Frontier Nursing University (FNU) received the 2019 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. This is the second consecutive year that FNU has received this prestigious award.
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.
“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.”
FNU’s commitment to emphasizing and valuing diversity and inclusion was formally instituted with the creation of the Diversity Impact Program in 2010. The following year, FNU held its first annual Diversity Impact Conference. Held each summer, 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.
In 2017, FNU established the position of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer (CDIO), which sits on the President’s Cabinet. Today, the Diversity and Inclusion Office has grown to include Interim CDIO Dr. Erin Tenney, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Chris Turley, and Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion Devon Peterika.
FNU’s 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 nine percent. In 2019, it has grown to 23 percent.
“We are incredibly proud to receive the prestigious HEED Award again this year,” said FNU President Dr. Susan Stone. “To receive this award two years in a row is a wonderful honor. Our graduates serve people of all races and cultures and are increasingly coming from diverse backgrounds. It is imperative that our students, faculty, and staff have cultural awareness and competency in order to effectively advance our mission. The HEED Award confirms the value of our efforts and validates our continued emphasis on diversity and inclusion within the culture of FNU.”