Despite having the bilingual skills so desperately needed in the nursing industry today, many Hispanic nurses face steep challenges in their nursing careers. Educational demands, financial constraints, and family responsibilities all pull on the resources of Hispanic nurses around the country.

Many are in jobs already and with that are their everyday responsibilities,” says Maria Elena Pina Fonti, MA, RN, president of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and an associate professor at Helene Fuld College of Nursing. Because of the emphasis on family priority in many Latino cultures, Hispanic nurses might be supporting members of their immediate and extended family including parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. They might even be contributing to homes in their country of origin, says Fonti, all of which might limit their financial resources for paying for more school.

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