UC Davis nursing school honored for excellence in diversity
Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing earns 2021 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award
The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis is a recipient of the 2021 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. The School of Nursing is one of only 50 health professions colleges and universities in the nation identified as a HEED winner by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.
The award, the only one of its kind in the nation, honors institutions for being outstanding examples of colleges, universities, or health profession schools that are committed to making diversity and inclusion a top priority across their campuses.
“We value cultural inclusiveness, new perspectives and nontraditional journeys and our student diversity advances that,” said Dean Stephen Cavanagh. “We must embrace the diversity of our voices, identities and experiences if we are going to achieve our mission to transform health care through health education and research.”
Diversity in programs and people
Diversity lies not only in the experiences provided to students, but also in the experiences they bring with them upon graduation. In June, 68% of the newest physician assistant (P.A.), nursing and nurse practitioner (N.P.) students are first generation.
The school’s educational programs rise above national norms for student diversity, either meeting or exceeding the average for Native American, Pacific Islander and Hispanic students. Of the school’s certified P.A. alumni in the Class of 2020, Black and Hispanic graduates represent roughly double the national averages.
The diversity of faculty also exceeds the state and national professional association figures, with Black faculty exceeding California, American Association of Colleges of Nursing and Physician Assistant Education Association averages.
“Our strength comes from our diversity,” added Piri Ackerman-Barger, the school’s associate dean for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. “The diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan we launched this summer will guide our efforts moving forward as we advance a climate that fosters inclusion excellence and secures sustainable and supportive resources to ensure an environment where all can thrive.”
Intentional work to advance diversity
After three years of collaborative work aimed at increasing diversity among students, faculty and staff the School of Nursing community launched a webpage in 2019. It details the team’s beliefs and commitment to ensuring all members feel included, valued and respected. The school’s diversity statement affirms current beliefs and future aspirations within the school community.
“This 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, INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine publisher.
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 — the School of Nursing will be featured, along with 50 other recipients, in the December 2021 issue of the magazine.
“The diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan we launched this summer will guide our efforts moving forward as we advance a climate that fosters inclusion excellence and secures sustainable and supportive resources to ensure an environment where all can thrive.”