The Importance Of Mentorship For Hispanic And Latino/a Nurses | (2024)

The right mentor provides experience, perspective, connections, and insights that can make all the difference in your nursing career. However, as some communities of color have found, including Hispanic or Latino/a nurses, it can be more challenging to find a sense of belonging in a nursing environment.

"I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a nurse, but I did not personally know any nurses that I could talk to," says Mayra G. Garcia, a pediatric clinical nurse specialist working at Children's Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

Garcia is not alone in this struggle. Mentorship is critical for fostering a sense of belonging.

On this page, we discuss the importance of mentorship in nursing, particularly for the next generation of Hispanic and Latino/a nurses.

Understanding the Hispanic and Latino/a Nurse Experience

Like some other communities of color, Hispanic and Latino/a nurses face several barriers to entering the nursing field, including:

  • A higher proportion of first-generation college students than other racial or ethnic groups
  • Lower family incomes
  • Greater need for financial aid
  • Less access to advice
  • A greater likelihood of imposter syndrome

While it is difficult to enter the profession, Adrianna Nava, Ph.D., president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), notes that it is even more difficult to rise to leadership positions within it, especially for women nurses.

"It is well documented that barriers to leadership exist for women, but these barriers become even greater to overcome when an aspiring leader is a woman and a racial or ethnic minority," Nava explains. "Being able to see a Latina/o in a position of leadership empowers others to strive for loftier goals."

Encouraging Latino/a mentorship in nursing can help address these barriers. Reducing these barriers can lead to better healthcare outcomes as a more diverse workforce can offer better cultural competence in nursing care.

The Importance of Representation in Nursing

Being underrepresented in the workplace can be intimidating, whether you differ from your peers by age, gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, or other factors. Many Hispanic nurses do not see people like themselves in nursing, especially in senior leadership positions. The lack of representation can stifle their ability to visualize their own potential.

"It is important for aspiring nurses to see nurses in leadership positions leading efforts in their communities, hospitals, and organizations, so that they too can be inspired and motivated to pursue a career in nursing," Garcia explains.

Representation leads to a feeling of purpose and possibility in any field. The lack of Latino/a professionals in these roles, however, leads to Latino/a nurses feeling like they don't belong, as Susana González, MHA, MSN, RN, CNML, describes.

"Impostor syndrome is recognized by many [people of color], especially [those] with a different language, and at times you just don't fit," González says.

Mentorship is one of the key ways to create a sense of belonging. However, Nava points out that because there is an underrepresentation of Latino/a nurses in the nursing profession, it can be difficult to find Latino/a role models or in leadership positions to mentor aspiring students in their local communities.

Stefanie Gatica, DNP, FNP-C, has been working as a nurse for 30 years in areas lacking Latino/a nurses in the healthcare space. Along with Nava, she also recognizes a significant need for more representation and mentorship in nursing since she experienced a lack of support in her workplace.

"I work in an area that does not have many Latinas working in healthcare; therefore, I, unfortunately, did not have [Latina nursing] support," Gatica says. "This is one of the main reasons why nursing needs to be more diversified, and those of us in the field need to become mentors for future nurses."

Seeing this need for representation and mentorship, NAHN supports Hispanic nursing mentorship by connecting aspiring and early career Latino/a nurses with experienced nurses.

How NAHN Supports Hispanic and Latino/a Nurses

Professional nursing organizations like NAHN work to fill the need for mentorship among Hispanic nurses. Besides formal mentoring opportunities provided by NAHN, this organization also offers leadership opportunities for early career nurses at the chapter and national levels.

To become a mentor or find a mentor, you can sign up with NAHN's formal mentoring program or participate in virtual or in-person networking events at local chapters, national conferences, or through discussion forums. NAHN also manages the "Hispanic Role Models in Health Care Careers" from the National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award Grant.

The association promotes Latino/a mentorship in nursing by providing various platforms and tools. Even if a member does not participate in a formal or long-term mentor relationship, they may have access to advisors for particular questions or concerns.

