The R.K. Laros Foundation Project: Recruitment of Hispanics to Nursing


The ranks of Hispanic nurses remains disproportionately small compared to growth in the Hispanic population. Hispanics comprise an estimated 10% of the U.S. population but less than 2% of the country’s registered nurses are of Hispanic origin. According to recent Bureau of Health Professions data*, approximately 40,600 of the more than 2.5 million registered nurses were of Hispanic background.

Despite the shortage, the demand for Hispanic nurses remains high as employers prepare to meet the needs of America’s emerging majority. Hispanic nurses are especially sought after for their abilities to provide bicultural and bilingual care to Hispanic communities.

The Project

In 1996 the R. K. Laros Foundation of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania approached the St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing with their interest in increasing the number of Hispanic health care providers in the Bethlehem Community. The School responded in several ways…


Recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of Hispanics has improve and continues to grow as a result of this initiative.

The Future…The Work Continues

A 7-12 grade secondary school recruitment day for Hispanic students is held annually in October to encourage students to choose a nursing career. Other programs initiated will be continued.

For further information contact Dr. Sipple at E-Mail:

*National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses, March 1996. Division of Nursing, Bureau of Health Professions. Health Resources and Services Administration. For further information on Hispanic and other minority RNs, visit

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