Frontier Nursing University (FNU) recently received the 2022 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual Health Professions HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. health colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — FNU will be featured, along with 64 other recipients, in the December 2022 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. This is the fifth consecutive year FNU has been named as a Health Professions HEED Award recipient.
“It is an incredible honor to receive the INSIGHT Into Diversity 2022 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award for each of the last five years,” said FNU President Dr. Susan Stone, CNM, DNSc, FAAN, FACNM. “We are proud of the progress we have made through our focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), but much work is still to be done. To that end, we continue to set new goals and make data-driven, evidence-based decisions on how best to achieve those goals. We value DEI not only because it is the right thing to do but also because, as educators of nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives, we understand the importance of culturally concordant healthcare in creating better health outcomes and reducing health disparities.”
Over the last 12 years, FNU has raised its enrollment of students of color from 9 percent to over 27 percent and continues its efforts to increase the recruitment and retention of students of color. In July 2022, FNU held its 12th annual Diversity Impact Conference, which is a free two-day event featuring presenters who are renowned leaders in DEI from across the country. In September, FNU held a land acknowledgment ceremony as part of the ribbon-cutting event officially opening the university’s campus in Versailles, Kentucky. The land acknowledgment, which will be permanently displayed on a sign located on the campus’ 5K walking trail, states that FNU acknowledges that Versailles is the traditional territory of the Shawnee and Cherokee people.
FNU created the Bias Incident Report Advisory Council in 2021 to bring together processes to develop a coordinated approach to responding to implicit and biased incidents at FNU. The aim is to bring together different perspectives and processes from across the University to develop a coordinated approach to responding to biased incidents at the University. An even newer DEI-related initiative at FNU is the recent launch of five student interest groups (SIGs). The SIGs, which are student-led and meet monthly, include: International Students in Nursing; LGBTQIA+ Students in Nursing; Men in Nursing; Military/Veterans in Nursing; and Students of Color in Nursing.
“Frontier Nursing University is committed to a safe, open, and respectful university where
every member is valued and welcomed,” said FNU Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Dr. Paula Alexander-Delpech, Ph.D., PMHNP-BC, APRN. “At FNU, diversity, equity, and inclusion are core principles that are integrated into the mission of our university as we continuously strive for inclusive excellence.”
“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, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a Health Professions HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for schools where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”