School receives 7th consecutive Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

October 14, 2022

Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award

For the seventh consecutive year, the University of Minnesota School of Nursing received the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine. The school was one of only 16 nursing schools to receive the HEED Award, which honors U.S. nursing, public health, medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, veterinary, and other health schools and centers that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Recently, a number of collaborative efforts between IDE leaders and the Faculty Search Committee, including implicit bias workshops, faculty listening sessions and questions related to equity and inclusion in faculty interview sets the stage for all faculty to consider ways they can further the work of IDE. In the past two years, the number of black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) faculty joining the school grew from 13% to more than 25%.

Additionally, the school’s partnerships with St. Cloud State University, Bemidji State University and St. Paul College created a pathway for underrepresented students to enter the nursing profession, and faculty were hired to specifically support the success of American Indian students. The School of Nursing expanded scholarship support for underrepresented students and new programs such as compulsory advising for all incoming BSN students identify and address needs early.

The school’s efforts to recruit and retain diverse students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program resulted in an increased BIPOC enrollment from 6% in 2015 to nearly 30% in 2021. Last year the number of BIPOC graduates from the DNP program increased to 23%, showing retention.

Student surveys show an increase in their favorable sense of belonging with more than 80% of students reported feeling a sense of belonging.

Meanwhile, the most recent Employment and Engagement survey showed that 91% of faculty and staff believe the school has a commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“We are honored to be recognized by INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine through receiving this award and are energized to continue this important work. The School of Nursing Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity leadership team includes Nasra Giama, Maria McLemore and myself, and administrative support from Annie Koolen,” says Barb Peterson, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, APRN, FNAP, director of Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity. “This dynamic team, along with the IDE committee and staff, and with leadership and support from Dean Delaney, are creating and sustaining a school environment that prioritizes inclusion, diversity and equity in every facet of the school."

“The Health Professions HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” says Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a Health Professions HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for schools where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

The School of Nursing will be featured along with the 64 other recipients of the 2022 HEED Award in the December issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

More information on inclusivity, diversity and equity efforts at the School of Nursing, including its strategies and plans for anti-racism, can be found here.

Media Contacts

Steve Rudolph
School of Nursing