Since 1975 the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) is the nation’s leading professional society for Latino nurses. With a growing membership in 47 local chapters, NAHN, a 501(c) (3) non-profit, represents the voices of Latino nurses in our country.
NAHN is devoted to promoting safe, quality health care delivery to Latino communities and individuals, and we recognize excellence among Latino nurses, provide formal and informal mentoring opportunities, and generally serve as a center of excellence for our members. Our goal is to create a cadre of highly-qualified Latino nurses by advancing educational, professional and leadership skills and opportunities for our membership. In addition, we work to recruit additional Latinos into the nursing profession because, while Latinos represent 18% of the US population, less than 7% of the nursing workforce is of Latino descent.
NAHN members advocate, educate, volunteer, seek partnerships, and conduct programming in the Latino community to improve outcomes, elevate literacy, heighten education, and influence policy. We also work collaboratively with others to improve health equity and to create a future in which everyone regardless of race or ethnicity has opportunities to be healthy.
The National Association of Hispanic Nurses™ (NAHN™) was founded in 1975 by Ildaura Murillo-Rohde, PhD, RN, ND, FAAN.
In 1974, a group of Hispanics who were members of the American Nurses Association (ANA) met during the ANA Convention in Atlantic City with the intent to establish a Hispanic Nurses Caucus of ANA, since it was felt that ANA was not being responsive to the needs of Hispanic nurses. The group included Esther Coto-Walloch (California), Hector Hugo Gonzalez (Texas), Mimi Gonzalez (New York), Carmen Janosov (Puerto Rico), Berta Mejia (Connecticut), Janie Menchaca Wilson (Texas), Ildaura Murillo-Rohde (Washington), Herlinda Quintero (California), Sally Roybal (New Mexico), Mary Lou de leon Siantz (California), Henrietta Villaescusa (California), and Eloisa Tamez (Texas).
The group agreed to think about the concept and discuss it at the next ANA convention. In 1976, when the group met during the ANA Convention in San Francisco, the plan shifted and instead, they agreed to establish the National Association of Spanish-Speaking Spanish-Surnamed Nurses (NASSSN). Ildaura volunteered and she was charged with incorporating NASSSN. She incorporated NASSSN in Washington State in 1977 where, at that time, she was employed as Associate Dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Washington at Seattle.
“There may have been others that attended these embryonic meetings but I do not recall their names clearly,” said Hector Hugo Gonzalez, PhD, VR-RN (retired), one of the founding members and a past-president of NAHN. “Vaguely, I remember that the following may also have attended: Eloisa Tamez (Texas), a male nurse (first name Fernando; last name unknown) who worked at the VA Hospital in Oklahoma and last, a nurse named Josephine Baca (New Mexico),” added Hector.
In 1976, the organization became the National Association of Spanish-Speaking / Spanish-Surnamed Nurses, which was renamed as the National Association of Hispanic Nurses™ in 1979.
NAHN launched its official professional peer reviewed publication, Hispanic Health Care International (HHCI) at the 27th Annual Conference held July 2002 in Miami, Florida. HHCI is bilingual journal (English and Spanish) and is published four times a year.