Dr. Geraldine Young, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, CDE, FAANP, has been appointed as the new Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer (CDIO) at Frontier Nursing University (FNU).
Dr. Young, whose service in the nursing profession spans over 20 years, holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (2010), an MSN from Alcorn State University (2005), and a BSN from the University of Mississippi Medical Center (2001). She is also a board-certified family nurse practitioner (FNP) (2005) and a certified diabetes educator (2011).
“We are so proud to welcome Dr. Geraldine Young to Frontier Nursing University,” said FNU President Dr. Susan Stone, CNM, DNSc, FAAN, FACNM. “She is an incredibly strong advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion and brings a wealth of experience and leadership to FNU. We are excited to have her lead our diversity and inclusion initiatives and build upon the progress that we have made.”
Dr. Young is a National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) Leadership Fellow and Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP). She has been deemed a content expert for one of the leading credentialing bodies for NPs, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). She serves on an array of national committees to advance nurse practitioner education, including the NONPF Curricular Leadership Committee (co-chair) and Conference Committee. She is also a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Essentials Task Force.
As a member of the Essentials Task Force, Dr. Young is ensuring cultural diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of nursing education to address the health disparities and inequalities that exist in our nation. She has effectively delivered models of clinical practice to improve the outcomes of underserved and minority populations with diabetes in conjunction with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS).
“It is truly an honor and a pleasure to be selected as the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Frontier Nursing University,” Dr. Young said. “I, along with my colleagues, look forward to transforming Frontier Nursing University to the next level by continuing to strengthen an environment that promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity and promotes the success of all community members.”
In 2017, FNU established the position of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer (CDIO), which is a member of the President’s Cabinet. Dr. Maria Valentin-Welch was FNU’s first CDIO and, behind her leadership, the Diversity and Inclusion Office has now grown to include the CDIO, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Chris Turley, and Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion Devon Peterika.
FNU has received the prestigious Higher Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine in both 2018 and 2019. The Health Professions HEED Award is the only national honor recognizing U.S. medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, nursing, veterinary, allied health, and other health schools and centers that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion across their campuses.
FNU’s commitment to emphasizing and valuing diversity and inclusion was formally instituted in 2006 when we began intense efforts to recruit minority students to our programs. FNU’s initial efforts were funded through the support of an Advanced Nurse Education grant from the HRSA. In 2010, FNU held its first annual Diversity Impact Conference. Held each summer since then, the Diversity Impact Conference opens the door for nurse practitioner and nurse-midwifery students plus faculty and staff to foster collaborative discussions, address health disparities, and find proactive solutions to improve minority health among underrepresented and marginalized groups. Today, the goal of a diverse health care workforce continues with efforts to recruit and educate faculty, staff, students, and preceptors and integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts throughout all of FNU operations with a goal that it should be fully integrated into the university’s culture. FNU’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts are currently funded with a Nursing Workforce Diversity Grant from the HRSA.
These diversity initiatives span all facets of the university, but one of the most telling and important data points is the percentage of students of color enrolled at FNU. In 2009, that number was 9 percent. Starting in 2010 with the HRSA funding, FNU’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives have resulted in the percentage of students of color enrolled to grow to 24 percent in 2019.