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Diverse nursing students

Student Rounds

Increasing diversity in nursing

At Denton Regional Medical Center, Saul Castillo works as a registered nurse in the Intensive Care Unit. He is one of only two bilingual health care professionals there.

Although larger hospital systems in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have a more diverse staff, there still exists a great need for bilingual nurses, particularly Hispanic nurses, says Castillo, president of the Dallas chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN).

Latinos comprise 17 percent of the nation's population, but account for less than five percent of registered nurses.

Castillo, who is enrolled in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation's RN to BSN program, is working with members of NAHN to attract more Latinos to the profession.

At a gala last fall, the association gave $1,000 scholarships to three nursing students. The association hosts community events and plans to spend more time in high schools talking to students about opportunities in health care, particularly in nursing.

To strengthen outreach, Castillo is working to raise the group's profile.

"A lot of people don't know who we are or what we do," he says. "We are reaching out to the schools and different hospitals."