American Association of Colleges of Nursing Announces Minority Nurse Faculty Scholars

American Association of Colleges of Nursing Announces Minority Nurse Faculty Scholars

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has announced six Minority Nurse Faculty Scholars who were selected through a national scholarship program funded by the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future. The program was developed to help address the nationwide faculty shortage while enhancing diversity among nurse educators by offering financial support, mentoring, and leadership development to graduate students from minority backgrounds who aspire to teach.

The six new scholars will be joining 60 scholars previously selected for the prestigious honor. The new recipients are all enrolled in PhD or DNP programs and their names include:

  • Lourdes Carhuapoma, University of Virginia
  • Jenna Magallanes, University of Michigan
  • Angelina Nguyen, University of Arizona
  • Safiyyah Okoye, Johns Hopkins University
  • Sangita Pudasainee-Kapri, Rutgers University
  • Armiel Suriaga, Florida Atlantic University

Dr. Ann Cary, Chair of the AACN Board of Directors, tells, “AACN recognizes the strong connection between preparing a culturally diverse nursing workforce and the ability to provide quality patient care. We applaud the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for their generous support of our Faculty Scholars program that is opening new doors to careers in academic nursing for some of our best and brightest graduate students.”

To learn more about this year’s AACN/Johnson & Johnson Minority Nurse Faculty Scholarship recipients, visit here.

New Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion at Vanderbilt School of Nursing

New Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion at Vanderbilt School of Nursing

Earlier this fall, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing named Rolanda Johnson, PhD, MSN, as the new assistant dean for diversity and inclusion. Replacing assistant professor Jana Lauderdale in this new position, she is also continuing her roles as assistant dean for academics and associate professor of nursing. Dr. Johnson ensures VUSN continues to foster and provide an environment that is culturally appreciative and inclusive, especially for underrepresented and marginalized groups.

“We’re very fortunate to have Rolanda in this leadership role,” VUSN Dean Linda D. Norman, DSN, FAAN, shared with VUSN Communications. “With her experience in academic enhancement services, as the longtime adviser to the Black Student Nurses Association, and through her research in health promotion for African Americans and in black racial identity, Rolanda will bring expertise and wisdom to the role of VUSN’s assistant dean for diversity and inclusion.”

Dr. Johnson joined the VUSN faculty in 1998, after receiving her PhD in Nursing Science from Vanderbilt. Over her 20 years at Vanderbilt, she has served as director of the Fisk University-Vanderbilt University Nursing Partnership Program, she re-established Vanderbilt’s Black Student Nurses Association, and represented the School of Nursing in campus-wide programs such as the Provost’s Task Force on Sexual Assault, FutureVU Faculty Advisory Committee, and Diversity, Inclusion and Community Committee. Additionally, Dr. Johnson is the founding president of the Nashville Chapter of the National Black Nurses Association.

To learn more about Dr. Rolanda Johnson’s career and vision for diversity and inclusion at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, check out her Q&A at

University of Rochester School of Nursing Receives Excellence in Diversity Award

University of Rochester School of Nursing Receives Excellence in Diversity Award

The University of Rochester (UR) School of Nursing has been selected to receive the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine for the second year in a row.

The UR School of Nursing is one of 11 schools of nursing across the country to be awarded the national honor which recognizes US medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing, osteopathic, and allied health schools that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. The university will be featured in the December 2018 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, dean of the University of Rochester School of Nursing and vice president of the University of Rochester Medical Center, tells, “Our sustained commitment to cultivating a culture of diversity and inclusion is reflected – among other ways – in our student body and their soaring graduation rates, putting us at the vanguard among our peers in higher education.”

The UR School of Nursing is comprised of a diverse student body with its most recent class of 66 students in the Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses coming from across the US as well as from Kenya, Guyana, India, Cameroon, England, and South Korea. Thirty percent of those students are from underrepresented groups, and 21 percent are male, more than two times the national average of men in the nursing workforce.

To learn more about the University of Rochester School of Nursing’s diversity initiatives and recent Excellence in Diversity Award, visit here.

Recruiting More Men to Nursing Schools

Recruiting More Men to Nursing Schools

Nursing, like other health care fields, has been predominately female for quite some time. To increase diversity, some schools are taking the initiative to find ways of attracting more men to attend nursing school and become part of the field. One such school is Chamberlain University in Miramar, Florida. Campus President W. Jason Dunne, DNP, MN, RN, CNE, gave us some insight into what they are doing to specifically get more men on campus.

