Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde was a driving force behind NAHN’s formation in 1975. Ildaura, a member of the American Nurses Association, was concerned that the organization was failing to satisfy the needs of Latino nurses. Her goal was to help Latinas obtain their education so that they could serve their communities and help themselves.
Dr. Rohde was born on September 6th, 1920, in Panama and immigrated to the United States in 1945. Her nursing career began in San Antonio, Texas, a predominantly Hispanic city. She discovered that the town had a scarcity of Hispanic nurses. This encounter strengthened her resolve to pursue a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing at Columbia University in New York. She continued her study at New York University, earning master’s and doctoral degrees.
Dr. Rohde was hired by the federal government to assess research and educational funds in the 1970s. She had the same experience as in San Antonio, with no Latina nurses working in academic settings or in public policy, and she was inspired to make a difference.
Dr. Rohde was awarded a Fellowship by the American Academy of Nursing, one of nursing’s highest awards. She was Dean and Professor Emeritus of SUNY’s School of Nursing. She was always active in nursing, serving as faculty, professor, and Dean of Nursing at SUNY in Brooklyn, New York. Among her other achievements, she was appointed as the International Federation of Business and Professional Women’s permanent representative to UNICEF in New York.
Dr. Rohde was always present in the midst of NAHN conferences until her health stopped her, and she always wore an orchid that her members supplied.
The Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde Education Excellence by a Hispanic R.N. Award is given to NAHN members who have excelled in any field of scholarship and/or nursing education. Outstanding contributions to nursing education, research, and practice, as well as a recognized commitment to nursing excellence and notable clinical skill, are required for this honor.
The Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde Scholarship is also available to Hispanic students participating in a nursing program leading to licensure.
Because of her accomplishments and dedication, NAHN has chosen to honor and congratulate this nurse. Dr. Rohde was an inspiration to everyone she met.
Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde died on September 5, 2010 in Panama, where she was born.
According to the New York Academy of Medicine, Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde
Murillo-Rohde once said: “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. There was nobody else. I looked behind me and thought: ‘Where are my people?'”