Arihanna Venable enjoys talking with her patients as she performs physical exams, takes their blood pressure and, sometimes administers medicine to help soothe wounds or illnesses.
However, when Venable looks at so many other registered nurses, she finds a glaring and often troubling trend.
“Not many of them look like me,” said Venable, 33, of Southeast. “We just don’t have a lot of black registered nurses and I think if we can somehow change that, a lot of our patients will feel more at ease and they’ll be more likely to come in and see a doctor before they encounter serious health problems.”
Venable counts among the 5.4 percent of African-American nurses in the nation. A small minority, considering there’s an estimated 2.5 million registered nurses in the United States. Latinos also are in the minority as just 3.6 percent hold those positions.
Read more: Push to Recruit Black, Latino Nurses