Frontier Nursing University (FNU) is built on a Culture of Caring with a mission to educate nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives who will go out and care for diverse and underserved communities. In 2010, FNU took a step further in defining goals of expanding diversity and inclusion throughout the university and the greater healthcare community by implementing the Diversity Impact Program.
FNU leadership designed the Diversity Impact Program to promote an inclusive learning and workforce environment at FNU with the goal of increasing diversity in the nursing and midwifery professions by recruiting and retaining underrepresented students and employees.
In alignment with the Diversity Impact Program, FNU launched the first annual Diversity Impact Conference in 2010. This year celebrated the 10th year of the event. Although it moved to a virtual platform due to COVID-19, it was still a wonderful time dedicated to spreading awareness and understanding minority identities. This year’s conference took place June 11-13 and carried the theme ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020: Increasing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’. Some of this year’s topics were: “What is Race Literacy – 4 Dimensions of Racial Conditioning,” “Addressing Health Disparities: The Role of Healthcare Providers & Educators,” and “Microaggressions in Nursing Education and Health: Why They Matter and What We Can Do About Them.”
Other virtual events hosted by FNU throughout the year also highlighted diversity within the nursing community, including, Racial Disparities in Maternity Care: Where Do We Go From Here? during National Midwifery Week, and Dismantling Implicit Bias to Promote Optimal Health Outcomes during National Nurse Practitioner Week.
Additionally, prior to COVID-19 and the turn to virtual events, FNU student Shamekia Wilson volunteered to host an exhibit at The 41st Minority Health Conference in Chapel Hill, NC. During the show, potential students visited the FNU booth to learn more about their various educational programs and diversity initiatives. Wilson said the event helped her further understand the importance of diversity in healthcare education for ensuring that patients from diverse backgrounds receive quality care.
This year, Frontier’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) also launched a new mentoring program, the Professional Organization Mentoring Program. Through this program, students are selected to join a faculty member at a virtual professional nursing conference to network and learn more about their chosen field. To qualify for the program, students must complete an application and submit an essay, which will be graded by the Office of DEI. If selected, the Office of DEI will cover the conference’s cost and the student’s membership for a related professional organization. Students interested in this opportunity can begin the application process here.
The Office of DEI is also currently in the pilot phase of a comprehensive mentoring program designed to support and retain students of color by meeting their specific professional and academic needs. FNU is excited about expanding this program and believes it will help the university continue to grow a more diverse population within their community and the nursing field.
For these initiatives, as well as the university’s holistic dedication to supporting and understanding students, faculty and patients from all backgrounds, FNU was honored to receive the INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s Health Profession’s Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award for the third year in a row. Upon receiving the award this year, FNU President Dr. Susan Stone made the following statement:
“We know that culturally competent care improves health outcomes and begins with a more diverse healthcare system. We are proud to be taking a leadership role in this movement by educating an increasingly diverse student body, but we fully recognize that we have much to learn and areas to improve. The HEED Award confirms that we are continuing to move in the right direction and to make meaningful progress.”
FNU is proud to continue to push programs, events, and mindsets that promote equality for people of all races, cultures, and gender identities.
To learn more about the steps Frontier has taken to celebrate diversity and promote inclusion, visit the university’s diversity page. Additionally, if you are interested in joining a university with a passion for including and supporting students, patients and staff of all backgrounds, please visit the FNU admissions page.