hispanic nurse speaking to womanIldaura Murillo-Rohde, an icon for Hispanic nurses in the U.S., recognized that patients and families benefit from being cared for by nurses who come from their communities. There’s no replacement for being of, in, and for la communidad. Read about Dr. Murillo-Rohde in this month’s newsletter.

To be part of the community one cares for as a nurse is to be what the Latin American liberation theologians called desde de la base. True change in health care comes when health care providers come from the base they serve. Studies affirm this. Patients who feel that their linguistic and cultural needs are being met by their health care providers are more likely to listen to advice and have better outcomes than those who don’t.

This is why it is so important to recognize that this month also marks the fifth anniversary of UCI as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. We are educating Hispanic nursing students, who comprise nearly a quarter of our school, in a setting in which they can feel at home – and use Spanish when learning how to speak as nurses with Hispanic patients and families.

This month, I am also introducing Chuck Villanueva as the school’s new assistant dean. His leadership and support of the school’s staff and programs make it possible for us to move forward on the school’s mission to educate diverse nursing leaders in research, education and practice who will improve health care outcomes for all Californians.