Google Doodle Honors Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde, Who Founded the National Association of Hispanic Nurses

“I hope it sparks curiosity of who this woman was so more people learn about her achievements,” Google Doodle guest artist Loris Lora said of the illustration

Google Doodle Honors Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde, the First Hispanic Nurse
Photo: Google

The Google Doodle on Wednesday honored pioneering Hispanic nurse Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde.

The illustration created by guest artist Loris Lora depicts the late medical professional and educator in a diverse hospital setting as she holds onto a notebook.

Murillo-Rohde made strides in her career and founded the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) — originally named Spanish Speaking/Spanish Surnamed Nurses' Caucus — in 1975 to help others underrepresented in the profession, according to the organization.

Lora spoke to Google about why she chose to depict the Panamanian nurse during National Hispanic Heritage Month, which began on Sept. 15.

"Hispanic Heritage Month to me is about celebrating our culture and recognizing the contributions of those who continue to inspire future generations. I enjoy learning about minority women who were trailblazers of their time and helped create opportunities for women who came after them," she said. "My sister recently became a nurse and I found it interesting to learn about Dr. Murillo-Rohde and the things she stood for and achieved during her lifetime."

Lora continued, "I was inspired by her story and her Panamanian background. The colors on this Doodle were inspired by Latin American textiles and orchid flowers (my research found that she always wore an orchid at NAHN conferences)."

The artist added that she hopes the Doodle "sparks curiosity of who this woman was so more people learn about her achievements and how she has been influential to the Hispanic nursing community—and to Latinx communities, in general."

Murillo-Rohde was born in Panama on Sept. 6, 1920 where she later died in 2010 a day shy of her 90th birthday.

At age 25, the nurse moved from her home country to San Antonio, Texas where she discovered the lack of Hispanic nurses in the predominantly Hispanic city, according to the NAHN.

This discovery sparked her desire to get a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing at New York's Columbia University and later a Masters and Doctorate degree at New York University — the latter of which was a first for any Hispanic at NYU.

"I saw that I was the only Hispanic nurse who was going to Washington [D.C.] to work with the federal government, review research and education grants, etc.," Murillo-Rohde once said, according to the New York Academy of Medicine. "I looked behind me and thought: 'Where are my people?'"

Over the course of her career, Murillo-Rohde became the first Hispanic Associate Dean at the University of Washington and first Hispanic Dean at the School of Nursing at NYU, according to the Second Edition of the Nursing Leadership encyclopedia.

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"Dr. Rohde always inspired all who knew her," NAHN wrote in her biography.

The organization later developed a scholarship in her name for young Hispanic nursing students to continue on Murillo-Rohde's legacy.

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