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Photo Courtesy of Google, illustrated by artist Loris Lora. 
Photo Courtesy of Google, illustrated by artist Loris Lora. 

Google Doodle celebrates pioneering Latina nurse, Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde

The Panamanian nurse is perhaps best known as the founder of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.

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May 27th, 2022

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To mark the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month 2021, Google has used its Google Doodle to honor a notable Latina trailblazer in the nursing profession.

The doodle was created and illustrated by Los Angeles-based Latina guest artist and designer, Loris Lora. 

Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde was a nurse, educator and organizational administrator who was very instrumental to the growing community of Latina nurses in the U.S. today.  

In 1975, she founded the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), the nation’s leading professional society for Hispanic nurses focused on improving the healthcare system for the Hispanic community, also serving as its first president. 

Her inspiration to launch NAHN was aided by concerns that the American Nurse Association (ANA) was not meeting the needs of Hispanic nurses. 

What started out as a small organization has since grown to include 47 local chapters across the country, each serving as a representation of the important voice of Hispanic nurses in the nation.

Dr. Murillo-Rohde was born on Sept. 6, 1920 in Panama, where she was raised before arriving in the United States in 1945. Three years later, she completed a nursing diploma from the Medical and Surgical Hospital School of Nursing. 

Her career as a nurse began in San Antonio, Texas, one of the most Hispanic-populated cities in the U.S. However, she found very few Hispanic nurses who could provide the culturally competent care needed in the community. 

Seeing this reality motivated Dr. Murillo-Rohde to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the area of teaching and supervision of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, which she later earned from Columbia University. 

Upon continuing her education at New York University, she opened the first psychiatric division at Elmhurst General Hospital in New York City, and in 1971, became the first Hispanic nurse to earn a Ph.D. from New York University.

Other distinctions include becoming the first Hispanic nursing dean at New York University, and being named a “Living Legend” by the American Academy of Nursing in 1994. 

Throughout the course of her career, Dr. Murillo-Rohde’s focus was on bettering the lives of Hispanic nurses and medical professionals, enhancing the quality of healthcare for underrepresented communities, advising policymakers on issues that affect Hispanic communities, and equipping other Hispanic nurses with the skills to do the same. 

In her honor, each year NAHN awards a scholarship and an educational excellence award in her name. 

Dr. Murillo-Rohde passed away on Sept. 5, 2010, just one day shy of her 90th birthday.

To kick off Hispanic Heritage Month, today’s Google Doodle pays homage to one of the most important Hispanic figures in one of the most important professions. 

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