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Latina nursing students' educational journey: Translating roadblocks into an action plan to address health disparities

Migdalia V. Rivera Goba, EdD, RN, Warren Magnuson Clinical Center, Office of Research and Outcomes Management, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, MSC-1905, Bethesda, MD 20892-1905, 301-451-3954, mriverag@mail.cc.nih.gov

Eliminating health disparities among Hispanics has become the focus of local and national health policy makers. As the number of Hispanics continues to grow, there is an increasing demand for culturally competent health care providers and healthcare services. One of the ways to decrease health disparities is by increasing the cadre of minority nurses. The primary purpose of this qualitative, in-depth phenomenological study was to understand the experiences of Latina nursing students in order to identify conditions that affect their educational experiences. Seventeen Latina nursing students and recently graduated nurses in Massachusetts and Connecticut were interviewed between 1999 – 2000. Data were obtained through three separate interviews, each with a different focus and each lasting ninety minutes. Data was analyzed by crafting participant profiles and identifying thematic connections. A journey metaphor is being used to describe each participant’s experiences. Along this journey, the themes are discussed as roadblocks and bridges experienced by the participants. Significant roadblocks, or obstacles, include marginalization and socioeconomic status. Family, mentors, and perseverance serve as major bridges or supports. The participants’ experiences provide important insights that may benefit nursing programs and other disciplines concerned with developing culturally competent nursing education. Results of this study suggest three major areas for change: 1) targeting K-12 education; 2) integrating multiculturalism within nursing education; and 3) expanding future research on patient-provider concordance and educating minority students/nurses. Understanding their journey can assist in the development of a road map for reducing health disparities by eliminating the roadblocks and further strengthening the bridges. University of Massachusetts Amherst Dissertation Chair: Sonia Nieto, EdD Date of Graduation: September 2003

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

    Keywords: Nursing Education, Latinas

    Related Web page: NA

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    Cultural Diversity

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA