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School of Nursing announces official diversity and inclusion position statement

From left, Brionne Willliams, MSN’17; Abisola “Abi” Ibrahim, MSN’17; Jessica McMillan, DNP’18, MSN’16, BA’13; LaToya Hopkins, MSN’17, and Ralphine Whitfield-Walton, MSN’17, at their Sigma Theta Tau induction. Photo by Erin Rodgers.

The School of Nursing adopted a new diversity and inclusion statement that specifies its dedication to the equity, diversity and inclusion of all students, faculty and staff and proclaims its responsibilities as an educational institution to foster and graduate highly educated and culturally sensitive health care professionals.

The statement was developed by a diversity and inclusion task force set up in 2017 and approved by the school’s executive committee in mid-January.

The task force was chaired by Assistant Professor Geri Reeves, PhD, MSN’93. “Writing the diversity and inclusivity statement was the collective effort of a diverse group of individuals representing faculty, staff and students,” Reeves said. “Our hope is that the statement will be a written reminder of our common humanity and need for each other.”

Dean and Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing Linda D. Norman, DSN, FAAN, said she welcomed the statement and thanked the group for its work.

“It’s important that we as educators proclaim our belief in the value of all people and the need for inclusion, diversity and equity,” she said. “Our society is richer — we are richer — when we learn from and work with people who bring experiences and perspectives different than our own. I hope this statement communicates to future and current students, faculty and staff that we need their diversity and welcome them here at VUSN.”


VUSN’s diversity and inclusivity statement:

At Vanderbilt University School of Nursing we are intentional about, and assume accountability for, fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity and inclusion for all students, faculty and staff. We support our efforts with respect for the inherent dignity, worth and unique attributes of every person. To bring to life our vision of inclusive excellence, we seek to recruit, admit, hire, retain, promote and support diverse and underrepresented groups of students, staff and faculty. We value social justice and human rights. We embrace the plurality of humanity that composes our community including, but not limited to, age, race, ethnic origin, gender identity, sexual orientation and religion. We affirm the inherent worth of each individual in order to protect, promote and optimize the health and abilities of all people. As educators of advanced practice nurses, nurse scholars, nurse leaders and nurse faculty, we accept the responsibility to foster and graduate highly educated, culturally sensitive health care professionals who mirror the diverse populations they serve.


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