The Benefits of Mentorship for Hispanic and Latino/a Nurses

Latino/a mentorship benefits not only the mentored nurse and the nurse providing mentorship, but also patients and the healthcare system. Benefits to Hispanic and Latino/a mentorship in nursing include:

  • Access to advice about applying to, receiving financial aid for, and succeeding in college, especially for first-generation college students

  • Advice about work-life balance as a nurse, especially for some Latina nurses whose families might not be used to women working full time or pursuing a career
  • Guidance in choosing nursing specialties or pursuing higher education
  • Access to formal or informal professional networks

  • Higher retention rates

  • Greater career satisfaction for mentors

  • Faster access to leadership positions for mentors and students

  • Greater organizational ability to design and implement system-wide culturally competent care, not just to individual patients

How to Find the Right Nursing Mentor

Mentorship in nursing is too important to leave to chance. First, consider what you need, such as advice about school, job hunting, selecting a specialty, or professional or career development. Look for a mentor who has experience in these areas.

When choosing a mentor, consider whether the person has:

  • Experience relevant to your situation
  • Time to advise
  • Passion for nursing and for mentorship in nursing
  • A role you would like to learn about
  • A reliable and trustworthy character

Carli Zegers, Ph.D., NAHN national treasurer, advises aspiring mentees to feel empowered to advocate for their needs.

"Be ready to do the work," Zegers says. "Being a mentee is not passive but very active and should guide the agenda and needs, so it is important to be organized and take initiative."

When you are in a position to become a nurse mentor yourself, be ready to pass on the favor. Being a mentor can help you grow as an authority figure in the nursing profession, expand your network, and help build the culture of Hispanic and Latino/a mentorship in nursing, which benefits everybody.

Meet Our Contributors

The Importance Of Mentorship For Hispanic And Latino/a Nurses | (1)

Mayra G. Garcia, DNP, APRN, PCNS-BC

Mayra Garcia, DNP, APRN, PCNS-BC, is a pediatric clinical nurse specialist at Children's Health. Garcia provides leadership expertise as the nursing clinical practice expert in her patient populations. Garcia's work has been presented at national and local conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. She is a DFW Great 100 Nurse, D Magazine Nurse Excellence Award Winner, Children's Health Advanced Practice Education and Advocacy Award Winner, and is a recipient of the NAHN 40 under 40 Award.

The Importance Of Mentorship For Hispanic And Latino/a Nurses | (2)

Adrianna Nava, Ph.D.

Adrianna Nava, Ph.D., serves the Latino/a community as president (2021-2024) of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. In this role, she focuses on building the leadership capacity of Latino/a nurses who continue to be underrepresented in healthcare leadership positions. Nava also serves as the chief nurse of quality and systems improvement at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital.

Nava holds an MPA from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in nursing and health policy from the University of Massachusetts, an MSN in health leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BSN from Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing. She completed a predoctoral VA Quality Scholarship fellowship at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in 2019 and the U.S. Latino Leadership Fellowship from Harvard Kennedy School in 2020.

The Importance Of Mentorship For Hispanic And Latino/a Nurses | (3)

Susana González, MHA, MSN, RN, CNML

Susana González, MHA, MSN, RN, CNML, is a nurse educator for Home Care Agency and Nursing School in Chicago. She teaches with passion and purpose, and she mentors with her love of nursing. González advocates for public policy changes, especially for diversity and inclusion.

The Importance Of Mentorship For Hispanic And Latino/a Nurses | (4)

Stefanie Gatica, DNP, FNP-C

Stefanie Gatica, DNP, FNP-C, academic coordinator for Walden University's master of science in nursing program, has more than 30 years of experience in nursing. She has worked as a nurse practitioner in emergency room, pediatric, and dermatology settings. Gatica has presented at numerous local and regional conferences on various dermatological topics and provided multiple levels of training on aesthetic injectables.

The Importance Of Mentorship For Hispanic And Latino/a Nurses | (5)

Carli Zegers, Ph.D.

