Academic and Provider Workforce Diversity, Training and Pipeline

Latinos currently represent 14.8 percent of the workforce. In 2050, 1 out of every 3 workers will be Latino. Yet there are many barriers to good jobs for Latinos (NCLR). The nation lacks bilingual/bicultural providers in both behavioral and physical health. A survey noted that non-White and/or Hispanic-practicing physicians in Washington State equaled 1 in 5; 1 in 10 nurse practitioners; and 1 in 7 physician assistants.


  • Need for qualified bilingual/bicultural staff
  • Recruitment and retention of diverse students in the School of Public Health and all health sciences schools
  • Need for more Latino faculty, students, and researchers in health care and biomedical research


  • Barriers begin at K–12 level
  • Mentality of going to work after 8th grade: family pressure to work and earn money
  • Parents don’t necessarily understand how educational system works
  • GRE scores can present a barrier to acceptance
  • Cost of education
  • How are we training students in cultural competency?
  • How does the educational system support Latinos?
  • “Promotores” certification is lacking in many states
  • Awareness — many Latinos are not aware of opportunities such as educational opportunities
  • Mentoring is key for students and often missing
  • What is happening at the admission level? Why are Latinos not being accepted?


  • Need for practicums for master and doctoral students with underserved community health organizations
  • NIH funding to get minorities into research
  • National science foundation for youth programs
  • Study why Latinos are not accepted into health profession programs
  • Are Latinos getting through the admission process or are test scores weighted more heavily?
  • Understanding what are success rates for programs that perform outreach to Latinos
  • Coordinated school program — start education and messaging early about how to be successful

For more information read Washington State Health Services Brief No. 58

Contact Information | Latino Center for Health | | | 206-616-9365