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Dr. Ruby Martinez, RN, PhD, CS

Dr. Ruby Martinez, RN, PhD, CS

Dr. Ruby Martinez (left) with a student.

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What is right and wrong with Nursing education in America today?

In nursing education, we are hoping to anticipate the needs of the next generations to come. Our strength lies in that we are well educated about illness and yet, to create change in the health of the US society, we need the cooperation of the people of the society. In other words, knowledge is only part of the solution. We need the willingness of the people to own their own health and to take charge to protect the environment so that we have clean air and water, good sanitation and we need to tend to and own our health. It is not up to the doctor or nurses to keep us healthy, everyone must work to BE in good health. What is wrong? We will be challenged to get nurses ready for the changing population expected in this country over the next 50 years. Cultural competency is a difficult concept for many to grasp. I think that another challenge relates to the diversity in values in our nation. Highly charged health issues like abortion and right to die will be issues that nurses will have to struggle with over time.

What do you consider to be the three greatest challenges facing nursing professionals in the field today?

A Day in the Life of a...

Ever wonder what it's like to be a nurse midwife? A nurse with a doctorate? Or a holistic nurse? Find out with our A Day in the Life... series!

Go to class with Assistant Professor-CT and Director of Student Services Dr. Ruby Martinez.

Spend the day with Holistic and Rehabilitation Nurse, Barbara Klein-Robuck.

Learn what Certified Hospice & Palliative Care Nurse Maria Gatto does at work.

Deliver babies with Certified Nurse Midwife Eunice (Kitty) Ernst.

Share the struggles of an accelerated BSN nursing student with Erin Downing.

1. Preparing for the difficult health challenges ahead: much chronic illness is connected to poor life style choices and with these chronic illnesses, much work will be needed in working with personal choices: exercise, diet, stress control, trauma reduction, to name a few.
2. Cultural competency: preparing health care providers to work with individuals from many different ethnic and cultural groups.
3. Substance abuse: alcohol and tobacco are the deadliest substances in our nation. These and other drugs contribute tremendous harm (illness, accidents, death, crime, etc) to our society. With the increase in abuse, more serious health problems will emerge.

What factors should prospective students consider when choosing a Nursing School?

Select a school that has a solid reputation for good education. Nursing is hard work and thus you should seek a school that prepares you not only for the anticipated work, but also for the role of nursing. The CU School of Nursing has a BS program in Nursing that is the oldest west of the Mississippi. Our Nursing Doctorate is one of three in the whole nation. Many of our Master of Science Programs rank in the top 10 by the US News & World Reports, and our PhD program is widely recognized for its faculty mentoring.

This is a big question… Can you give us a detailed introduction of unique career and educational perspectives in nursing for the U.S. Hispanic population? What can you tell us that would help prospective Hispanic nursing students go onto become successful in the field?

I would tell Hispanic nurses that we have a unique challenge ahead. First, the health care industry must get prepared for the large number of Latinos projected for the US population. By the year 2050, one in four people of this country will be Latino. YOU are needed, Hispanic nurses, to teach others about our culture, our ways. I would like to see Latino nurses pursue higher degrees and to get active within the field of nursing and on the political front. You have to be in the system, and to understand the system if we are to change the system.

Is there anything else you can tell us about yourself, your career, or the profession that would be interesting or helpful to others aspiring to become a nurse?

Nursing is not for everyone, but if you are someone who wants to care for others, can tolerate a good deal of stress, and you want to be an active participant in the world around you, nursing is the place to be. I also need to mention that our nation is in the midst of a nursing shortage!


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