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School of Nursing lands national award for diversity

Nov. 5, 2020, 9:11 AM


by Nancy Wise

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing has received the 2020 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

The award recognizes schools and universities in health care education that demonstrate outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

VUSN was recently honored for its outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
VUSN was recently honored for its outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. (file photo)

“This is a wonderful recognition, and one that honors the hard work of many,” said Linda Norman, DSN, RN, VUSN dean and Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing. “VUSN’s deep diversity and inclusion commitment stem from the nature of nursing and from the beliefs and vision of School of Nursing faculty, staff, students and alumni. As nurses, we are called upon to care for all people and seek equity for our patients. As educators, we are dedicated to delivering nursing education — and health care — that incorporates the values and experiences of diverse populations.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity is the nation’s oldest and largest diversity-focused higher education publication. VUSN is one of only 45 institutions receiving the 2020 award.

“Our colleagues at the School of Nursing are most deserving of this significant honor, which acknowledges the school’s longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion in many forms, from hiring and recruiting to research and patient care,” said Susan Wente, PhD, Provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. “The timing of the award is especially meaningful, as Vanderbilt is deeply focused on advancing equity across our University, and also — in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic — as our community continues to rely on the School of Nursing’s expertise and innovation more than ever.”

Among the school’s diversity efforts are the development and adoption of a comprehensive diversity and inclusion statement, establishment of a formal diversity and inclusion committee and creation of the VUSN Dean’s Diversity Lecture series. The school has also has formed a taskforce focusing on recruitment at historically Black colleges and universities, completed an alumni survey regarding diversity, and revised its mission statement to reflect its commitment to diversity.

VUSN associate dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Rolanda Johnson, PhD, MSN, RN, spearheaded and oversees VUSN’s strategic plan for diversity. “Achieving diversity, inclusion and equity is a journey and VUSN continues to pursue and integrate additional initiatives,” Johnson said. “The voices of our students, staff and faculty continue to inspire the VUSN diversity, inclusion and equity momentum.”

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