Frontier Nursing University (FNU) has received the 2023 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 November/December 2023 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. This is the sixth consecutive year FNU has been named as a Health Professions HEED Award recipient.
“Receiving the INSIGHT Into Diversity Health Professions Education in Excellence in Diversity Award is an honor that is celebrated by everyone at Frontier Nursing University,” said FNU President Dr. Susan Stone, CNM, DNSc, FAAN, FACNM. “We embrace this award because it acknowledges Frontier’s steps to prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at all levels of our university. We also cherish the opportunity to apply for this award because every year, the award criteria and review process challenge us to look at our successes, existing gaps, and opportunities for improvement. Our DEI work is essential to help prepare our students to provide culturally concordant care in their communities across the country.”
FNU has maintained a strong focus on increasing diversity enrollment and retention through a number of initiatives, FNU’s many recent DEI initiatives include the implementation of a holistic admissions process, the expansion of its Office of DEI staff, diversity training for all members of the FNU community, mentoring programs, an annual Diversity Impact Conference, the formation of special Student Interest Groups, and the establishment of a DEI Faculty Fellows program. Since FNU committed to DEI as a priority, enrollment of students of color has increased from 9% in 2010 to 30% in 2023. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently awarded FNU the Maternity Care (MatCare) Nursing Workforce Expansion Grant. The grant period extends from September 30, 2023, to September 29, 2027. FNU will receive $4 million – $1 million per year – to fund the grant project. Via the grant, FNU intends to increase the number and diversity of the nurse-midwifery workforce, focusing on increasing the Hispanic population of nurse-midwives.
“Frontier Nursing University is committed to being an equitable institution where everyone is respected, valued, and welcomed,” said FNU Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Dr. Paula Alexander-Delpech, Ph.D., PMHNP-BC, APRN. “Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are central components of our data-driven initiatives and policies.”
“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.”
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