For 21 years, Artwork Hernandez has served transplant sufferers as a registered nurse at UC Davis Well being. He’s come a great distance from the times he slept on the ground in a two-bedroom home he shared with 14 siblings and his dad and mom. Throughout the day, he labored within the fields in Tulare County.

“I used to be that migrant farmworker child. It’s onerous to neglect,” he recalled. 

Hernandez finally benefitted from his nursing training. His hopes of serving to much more individuals prompted him to return to highschool and earn a household nurse practitioner diploma six years in the past. When he’s not at UC Davis Medical Heart, he’s offering culturally competent and holistic care on the Sacramento Native American Well being Heart.

Young Art Hernandez wearing a striped shirt on left-hand side of photo and today wearing scrubs on right-hand shirt
Artwork Hernandez as a younger baby in Tulare County, left, and a UC Davis Medical Heart nurse as we speak

As a Hispanic in nursing, he is aware of he’s within the minority within the occupation. In keeping with the Nationwide Affiliation of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), out of the almost three million registered nurses in america, solely 3.6% are Hispanic, though Hispanics make up 17% of the entire inhabitants.

Sandra Calderon, additionally a nurse practitioner and president of the Sacramento chapter of NAHN, argues that college students merely usually are not conscious of the alternatives that exist within the nursing occupation.

“I need individuals to know what nursing is and what it could provide them,” Calderon stated. “Nursing goes from poverty to prosperity for our tradition.”

Members of NAHN routinely go to space excessive faculties to speak in regards to the occupation they love and illustrate to college students of coloration the chances of a future in nursing.

“Numerous our tales are very comparable,” she defined. “We need to assist others overcome the issues we went via and provides ideas and mentorship on the right way to keep away from the errors we made with the completely different assets on the market.”

Challenges, resilience and triumph

It’s the identical message that Calderon, Hernandez and different Hispanic UC Davis Well being nurses shared final week with UC Davis Well being staff. “Celebrating Hispanos in Nursing: Our Challenges, Resilience and Triumph” showcased why these devoted nurses selected the occupation and encourage others to affix their ranks.

Sandra Calderon wears white coat and sits in clinic exam room
Sandra Calderon serves as president of the native chapter of the Nationwide Affiliation of Hispanic Nurses.

Reasonably than ready for the once-a-year Ideas of Group Week, leaders of the UC Davis Well being Affected person Care Companies Variety, Fairness and Inclusion (DEI) Council try to spotlight and have fun nationwide nursing organizations, together with LGBTQ+ and disabled nurses year-round. 

“To be really equitable and inclusive, our tales as Hispanic nurses should be advised. Our sacrifices, contributions and affect on our communities should be shared,” stated Misara Bambao, DEI Council chair. “When our Hispanic sufferers see somebody who seems to be like them, speaks their language, is aware of and understands their tradition, it brings worth to each the affected person and the nurse.”

Embracing the variety of each nurses and sufferers is a spotlight for UC Davis Well being leaders as effectively. Prior to now two years, greater than 100 nurse leaders have accomplished Anti-racism and Cultural Humility Coaching, which provides contributors the instruments to acknowledge and meet sufferers’ distinctive cultural, social and communications wants. 

“In honor of Hispanic Nurses Day, I need to acknowledge and have fun our Hispanic nurses for all that they do for our sufferers, as we speak and on daily basis,” stated Toby Marsh, chief Nursing and Affected person Care Companies officer at UC Davis Medical Heart. “Their expertise and compassion assist make UC Davis Well being the primary hospital in our area. I am so grateful for the care and kindness they offer to our sufferers and to one another.”

Toby Marsh headshot

I am so grateful for the care and kindness [our Hispanic nurses] give to our sufferers and to one another.Toby Marsh, Chief Nursing and Affected person Care Companies Officer

Alternatives and progress

Hernandez says nursing as an individual of coloration over the previous 20 years has allowed him many alternatives.

“I’ve shared private tales, realized from others and grown as a human being. I’ve been blessed to see how nurses from all social, financial and political hues can join with sufferers and households, regardless of their pores and skin tone.”

Calderon, who selected to deepen her affect by pursuing a Physician of Philosophy Diploma on the Betty Irene Moore College of Nursing, sees this as a possibility to broaden views.

“Even for individuals who are already nurses, I like to actually give attention to ‘what’s subsequent for you,’” Calderon stated.


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