“It feels so great to be recognized at the national level,” Bastian says. “It’s been a great opportunity to meet inspiring Hispanic nurses, and I plan to keep working with the Hispanic community in Oregon.
“Having extra financial support really matters, but what also matters is having an emotional support, and people at Linfield are truly here to support students. The financial aid and scholarship outreach counselor, Leticia Hernandez, does a great job searching for scholarships for nursing students.”
NAHN is committed to improving the quality of health and nursing care for Latinos across the nation, with a primary focus of promoting recruitment and retention of Hispanics in the nursing profession.
Linfield College also plays an instrumental role in recruiting and training Latino nurses in an effort to reduce health care disparities. The Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing oversaw a 323 percent increase in Latino nursing students over six years due to an innovative program, Ayudando Podemos, which recruits Latino high school students and helps them obtain bachelor of science degrees in nursing.
The program provides a model for colleges across the country and addresses the underrepresentation of nurses in Oregon’s workforce. In 2009 Ayudando Podemos received one of three honorary mentions in the U.S. from Excelencia in Education, a national organization accelerating Latino success in higher education.