Carli Zegers, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at the University of Kansas School of Nursing and a nurse practitioner in the emergency department at Truman Medical Center. She earned her Ph.D. and FNP from the University of Nebraska Medical Center with an emphasis on health literacy, self-management, and underserved populations. Zegers serves on multiple national boards and is committed to diversity, health policy, and health communication.

Reviewed by:

The Importance Of Mentorship For Hispanic And Latino/a Nurses | (6)

Laila Abdalla, Ph.D.

Laila Abdalla earned her Ph.D. in English from McGill University. She taught undergraduate and graduate courses in English and successful writing at Central Washington University for over 21 years. Abdalla has devoted her teaching and leadership to matters of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Abdalla leads with equity in management and nonprofit volunteering, and she continues to develop her own understandings of these complex issues both professionally and in her lived experiences.

Laila Abdalla is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education freelance review network.

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The Importance Of Mentorship For Hispanic And Latino/a Nurses | (2024)


What makes a good mentor in nursing? ›

Qualities that make for a good mentor are patience and the passion to teach or share knowledge with others. Good mentors do this in a way that allows others to understand them and not feel insignificant or stupid.

What are some barriers to diversity in the nursing profession? ›

One barrier is media exposure — when minority students don't see ethnically diverse nurses on television, they sometimes don't believe that nursing could be a career for them. Another barrier can be a lack of interest in math and science, which is important to nursing.

How many Latinos are nurses in the US? ›

According to the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), out of the nearly three million registered nurses (RNs) in the United States, only 3.6 percent are Hispanic even though Hispanics make up 17 percent of the total population.

How many nurses are there in the US 2022? ›

Nursing Fact Sheet. Nursing is the nation's largest healthcare profession, with nearly 4.2 million registered nurses (RNs) nationwide. Of all licensed RNs, 84.1% are employed in nursing. The federal government projects that more than 203,000 new registered nurse positions will be created each year from 2021-2031.

Is mentoring effective in nursing? ›

Mentoring programs have a positive impact on nurse retention, transition of the newly licensed nurse at both the RN and APRN levels, and nurse satisfaction and engagement. Mentoring has been used to decrease bullying, improve the workplace, and in succession planning at all levels of nursing.

Why is mentorship important in healthcare? ›

In healthcare, mentoring matters. It helps professionals develop needed skills and confidence, encourages career advancement, promotes ongoing learning and relationship building and provides multidisciplinary collaboration, engagement and more.

Why is cultural diversity important in nursing? ›

Diversity gives nurses additional opportunities to learn about more effective approaches to various patient populations from their colleagues. This promotes the development of more culturally competent practices and helps nurses share information with one another that allows them to adjust approaches to care.

How does cultural inclusion have a positive impact on nurses? ›

Integrating an appreciation for cultural diversity into a nurse's decision-making process can foster a positive nurse-patient relationship and encourage safer and healthier environments in care facilities.

How do nurses deal with cultural differences? ›

There are many things nurses can do to provide culturally sensitive care to an increasingly diverse nation:
  • Awareness. ...
  • Avoid Making Assumptions. ...
  • Learn About Other Cultures. ...
  • Build Trust and Rapport. ...
  • Overcome Language Barriers. ...
  • Educate Patients About Medical Practices. ...
  • Practice Active Listening.
15 Jan 2022

Who was the first Hispanic nurse in history? ›

Ildaura Murillo-Rohde was born on September 6, 1920, in Panama. She came to the United States in 1945. She completed a nursing diploma from the Medical and Surgical Hospital School of Nursing in 1948.

What race has the most nurses? ›

The most common ethnicity among registered nurses is White, which makes up 69.1% of all registered nurses. Comparatively, there are 11.5% of the Black or African American ethnicity and 8.6% of the Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.

What ethnicity has the most nurses? ›

Demographic information on Registered nurses in the US. The average age of male Registered nurses in the workforce is 42.2 and of female Registered nurses is 43.8, and the most common race/ethnicity for Registered nurses is White (Non-Hispanic).

Is it good to date a nurse? ›

They Are Great Communicators, and Even Better Listeners

As one can imagine, communication is key. This is no different outside of work. If you are offended easily, dating a nurse may not be the greatest idea for you as they are straightforward and do not waste time beating around the bush.

