Released on June 28, 2023

UCF’s Hispanic Serving Healthcare Professionals online graduate certificate program begins Fall 2023.

UCF student sits at a desk with a laptop

The Hispanic population in the U.S. is growing, accounting for 18.9% of the population nationwide, and 26.8% of the population in Florida.

Through a new online Hispanic Serving Healthcare Professionals graduate certificate program, UCF College of Nursing is helping to address the health disparities these communities face by building cultural congruence among healthcare providers.

The new online certificate program is part of Project ENFERMERÍA (Educating Nurses for Engagement, Research, Mentoring Excellence & Reinforcing Interpretation Access). Project ENFERMERÍA, which was awarded a $2.7 million Title V grant, seeks to equip more Hispanic/Latino nurses to provide culturally congruent care and meet the language needs of the Central Florida region.

Students in the new certificate program will learn about the healthcare needs of, and barriers to, the Hispanic community. These include language and cultural barriers, as well as less access to quality care, a lack of health insurance, and social and environmental factors.

“This certificate provides a unique opportunity for healthcare professionals to receive a deeper insight on culturally congruent care as it relates to a variety of Hispanic communities,” says Desiree Díaz, associate professor and director of the new certificate program.

Two new courses were created for the certificate program: Exploring Transcultural and Culturally Congruent Care for the Hispanic Population, and Healthcare Delivery for Hispanic Populations, which is taught in the College of Health Professions and Sciences. The certificate program also includes a healthcare simulation practicum in the college’s internationally accredited STIM Center.

The Hispanic Serving Healthcare Professionals graduate certificate program is open to all healthcare professionals with a bachelor’s degree. A general understanding of Spanish is preferred, but a speaking ability or reading fluency is not a requirement.

“A distinguishing factor of this certificate program is how it incorporates aspects of interpreter training to facilitate linguistic appropriate care,” says Díaz.

Graduates from the certificate program may consider their own eligibility for a national interpreter examination; however, the program is not designed to improve students’ linguistic ability.

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