School of Nursing earns 2023 INSIGHT Into Diversity award

Award Logo: Insight into Diversity Higher Ed Excellence in Diversity Award 2023 Health Professional SchoolFor the fourth year in a row, the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing has won a Higher Education in Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. The award honors VUSN’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion shown through mentorship, education, research and staffing practices.

“Receiving our fourth INSIGHT Into Diversity HEED award is a remarkable achievement that underscores our community’s unwavering dedication to equity, diversity and inclusion,” said Pamela Jeffries, PhD, FAAN, ANEF, FSSH, dean and the Valere Potter Distinguished Professor of Nursing. “We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment and fortunate to have faculty and staff dedicated to these principles.

VUSN offers a number of ways for community members to engage in learning activities and conversations about equity, diversity and inclusion, including the school’s annual diversity month, when student affinity groups organize a series of events exploring issues and topics relating to the group; an annual EDI campaign that encourages inclusion and stepping outside one’s comfort zone; and a monthly literary club designed to facilitate conversation about EDI topics.

“Our Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Rolanda Johnson, PhD’98, and Program Coordinator Beth Sims have been instrumental in helping students, faculty and staff understand how to build and support inclusivity at VUSN,” said Jeffries. “In addition, there are a large number of faculty and staff who have stepped forward to create learning materials, facilitate discussions and offer a supportive environment where any member of our community can further develop emotional intelligence and understanding.”

The Vanderbilt School of Nursing will be featured with other winners in the November/December 2023 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“The Health Professions HEED 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, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a Health Professions HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for schools where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

More information about the 2022 Health Professions HEED Award is available at