Why do nurses retire early? ›

Unprecedented stress brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many nurses to leave the profession early and retire from their current positions. This is on top of those who are already close to retirement age. Most nurses have decided to retire early due to physical and emotional demands.

How much is a nurse paid per hour in USA? ›

This is the 2021 ranking. Click here to see the 2022 edition. The average hourly pay for nurses in the U.S. is $38.74 for registered nurses and $55.05 for nurse practitioners, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' occupational employment statistics survey released March 31.

What is the main purpose of mentoring? ›

A mentor may share with a mentee (or protege) information about his or her own career path, as well as provide guidance, motivation, emotional support, and role modeling. A mentor may help with exploring careers, setting goals, developing contacts, and identifying resources.

What is the impact of mentoring? ›

For those who are being mentored, it is linked to improved academic, social and economic prospects. For those who are mentoring, the relationship can build leadership and management skills, expand a mentor's professional network, and provide an empowering opportunity to give back to the community.

Why mentorship is important to success? ›

The purpose of mentorship is for sharing knowledge, experience, and connection over a period of time. The more experienced individual who is the “mentor” provides the necessary guidance to the junior individual who is the “mentee”. Mentorship may include educational or professional guidance.

Why is mentorship important for diversity? ›

Mentoring is an activity that supports employees to develop knowledge and practice around inclusion and can support organizations to increase traction around the diversity and inclusion agenda, both at employee and leadership level.

Why is mentorship important for minorities? ›

Mentoring for Minorities

It gives them access to top leaders' thinking and their experiences — how they got to where they are,” he said. “Again, for women and minorities who are underrepresented in top leadership, this is an opportunity for them to be advancing their careers.”

What is mentorship in nursing definition? ›

Nursing mentorship is an opportunity for mentees to learn the profession of nursing and gain career and professional insights. Preceptorship is a type of nursing mentorship where the nurse serves as a preceptor while the student completes specific objectives for an educational experience in the practice environment.

Why is it important to provide culturally sensitive & diverse nursing care? ›

Culturally Competent Care in Nursing

Cultural competence helps the nurse to understand, communicate, and interact with people effectively. More specifically, it centers around: Understanding the relationship between nurses and patients. Acquiring knowledge of various cultural practices and views of the world.

Why is it important to respect cultural differences in healthcare? ›

Why Is Cultural Respect Important? Cultural respect is critical to reducing health disparities. It helps improve access to high-quality health care that is respectful of and responsive to the needs of diverse patients.

How can nurses improve cultural diversity? ›

5 Ways to Improve Cultural Competence in Nursing Care
  1. Perform a cultural competence self-assessment. ...
  2. Obtain a certificate in cultural competence. ...
  3. Improve communication and language barriers. ...
  4. Directly engage in cross-cultural interactions with patients. ...
  5. Participate in online chats and networks.
24 May 2018

What can nurses do to promote inclusivity and diversity? ›

How Can Nurses Promote Inclusivity and Equality?
  • Provide education through literature and work groups.
  • Create a sense of belonging.
  • Encourage them to share their views.
  • Give them a voice in decision-making.
  • Foster individuality.
  • Provide opportunities to learn and develop.
10 Oct 2019

How can you contribute to a culture of inclusivity as you enter nursing practice? ›

Nurses can take the following steps to create a more inclusive workplace:
  1. Be aware of biases and prejudices to understand how they might distort one's outlook.
  2. Keep negative inclinations in check to provide optimal care.
  3. Be adaptable to change and have an open mind when working with others.
9 Aug 2019

Which is the most important aspect of cultural competence in nursing? ›

Cultural competence describes the ability to effectively interact with people belonging to different cultures. The importance of cultural competence in nursing focuses on health equity through patient-centered care, which requires seeing each patient as a unique person.

How do nurses show respect for diversity? ›

Nurses must avoid stereotypes and general assumptions. Instead, they should take into account and respect a patient's background. For example, nurses working with a large immigrant population from a particular country can learn the specifics about that culture but still expect variations from person to person.

