our state: According to U.S. Census data, 38.6 percent of Californians are Hispanic/ Latino while 38.5 percent are white/non-Hispanic.

Therefore, it stands to reason that California also has a significantly larger percent of Hispanic/Latino RNs. The Board of Registered Nursing’s 2014 Survey of Registered Nurses, conducted for the BRN by researchers from UCSF, found that Hispanics made up 7.2 percent of the state’s 385,840 active RNs and 9.7 percent of active RNs under age 35.

Those figures have actually declined somewhat since 2010 despite the increase in the overall Hispanic population. In the 2010 Survey of Registered Nurses, Hispanics made up 8.5 percent of all active RNs and 11.8 percent of those under 35. 

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