I understand that you’re making strides to attract more male nurses to your campus. Why is this important?

It’s important to attract male nurses to the Chamberlain University Miramar campus, and to nursing in general. I believe diversity of the nursing workforce is a fundamental element of building a solid foundation of our profession that is reflective of the patients and families that we serve through our nursing care and practice. From my perspective, diversity includes not only attracting more male nurses, but also adding cultural and ethnic difference to our profession.

What are you specifically doing to attract men to the field? What are you doing differently? 

Over the last year, Chamberlain University has been working with the American Association of Men in Nursing to build a chapter on the Miramar campus. In recent months, we received approval of our chapter and have been actively planning its launch with recruitment to follow over the next couple months. Having a committee/organization on our campus that advocates and celebrates men in nursing, and diversity in general, will provide a venue where male nursing students can come together from early on in their educational journey and feel supported and mentored as they embark on their careers as registered nurses. As our admission team members meet with prospective students, they discuss the various student committees and organizations that we have on campus. Having a conversation with prospective male students about our Men in Nursing chapter will send a positive message that we embrace and support men entering the nursing profession and are here to provide mentorship through their educational journey and beyond.

Why do you think that men are hesitant to become nurses? What are you doing to counteract these thoughts?

I believe there is still a stigma and stereotype that exists within our society that labels nursing as a woman’s profession. Interestingly, I often hear men in nursing described as male nurses but a female in nursing as a nurse and not female nurse. We need to change our language and how we have a conversation about men as nurses. One of the most powerful things that we can do to counteract this hesitancy is for male nurses to advocate their roles within the profession as well as in our local and national communities. I believe organizations such as the American Association of Men in Nursing can help shift this stereotype and advocate and support a more inclusive view of the nursing profession that is exclusive of gender. In addition, nursing educational institutions have a significant role to play in how we educate the next generation of nurses—we must instill in our new nurses that nurses’ work is not gender specific and encourage and promote the diversity of our profession.

What would you suggest that other colleges/universities do to attract more men to their nursing programs?

One of the most important things that nursing programs can do to attract more men into their nursing programs is to educate their colleagues—including admission advisors, counselors, high school teachers, etc.—about the importance of diversity in the nursing profession. Oftentimes, having colleagues explore their own personal biases about what a nurse is and what a nurse looks like can often be helpful in working through any unintentional bias or stigmas that exist within colleagues who have the all-important roles of supporting a person’s career path into the profession. In general, it is building awareness of the many facets of nursing and the opportunities that exist to support and serve patients and their families.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve encountered while doing this?

Some of the challenges that I have faced personally as well as working with students in the clinical setting relate back to the stereotype and stigmas that people/society hold about men in nursing. For example, I was working with a group of nursing students, and we were scheduled for a clinical experience on a women’s gynecological unit. In my group, there were two male and five female students. Unfortunately, the two male students experienced some prejudice from patients, families, and a select group of nurses on the clinical unit. The widely held belief or theme of the prejudice was that a male nurse should not be taking care of women with gynecological health challenges. Interestingly, all of the gynecologists on the unit were male doctors. One of the most impactful things that you can do is to open the dialogue and have a conversation with the patient, families, and nurses about men in nursing. In this instance, we spoke about the educational experience and training my nursing students had throughout their program, and we spoke about the patients’ hesitations with having a male nurse care for them. In the end, the male nursing students provided care and had developed an excellent rapport with the patients and the families. This was a positive ending, but it took having conversations one person/patient at a time.

What are the greatest rewards?

The greatest reward is that our nursing profession is elevated because our community of nurses reflects the diversity of our local and national communities that they serve.

Nurse of the Week: Brigit Carter, Associate Dean in the Duke University School of Nursing, Heads Program for Underrepresented Minorities

Nurse of the Week: Brigit Carter, Associate Dean in the Duke University School of Nursing, Heads Program for Underrepresented Minorities

Our Nurse of the Week is Brigit Carter, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the Duke University School of Nursing, who is leading diversity efforts by heading a program for underrepresented minorities.

Carter’s role is focused on making the School of Nursing a welcoming and inclusive place for employees and students by meeting with members from other departments to form strategies that encourage an affirming atmosphere. She has used a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to fund the School of Nursing’s Academy for Academic and Social Enrichment and Health Equity Academy over the last decade.

Duke nursing students from underrepresented minority groups take part in the academy to study social determinants of health. The Health Equity Academy ultimately aims to understand how to best serve patients from a variety of backgrounds.

