Josefina Lujan, a nurse practitioner and nursing professor in Texas, recently sat down with the El Paso Inc. newspaper to discuss the nursing shortage in the state and the necessity of attracting more Hispanics into the nursing profession.
According to Lujan, increasing the amount of Hispanic nurses is one solution to addressing the increased need for these professionals in Texas. While Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic in the nation, they make up only 3 percent of the nursing profession. Lujan cited an Office of Minority Health Survey revealing that patients are more likely to follow up with care when their provider understands their language and culture. As more than 80 percent of the population of El Paso is Hispanic, the utilization of nurse practitioners with similar backgrounds could increase access to healthcare, she stated.
Lujan additionally spoke about the increasing trend of nurse practitioners replacing doctors in family practices, describing them as the provider of the future.
"You can produce a nurse practitioner in less than half the time of a doctor and they have been demonstrated to provide superior primary care," she told the news source. "Without nurse practitioners, there is no way we are going to provide for the primary care needs of the nation."