Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde: Who Was She? The Google Doodle honors a Panamian-American nurse.

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Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde: Who Was She? The Google Doodle honors a Panamian-American nurse.

In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins today, the Google Doodle for today, September 15, commemorates Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde, the late Panamanian-American nurse who founded the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN).

Murillo-Rohde, a World Health Organization (WHO) consultant and UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) representative, was motivated by a desire to assist Latinas in obtaining an education so that they might better themselves and serve their communities.

She was a member of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and was motivated to form the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) in 1975 because she felt the ANA was not fulfilling the needs of Latino nurses.

Murillo-Rohde earlier stated to the New York Academy of Medicine, “I observed that I was the only Hispanic nurse coming to Washington [D.C.] to work with the federal government, examine research and education funding, and so on.” There was no one else around. ‘Where are my people?’ I wondered as I looked behind me.

Murillo-Rohde was born in Panama on September 6, 1920, and immigrated to the United States in 1945, where she began her nursing career in San Antonio, Texas, a predominantly Hispanic city.

She was inspired to pursue a degree in psychiatric nursing at New York’s Columbia University, the prestigious Ivy League university, in 1953, after noticing a shortage of Hispanic nurses in her community.

Later, she established the first psychiatric division at Elmhurst General Hospital in the Queens district of New York City. She was the first Hispanic nurse to receive a doctorate from New York University in 1971.

Murillo-Rohde, an expert in psychotherapy, marital, and family therapy, worked as a faculty member and subsequently as the Dean of Nursing at State University of New York (SUNY) in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. She was also the Dean of SUNY’s School of Nursing and a Professor Emeritus.

Murillo-Rohde was also awarded a fellowship by the American Academy of Nursing, which is one of the most prestigious nursing awards.

Her international work included serving as the WHO’s psychiatric adviser to the Guatemalan government, where she launched a pilot program to train psychiatric care staff. Murillo-Rohde also served as the International Federation of Business and Professional Women’s permanent UN Representative to UNICEF.

In 2010, the pioneering nurse passed away. This is a condensed version of the information.

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