UR School of Nursing Honored with 4th Consecutive Diversity Award

Oct. 2, 2020
School of Medicine also among 46 health professions schools recognized for excellence in diversity

It’s a four-peat for the University of Rochester School of Nursing.

For the fourth straight year, the UR School of Nursing was honored with the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

The UR School of Nursing and the UR School of Medicine and Dentistry were among 46 health professions schools selected to receive 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 schools will be featured in the December 2020 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.


“Receiving the HEED Award is a gratifying acknowledgement of the School of Nursing’s decades of work fostering an environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, dean of the School of Nursing and vice president of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). “We’re proud of how much we have accomplished, but we also know there is much work still to do. We will continue to look inward with a critical eye, knowing that our vigilance and persistence is essential to continual growth.”

The UR School of Nursing is one of only nine nursing schools to receive the award in 2020. Its academic programs attract scientists, clinicians, researchers, and future nurses of varying ages, backgrounds, and talents. Its most recent class of students in the Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses (ABPNN) includes students from across the U.S. and countries such as Nigeria, Mexico, Turkey, Jamaica, and Ghana. Thirty-five percent of the new ABPNN students are from groups underrepresented in nursing, and 25 percent are male, approximately three times higher than the percentage of men in the nursing workforce.

The school features several innovative programs that contribute to and support diversity efforts on campus and continues to expand the reach of its Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  

The UR School of Medicine and Dentistry was honored for the second straight year, thanks in part to the diverse makeup of its student body. Students of color make up more than half of the school’s full-time student body, and enrollment is split evenly among males and females. Dean and URMC CEO Mark Taubman, MD, has committed to expanding the school’s diversity and inclusion efforts by personally leading development of a comprehensive anti-racism plan, incorporating input from medical students, residents, graduate students, the Black Physicians Network of Greater Rochester, and faculty and staff from across the university. 

“While we are pleased to be included among the nation’s best for our commitment to diversity, we recognize that we must strive to be ever better,” said Adrienne Morgan, PhD, the new senior associate dean for equity and inclusion at the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “We are committed to a plan that incorporates clear strategies and actions to strengthen diversity across the university, identifies accountable leaders, sets metrics for measuring progress, and provides transparency through regular reporting.” 

“The 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, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

The full list of recipients of the 2020 Health Professions HEED Award is below:

  • A.T. Still University
  • California State University, Los Angeles
  • Columbia University, College of Dental Medicine
  • Duke University School of Nursing
  • Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)
  • Florida State University College of Medicine
  • Frontier Nursing University
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS)
  • Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
  • Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine
  • MGH Institute of Health Professions
  • Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • School of Nursing, University of Minnesota
  • TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine
  • Texas A&M University - College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences 
  • Texas A&M University College of Dentistry
  • The Medical University of South Carolina
  • The Ohio State University College of Medicine
  • The Ohio State University College of Nursing
  • The Ohio State University College of Optometry
  • The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix
  • Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - New York
  • UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health
  • University of California, Riverside School of Medicine
  • University of Cincinnati College of Nursing
  • University of Cincinnati James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy
  • University of Cincinnati, College of Allied Health Sciences
  • University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine
  • University of Florida College of Dentistry
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Nursing
  • University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine
  • University of Michigan Medical School
  • University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • University of Rochester School of Nursing
  • University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy
  • University of the Incarnate Word Feik School of Pharmacy
  • University of Virginia School of Medicine
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN)
  • Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
  • Weill Cornell Medicine

For more information about the 2020 Health Professions HEED Award, visit