What is the most challenging cultural barrier the nurse faces? ›

One of the most common cultural issues that arise for nurses involves faith and religious beliefs. Certain religious groups might refuse prescription medications, blood transfusions, surgeries, or other potentially life-saving treatments because of their religious beliefs.

How do nurses promote equality and diversity? ›

Nurses' professional standards of practice and behaviour are underpinned by values of equality and diversity. This means that nurses must treat people as individuals, avoid making assumptions about them, recognise diversity and individual choice, and respect and uphold their dignity and human rights.

Who is the most significant person in the history of nursing? ›

1. Florence Nightingale (1820–1910) Generally regarded as the founder of modern nursing, Nightingale was born into a well-to-do English family.

Who is the greatest nurse in the world? ›

History's greatest nurses
  • England: Florence Nightingale. ...
  • America: Clara Barton. ...
  • New Zealand: Elizabeth Grace Neill. ...
  • England: Edith Cavell. ...
  • Jamaica: Mary Seacole. ...
  • Nigeria: Kofoworola Abeni Pratt. ...
  • Wales: Jonathan Asbridge.

Who are nurses likely to marry? ›

Nurse practitioners and midwives marry miscellaneous managers, physicians and surgeons, CEOs and legislators, lawyers and judges, education administrators, recreation and fitness workers and financial managers the most. 7. Registered nurses marry truck drivers, miscellaneous managers and retail supervisors the most.

Which country respects nurses the most? ›

Norway, a Scandinavian country known as the land of Fjords, has one of the highest standards of living in the world as well as job satisfaction for nurses. While the average salary is $46,050, nurses have the ability to earn upwards of $100,000 depending on experience and specialty.

Why are nurses mostly female? ›

Studies have found that mass media have contributed to the female dominance of nursing because of a lack of male nurse images in their propaganda [3, 30]. Nursing schools can invite male students or male nurses in their recruitment advertisem*nts.

How many nurses are Lgbtq? ›

Extrapolating from the current consensus that 5% to 10% of the population are LGBT, between 170,000 and 340,000 nurses out of 3.4 million nurses (RNs and LPNs) in the United States may identify as LGBT.

Which group of minority nurses is the largest in America? ›

In the most recent National Nursing Workforce Survey: Nearly 81% of RNs working in the United States identified as White or Caucasian. Asian RNs comprised the largest workforce minority (7.2%).

What percentage of nurses are Mexican? ›

California's RN workforce has no majority racial/ethnic group. - Non-White groups are 59.3% of the workforce. workforce. - Hispanics were 39.3% of the California population in 20181, but only 9.6% of the RN workforce.

Can nurses hug? ›

Nurses are expected to interact with patients in an empathetic way that supports the patient's healing or wellness. Nurses are not required to hug patients when patients ask for a hug. Nor are nurses required to turn down a request for a hug.

Can a nurse love a patient? ›

In this article, Stewart is quick to point out that the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) states that “the nurse should avoid situations where he or she has a personal relationship with the patient.” Developing a romantic relationship while the patient is in your care, therefore, presents an ethical ...

Can a nurse have a romantic relationship with a patient? ›

We all know that it is unethical to enter into any type of romantic relationship with a patient and that such a relationship can lead to a charge of professional misconduct and even losing your job.

What age should nurses retire? ›

For nurses with time to plan, the prospect of an early or timely retirement with a properly sized financial portfolio and social security benefits appeals to them when they reach the current full retirement age of about 67 years or even before at 62 years (without full social security benefits).

What is the oldest age to become a nurse? ›

There is no “appropriate age for nursing school.” We have had students from age 18 to 55 years old in our NCLEX Exam Prep Course and all of them go on to become great nurses.

Why do nurses quit nursing? ›

"Nurses' concerns about inadequate pay and benefits represents the high cost of burnout, moral injury and the increase in workplace violence nurses face every day, all exacerbated by the pandemic," said Katie Murphy, a practicing ICU nurse and president of MNA, which commissioned the survey.

