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DEPARTMENTS: Headlines From the NLN

NLN Releases A Vision for Achieving Diversity and Meaningful Inclusion in Nursing Education

Nursing Education Perspectives: May/June 2016 - Volume 37 - Issue 3 - p 186
doi: 10.1097/01.NEP.0000000000000018
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The full text of this NLN Vision is online:

The National League for Nursing (NLN) believes that diversity and quality health care are inseparable. Together they create a path to increased access and improved health and can eliminate health disparities. The NLN diverse in race, ethnicity, culture, language, and gender strongly supports diversity and inclusion in nursing education and practice and is committed to the education of exemplary nurses who value and embody the richness of difference and inclusion to advance the health of the nation and the global community.

It is imperative that institutional leaders create academic environments where diverse faculty, staff, and students can flourish. Diverse faculty and students must be welcomed and sustained in nursing education programs. Curricula that respond to the health needs of all populations must be designed and implemented. There must be a willingness to challenge unintentional and intentional biases that promote microinequities and act as a barrier to the achievement of diversity.


For Deans, Directors, Chairs of Nursing Programs

  • Commit to diversity and inclusivity in the academic mission, leadership, faculty, students, and curricula.
  • Develop a plan to actively recruit and retain faculty, staff, and students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Enact a governance structure that fosters an environment of inclusivity including recruitment and retention of a diverse leadership team.
  • Provide internal and external resources that empower all individuals to achieve excellence in diversity and inclusion.
  • Evaluate results or outcomes of diversity plan implementation.
  • Develop diversity leadership champions among faculty, staff, and students.

For Nurse Faculty

  • Co-create a positive collaborative organizational culture that integrates the value of diversity and inclusivity into the functions of the nursing education program and academic institution.
    • Form academic-practice partnerships to strengthen inclusive practice.
    • Provide interprofessional learning opportunities that prepare students to care for diverse populations in culturally responsive ways.
    • Determine metrics to monitor benchmarks for diversity and inclusion among nursing education programs.
    • Form alliances with community organizations as resources for strengthening diversity and inclusion in the workforce.
    • Provide curricula that include culturally appropriate health care of diverse populations with attention to health disparities.
    • Establish formal mentoring initiatives for underrepresented students and faculty.
    • Strengthen workforce diversity research in nursing education (on recruitment, retention, career advancement of diverse nurse faculty/on microaggressions that influence who enters and exits nursing faculty, looking at variables like unconscious bias and the threat of stereotypes).

For the NLN

  • Continue to demonstrate evidence of diversity and inclusion within the organization and in stakeholder engagement.
  • Disseminate a comprehensive tool that measures the effectiveness of diversity in nursing education.
  • Continue to collect gender, racial/ethnic enrollment, and retention data in nursing programs nationally.
  • Continue to provide professional development regarding diversity and inclusion.
  • Establish criteria for recognizing excellence for diversity and inclusion in nursing education.
  • Develop a panel of experts to serve as diversity mentors for nursing education programs.
  • Use multiple communication strategies to keep diversity and inclusion issues visible to the nursing education community.
  • Build organizational connections and coalitions that advance diversity and inclusion in nursing education and practice.
  • Seek funding to support diversity initiatives.
  • Create a database of nursing education programs that are exemplars of diversity.
© 2016 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.