ND health officials: American Indian nurses needed

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Education and health care officials say the number of American Indian nurses in North Dakota is growing, but still isn't enough to meet the needs of native populations.

Nurses, college students and higher education officials gathered this week for the third annual conference that focuses on American Indians in nursing. They discussed the state of the profession in North Dakota, what's been successful and what needs to be done.

Of the 13,500 nurses in the state, only an estimated 170 of them are American Indian.

But American Indians are the largest minority population in North Dakota and are more likely to have higher rates of disease and mortality compared to other Americans.

Nurses at the conference say patients on reservations would feel more comfortable with American Indian nurses.

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