What state has highest RN salary? ›

Highest-paying states for registered nurses

California tops our list of the highest-paying states, where registered nurses make $124,000 per year on average. Following it is Hawaii, at $106,530, and Oregon at $98,6300.

Who is the highest paid nurse in the US? ›

The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist consistently ranks as the highest-paid nursing career. That is because Nurse Anesthetists are highly skilled Registered Nurses who work closely with medical staff during medical procedures that require anesthesia.

Is RN school Hard? ›

Nursing requires more dedication than many other careers. However, it's one of the most rewarding jobs you can have. Nursing school is notoriously difficult—and it's not for everyone. Graduate school is challenging as well.

What are the qualities of a good mentor? ›

Characteristics of Excellent Mentors
  • Good listener/sounding board.
  • Flexible.
  • Value diversity of perspectives.
  • Knowledgeable.
  • Nonjudgmental.
  • Able to give constructive feedback.
  • Honest and candid.
  • Able to network and find resources.

What are the 3 C's of mentorship? ›

Clarity, Communication, Commitment – the key to successful mentoring programmes.

What are the three qualities of a mentor? ›

Some of the skills and qualities that a good mentor should possess include: Enthusiastic. Shows mutual respect. Active listener.

What are 3 things you look for in a mentor? ›

What Are the Qualities of a Good Mentor?
  • Relevant Expertise or Knowledge. ...
  • Enthusiasm for Sharing That Expertise. ...
  • A Respectful Attitude. ...
  • Eagerness to Invest in Others. ...
  • The Ability to Give Honest and Direct Feedback. ...
  • Reflective Listening and Empathy. ...
  • Willingness to Be a Sponsor.
19 Jun 2020

What is the main purpose of a mentor? ›

A mentor may share with a mentee (or protege) information about his or her own career path, as well as provide guidance, motivation, emotional support, and role modeling. A mentor may help with exploring careers, setting goals, developing contacts, and identifying resources.

What are the most important components of mentorship? ›

Key components of an effective mentoring relationship.
  • Open Communication and Accessibility. ...
  • Goals and Challenges. ...
  • Passion and Inspiration. ...
  • Caring Personal Relationship. ...
  • Mutual Respect and Trust. ...
  • Exchange of Knowledge. ...
  • Independence and Collaboration. ...
  • Role modeling.

What is the purpose of a mentoring relationship? ›

Mentoring relationships emphasize helping the individual grow and accomplish goals and include several approaches to doing so. A mentoring experience may provide professional and career development support, role modeling, and psychosocial support; mentoring experiences should include planned activities with a mentor.

What are the four 4 forms of mentorship? ›

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  • Situational Mentoring. ...
  • Developmental and Career Mentoring. ...
  • Reverse Mentoring. ...
  • Group-Based Mentoring. ...
  • Peer-Based Mentoring.
16 Apr 2018

What is the most important quality of a mentor? ›

A defining quality of a good mentor is their ability to provide quality guidance. Now, this is not just about their excellent expertise on the subject matter. It's also about the mentor providing wisdom filled with personal insights to the mentee to guide them to their goals.

What are the 4 steps of mentorship? ›

Successful mentoring relationships go through four phases: preparation, negotiating, enabling growth, and closure. These sequential phases build on each other and vary in length.

What are the key principles of mentoring? ›

ABCs of Mentoring
  • Assess their skill, knowledge, and attitudes when offering advice.
  • Allow them to fail at times.
  • Challenge them.
  • Be available when you say you will.
  • Introduce them to key contacts/possible collaborators.
  • Pay attention to their promotion.
  • Recognize them.
  • Tailor sessions to individual mentee.

What are the 8 good qualities of a mentor? ›

Here are eight qualities to focus on:
  • Respect. First and foremost, there must be respect between the mentor and the mentee. ...
  • Listening. By truly listening, you get to know me. ...
  • Challenging. Great mentors push your thinking and help you grow in new ways. ...
  • Collaboration. ...
  • Celebration. ...
  • Truth. ...
  • Safety. ...
  • Empathy.
1 Oct 2014

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