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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

From the blog

Our Commitment

The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing is committed to ensuring diversity and inclusion among our students, staff and faculty. As a community of scholars and lifelong learners, we value diversity in its many forms and believe that a diverse and inclusive community makes for a better working and learning environment. We are committed to achieving meaningful and intentional diversity and inclusion in nursing education, research, scholarship, practice and service. Our VCU School of Nursing Diversity Plan outlines are priorities in these areas. 

Diversity is one of the five major themes embedded in our school’s five-year strategic plan – Beyond 125: Connecting Our Legacy to the Future.  Each year we create a strategic action plan to guide our operations. Diversity, equity and inclusion is one of the three areas of focus in the FY 21-22 SON Strategic Action Plan .

Jean Giddens, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean and professor, shares a video message discussing how our school is working to help eliminate racism and ensure equity in our environment and the curriculum.

Ongoing Initiatives

  • Following a variety of DEI events and actions held over the last couple of years to educate and engage faculty, staff and students, the school has established several key groups committed to carrying out this important work. 
    • A Diversity Council, led by Dr. Angela Duncan, associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion, was created to develop strategies and events aligned with the school's strategic plan DEI goals. The following faculty and staff are members: Delores Armstrong, director of finance and human resources; Dr. Ana Diallo, assistant professor; Garvey Dobbins, clinical instructor; Alex Fisher, program promotion specialist; Lyons Hardy, clinical assistant professor; Dr. Nancy Husson, clinical assistant professor; Dr. Jo Robins, associate professor; Dr. Lisa Shah, assistant professor; Dr. Chris Schreiner, director of academic data analytics; Dr. Mark Tanner, clinical associate professor; and Dr. Lindsay Tierney, academic coach. Alumnus Danny Mallory, a nurse practitioner at VCU Health, is also part of the council. 
    • A team of SON Recruitment Inclusive Champions has been established to help ensure diversity in the school's recruitment of faculty and staff. Members include Dr. Ingrid Pretzer-Aboff, associate professor and senior nurse reseacher; Dr. Lisa Brown, associate professor; Demmie Pennix, human resources administrator; Dr. Angela Duncan, associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion; and Dr. Jo Robins, associate professor and interim Ph.D. program director. 
    • Three faculty and staff members will serve as the school's "Stepping In" trainers. They include Dr. Angela Duncan, associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion; Dr. Nancy Husson, clinical assistane professor; and Dr. Chris Schreiner, director of academic data analytics. 

Upcoming Events

The School of Nursing will host a Women's History Month lecture, titled "Medical Racism and the Maternal Health Crisis," on March 14, noon to 1 p.m., in Room 1011. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens, the Charles and Linda Wilson Professor in the History of Medicine and director of the Humanities in Medicine program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. There will also be a panel discussion moderated by Ms. Bianca Owens, VCU graduate student in psychology, and featuring panelists Dr. Tashima Lambert Giles, OB/GYN at VCU Health; Dr. Myrlene Jeudy, OB/GYN at VCU Health; and Ms. Kirsten Olsen, program manager of Pregnancy and Parenting Partnership at VCU Health. Join us in-person or virtually. Register here. 

Quick Facts

 pie charts showing student diversity

Student diversity at the School of Nursing increased from 25.5% to in 2013 to 42% in 2021. 

Our Stories

Black History Month event features alumnae sharing their St. Philip experience 

Discussion about racial reckoning at Monticello one of the highlights of Black History Month at VCU  

Theater performance on social justice highlights VCU's annual MLK celebration  

VCU earns Diversity Champion recognition second year in a row  

History and Health: VCU looks to the past to inform a future of better health care for all

Celebrating the St. Philip School of Nursing  

Richmond Health and Wellness Program works to address secondary impacts of pandemic on health outcomes

Angela Duncan named associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion

Undergraduate Fellows Program nutures future nurse leaders and scientists    

Former combat medic and VCU nursing student prepares for the front lines of health care in the ICU

Nursing scholarships will nearly double thanks to donations


VCU Health Sciences Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Framework

VCU Division of Inclusive Excellence

VCU Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

VCU Health Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

American Association of Colleges of Nursing Diversity and Inclusion

American Academy of Nursing Diversity and Inclusivity Statement



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