Nathalie Mojica ’22 and Deviyana Rivera ’23 share a commitment to providing equitable healthcare for all populations, especially minority communities.
A Shining Light
Nathalie Mojica ’22 and Deviyana Rivera ’23 have been recognized for their commitment to culturally competent nursing practice by the Western Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN). Both nursing majors received merit scholarships to help offset college expenses.
“This award is special to me because it is shining a light on a part of my identity that is so important to me,” says Deviyana, who grew up in Northampton. “It’s going to make a huge difference for me and my family.”
Joining a professional nursing organization like NAHN felt like a natural progression, Deviyana said. In addition to becoming more knowledgeable about health disparities affecting Latinx communities, she also stands to gain a better understanding of how to advocate for positive change, she said.
“Many minority groups have fears when going into a healthcare facility because there is a chance that they may not receive the same level of care a white person would,” said Deviyana. “This is a fair assumption—there are higher rates of health issues in the Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. I want to change this.”
Focusing on the Small Things
Junior Nathalie Mojica ’22 has already had the benefit of experiencing different clinical environments across Western Massachusetts. Clinical rotations helped her narrow her focus, she said, and decide on a career as a nurse midwife.
“Being a Latina woman who grew up in Springfield, I have been exposed to many diverse situations and a myriad of cultures,” says Nathalie, who was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. “These experiences are important to develop empathy and an understanding of people, especially in the healthcare field.”
Nathalie’s familiarity with the cultural milieu of the greater Springfield area will help her accomplish two goals: providing culturally sensitive care to minority women, and educating youth populations about reproductive health and resources. From her point of view, nurses are uniquely positioned to positively impact a patient’s healthcare visit.
“From the experiences I’ve had in clinical, seeing how the smallest things you do for patients can make their day better is one of the biggest rewards,” she said. “In this major, I can do what I love all the time.”
Like Deviyana, Nathalie is proud to represent Latina women and nurses by joining the Western Massachusetts chapter of NAHN. Receiving a scholarship from the organization brings everything full circle.
“I, like many children, want to make my parents proud and help them with the cost of the education they have graciously helped me earn,” she said. “For it to come specifically from a group that is closely related to who I am, and will be, is really awesome.”