Growing the Latino Nursing Workforce

Growing the Latino Nursing Workforce

Eva Gómez, MSN, RN-BC, CPN

To increase the number of Latino nurses, especially in pediatrics, the profession needs to address barriers and increase support. To learn more, the IPN talked with Eva Gómez, MSN, RN-BC, CPN about these issues and compiled a list of resources and articles. 

Eva is passionate about educating nurses to strengthen their practice--and about increasing diversity in the nursing workforce. Besides her career as a Professional Development Specialist at Boston Children's Hospital, she is an outstanding advocate on many levels to support the Hispanic community and amplify her love of pediatric nursing. She also mentors high school students interested in health careers through Boston Children's Hospital's Student Career Opportunity Outreach Program (SCOOP) and serves on the Diversity Advisory Board of the William F. Connell School of Nursing, Boston College. he is a member of the Multi-Cultural Nurses Forum, the Diversity and Culturally Competent Care Council, and is 2015 Nursing Science Fellow. Her personal experiences as an adult open-heart surgery patient have been featured in Huffington Post and as part of the American Heart Association's Go Red Por Tu Corazón awareness campaign for women.



IPN: Do you feel there any misconceptions in the Latino community about nursing careers?

Eva: I think we have room to grow in terms of what we understand and perceive the work of the nurse to be.

Many Latino students are often asked, "Why would you want to be a nurse? Why not be a doctor?" This question is based on the misconception that nurses are kind and caring, but they are not perceived as knowledgeable or "smart" as our physician colleagues. Today's media still lacks an accurate portrayal of the nursing professions, depicting them as second hand to physicians instead of collaborators in a team effort caring for patients.

Contrary to what many people perceive, nurses have to know as much as physicians and other clinicians to integrate the science of clinical care with human compassion. As nurses, we are expected to have comprehensive knowledge about anatomy, physiology, chemistry, pharmacology and evidence-based practice in order to deliver patient care that is safe and meaningful to patients.

Overall today in the United States, the bar is set very high for nurses, and that is why nursing has often been named as the most trusted profession.

IPN: What more can be done to make the Latino community aware of the great career opportunities offered by the profession?

Eva: Those of us who are nurses need to spread the word among students and among those who encourage students to enter the health professions to strongly consider nursing as their career choice. More than ever, today nurses are highly regarded for their caring but most importantly because they are knowledgeable. In addition to that, nursing offers great opportunities for growth both professionally and educationally.

Our Latino community highly values education, yet many people don't know that as a nurse you can become a Doctor of Nursing Practice, achieving the highest level of academic preparation. As a nurse with a doctorate degree, you can combine your passion for patient care along with evidence-based research opportunities. As Latinos, we can give back to our communities through clinical care, research, and education of the next generation of nurses.

For Further Reading

Organizations & General Overviews


Students & Education


Barriers & Mentoring Models


Retention Issues


Support for Cultural Competence