Carter tells, “We want to be known as a place where all people can come together and feel comfortable, at home and supported. I want us to be proactive in our approach to diversity and inclusion.”

Carter holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from North Carolina Central University and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also works as a secondary clinical staff nurse in the Duke University Hospital Intensive Care Nursery where she cares for infants who were born early, born with a condition or disease at birth that requires immediate attention, or born with a pre-existing condition like genetic anomalies.

To learn more about Duke Nursing Associate Dean Brigit Carter and her role heading Duke’s program for underrepresented minorities, visit here.

Diversity in Nursing Education: Support for an Evolving Population

Diversity in Nursing Education: Support for an Evolving Population

Imagine taking a national examination that culminates your educational experience, as well as impacts your future career potential. This national exam is delivered in English, but that is not your primary language. The pressure has been mounting because you know that the opportunity to take your passion for helping others to the next level hinges on passing an exam. Welcome to a day in the life of an English Language Learner (ELL) nursing student who is planning on taking the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

As in many industries, diversity is a hot topic. There is a growing demand for a diverse nursing workforce to represent and meet the needs of the increasingly ethnic and racially diverse populations they serve. According to a study in 2014, minorities encompass around one-quarter of the nursing workforce and one-third of the United States population. A National Center for Biotechnology Information report states demographic trends are predicting rapid growth in racial and ethnic minority populations by 2060. This projected growth highlights the need for organizations to recruit and retain a diverse nursing workforce that mirrors the nation’s increasing culturally diverse population. Fostering diversity in the nursing workforce may help assist with language and cultural gaps currently seen between clients and health care providers.

How can we, as educators, provide ELL nursing students with the tools they need to feel confident in school, so they can become safe and effective health care providers in the future?

Experts identify that ELL students need a greater amount of time to read and complete their English-language assignments. Often, ELL students need to translate text into their primary language first, and then translate back to English in order to complete assignments and interact effectively in class. This process is extremely time-consuming and can be frustrating for many students. Educators need to be aware of the time factor when assigning readings and calling on students in class. Doing so allows ELL students to build their confidence not only with the course content, but also with class participation as well. It is important for the leadership teams within nursing schools to encourage faculty to implement learning strategies into their classrooms, so diverse students feel more comfortable and courageous. Simple strategies include:

  • Providing monthly “success” sessions where students can learn studying techniques, note-taking best practices, and test-taking strategies.
  • Supplying flashcards and vocabulary lists to aid in studying.
  • Implementing a study buddy system with faculty-assigned groups.

Another way to support diverse student needs is to integrate appropriate learning resources throughout the curriculum and learning cycle. We know that “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” is a phrase often used to describe situations where one has the tools in front of them but chooses not to use them. To help combat this paradigm, embedding resources into courses directly helps students find and utilize them as needed, and on their own terms. ELL students should have the ability to easily leverage learning resources such as professional and peer tutoring, automated grammar checkers, online writing labs and live library chats. Anecdotal data from a small pilot study conducted by Rasmussen College in 2018 showed students were much more likely to use just-in-time, “quick,” on-demand resources as opposed to resources that required preplanning, such as scheduling a tutoring appointment or waiting for feedback on an assignment.

Colleges and universities should also consider partnering with organizations that specifically support diverse populations within specific career fields, such as the Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association (AAPINA) or the Rasmussen College partnership with The African Nurses Network (TANN) at its Blaine, Minnesota campus.* TANN was founded by Lyna Nyamwaya with the goal of building a network to empower nurses, decrease disparities, and increase cultural awareness. TANN works closely with the campus to design monthly workshops focused on study strategies, as well as offering professional tutoring. Seeking partnerships that reflect the diversity of the students that make up an institution allow students to make connections and find mentors with similar backgrounds and experiences. These partnerships also allow faculty to learn and observe how to effectively work with specific demographics of students.

We know diverse students appreciate and benefit from the mentoring of diverse faculty, especially those who look like them and have had similar experiences. Nursing schools should continue to recruit and retain diverse nursing faculty to provide unique resources to their students as well as to enrich the college environment. All faculty, regardless of background, need to have training in strategies to best support diverse nursing students in order to set them up for future success.

While progress has been made in response to the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) 2011 report that called for increased efforts to increase diversity in the profession, a 2017 progress update by the Campaign for Action shows the IOM still recommends that increasing diversity in the nursing workforce be a priority.  It is our responsibility to our students, the nursing profession, and our patients to partner together to empower and embrace our future ELL nurses so we can provide a robust, culturally rich experience for all.

*Monthly fee paid for by Rasmussen College

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