Minority Life at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing


The latest trends for both full-time and part-time ethnic minority enrollment at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing are depicted in the following graph. These data suggest positive trends for the recruitment of underrepresented students at VUSN. 

Enrollment of male students at VUSN continues to increase, with a 17 percent enrollment in the Post-Master’s Certificate program and 11 percent in the MSN program.


Vanderbilt has one of the largest male nursing faculty in the country. VUSN currently has 21 male faculty with full and part-time faculty appointments, comprising 13 percent of the faculty body. Over half of VUSN’s African American faculty received undergraduate degrees from historically black colleges and universities. 


Along with a variety of student nurse organizations, there are a host of VUSN student organizations related to diversity and inclusion including:  

American Assembly For Men In Nursing

The mission of American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) is to provide a framework for nurses, as a group, to meet, to discuss and influence factors which affect men as nurses. Members of AAMN have a voice in local, state and national events that impact nursing and male nurses. The National Board of Directors, Chapter Leaders, and Committee Members are all members of the national Assembly. For information, contact adviser Dr. Chance Allen

Asian American/Pacific Islander Student Nurses Organization

Given the nurse's position as the foremost patient advocate, VUSN AAPI Student Nurses aims to use our personal experiences as minorities within the health care system to give a voice to Asian American and Pacific Islander clients and their communities by increasing awareness of the health disparities unique to these populations. This organization will advocate for this population from a place of true understanding. Ultimately, we aim to support and enrich both the experiences of students and clients through education, open dialogue, networking, and advocacy. For more information contact Dr. Ginny Moore or Dr. Rolanda Johnson

Black Student Nurses Organization

The Black Student Nurses Organization was founded in the 1990s by a group of VUSN African American students who felt a need for an organization that focused on the socio-cultural needs of African American nursing students. Part of its core activity includes an emphasis on mentoring of first-year nursing students by second-year students. It also hosts activities to assist students in exploring the role of advanced practiced nurses in health care and serves as a resource network for students. Each academic year culminates with BSNO sponsoring VUSN Diversity Day. The organization is also associated with the Nashville chapter of the National Black Nurses Association. For more information, contact Dr. Jannyse Starks . 

Hispanic/Latino Student Nurses Organization

The Hispanic/Latino Student Nurses Organization (HLSNO) inaugural meeting was held fall semester of 2018. The HLSNO focuses on the health care needs of individuals of Hispanic and Latino populations. As future advanced practice nurses, one of the missions of HLSNO is to educate peers and faculty about the health needs, disparities and evidence-based solutions for Hispanic and Latino populations while providing networking and support for HLSNO members. 

For more information, contact Dr. Shelza Rivas or Mariah Ramirez .

Medical Christian Fellowship

Medical Christian Fellowship is an inter-denominational, student-led organization of both nursing and medical students from Vanderbilt and surrounding schools. Our mission is: Encouraging and equipping students in the health professions to follow Jesus Christ and participate in His healing work. All are welcome to attend our weekly or semi-annual gatherings. Please contact Elizabeth Alexander, Advisor at elizabeth.h.alexander@vanderbilt.edu for more information.  

Goals of MCF:   

  • Offer opportunities for spiritual growth and fellowship while in school and training with other health care students through bible study, opportunities to address difficult questions and engagement with church and other para church organizations.  
  • Facilitate relationships with Christian health care providers in the community and at Vanderbilt for encouragement and learning opportunities.  
  • Learn alongside Nashville community faith-based clinics, providers and students while doing service projects focusing on the refugee community.  
  • Offer opportunities for faith-based medical/nursing missions trips to Nicaragua and other international opportunities

Vanderbilt Nursing Student Environmental and Planetary Health Working Group

The Student-led Environmental Health Working Group is a branch of the Global Health club for students with an interest in planetary health and climate change and other environmental health related issues. Students in this club have participated in local community environmental health projects and put together events and discussions around planetary health issues. Please contact Dr. Carol Ziegler if you would like more information. 


VUSNPride provides support for LGBTQ+ students and allies at VUSN while promoting a welcoming and inclusive culture at VUSN for LGBTQ+ students and allies. It facilitates education of faculty and students on LGBTQI issues and promotes inclusion of LGBTQ+ health content in the curriculum at VUSN. The group also seeks to serve the LGBTQ+ community in Nashville and is actively involved in activities that support all these initiatives. For information, contact Laura Woodwick

Vanderbilt Nursing Student Global Health Club

The student-led VUSN Global Health Club meets monthly. Please come and join us as we listen, learn and debate about ethics and operational issues surrounding global health initiatives and health policy issues. Please email Dr. Carol Ziegler for more information or to request to be placed on the roster to present. We will continue to send email announcements monthly about our meetings. 

In addition, Vanderbilt University has a variety of groups and resources related to diversity and inclusion.

This is a partial listing of campus organizations focusing on cultural diversity :