University of Rochester School of Nursing Repeat Winner of Excellence in Diversity Award

Oct. 11, 2018
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For the second straight year, the University of Rochester School of Nursing has been selected to receive the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

The UR School of Nursing is one of 11 schools of nursing across the country – and the only one from New York or New England – to be awarded the only national honor recognizing U.S. medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing, osteopathic, and allied health schools that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. The school is one of 35 award-winning health professions schools to be featured in the December 2018 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

“I’m thrilled that the UR School of Nursing was once again selected as a recipient of the Health Professions HEED Award,” said Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, dean of the School of Nursing and vice president of the University of Rochester Medical Center. “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.

“We’re not only building a community that looks like the world outside our walls, but by exposing our students to different viewpoints and life experiences, we’re creating a better educated, more culturally sensitive and attentive workforce that will be well prepared to meet the varied needs of the individuals we serve.”

The UR School of Nursing has a rich history of diversity, welcoming future nurses of varying ages, backgrounds, and talents. Its most recent class of 66 students in its Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses (ABPNN) included students from across the U.S. and countries such as Kenya, Guyana, India, Cameroon, England, and South Korea. Thirty percent of the new ABPNN students were from underrepresented groups, and 21 percent were male, more than two times the national average of men in the nursing workforce. Overall, 29 percent of the school’s full-time students are from groups underrepresented in nursing, and 22 percent are male.

The school features several innovative programs that contribute to and support diversity efforts on campus. Its Council for Diversity and Inclusiveness includes faculty, staff, and students from across the school and works through formal initiatives and informal dialogues to enhance the campus climate for all. The council hosts a number of workshops, and facilitates offerings of Safe Space Training to provide attendees with critical knowledge on LGBTQ issues.

The student-led LIFT program (Leading with Integrity For Tomorrow) provides opportunities for students to engage in learning and discussions related to leadership, advocacy, and diversity.

The School of Nursing has also been successful in developing a pipeline of faculty who are underrepresented in nursing. The Dean’s Pre-Doctoral Faculty Award provides full financial support for students from underrepresented groups to pursue doctoral education, and the school has recruited strong underrepresented candidates through its postdoctoral-to-assistant-professor position, which allows faculty members to complete their postdoctoral experience with a commitment to hiring them directly to a tenure-track position.

Among the new initiatives the school implemented in the past year are a pilot holistic admissions process, which focuses less on standardized test scores and traditional academic metrics in order to take an individualized view of each student’s potential, and a new doctoral program scholarship for underrepresented graduate students.

“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,” said Lenore Pearlstein, co-publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “As we continue to see a record number of Health Professions HEED Award applicants each year, nearly every school tells us they use the application itself as a tool to create new programs and to benchmark their accomplishments across campus. The process allows them to reflect on their successes and also determine where more work needs to be done. We also continue to raise the standards in selecting Health Professions HEED institutions.”

Other recipients of the 2018 Health Professions HEED Award are:

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences     

California State University, Los Angeles, Patricia A. Chin School of Nursing 

College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University 

Columbia University College of Dental Medicine     

Florida State University College of Medicine 

Frontier Nursing University 

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 

Johns Hopkins School of Nursing 

MGH Institute of Health Professions 

Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine 

Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center 

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine     

Rush University 

Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences 

The George Washington University School of Nursing 

The Medical University of South Carolina

The Ohio State University College of Medicine 

The Ohio State University College of Nursing 

University of California, Riverside, School of Medicine 

University of Cincinnati College of Nursing 

University of Cincinnati James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy 

University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine 

University of Florida College of Dentistry 

University of Houston College of Nursing 

University of Maryland School of Nursing 

University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Social Work 

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine 

University of Minnesota School of Nursing 

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine 

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center 

University of Virginia School of Medicine 

University of Virginia School of Nursing 

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine 

Weill Cornell Medicine

For more information about the University of Rochester School of Nursing, visit

For more information about the 2018 Health Professions HEED Award, visit