A commitment to cultural competency and health equity
In 2019, a committee made up of both internal and community representatives was charged to review and articulate JHSON’s teaching and learning philosophy of inclusive excellence. The committee worked to assess and address biases, measure bias impact on the school, examine teaching and learning practices, and create DEI teaching and learning resources.
We saw what was missing and we’re fixing it. Through the Teaching and Learning as a Pathway to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative, a number of new key cultural competency areas have been integrated throughout our curriculum: community health, cultural diversity, LGBTQ health issues, global health, interprofessional studies, minority health issues, women’s health issues, religious beliefs affecting healthcare, and linguistic diversity.
To more deeply integrate diversity into JHSON’s delivery of nursing education, it infused CAST’s (2011) Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Guidelines into its curriculum. The UDL Guidelines advocate for an inclusive instructional approach by “minimiz[ing] barriers and maximiz[ing] learning for all students,” with the phrase “all students” referring to a diverse learning population with multiple needs and preferences.
This committee continues its work to expand the inclusive reach of our teaching and learning environment and practices. If you are interested in joining this important work, please reach out to JHSON Academic Affairs.
Following successful deployment of Safe Zone trainings at JHSON over the years, students across all programs started requesting that faculty integrate clinical topics specific to LGBTQ health and sexual health disparities into existing courses. In response to these requests, Athena Sherman, a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar, Nurse Faculty Fellow Scholar, and then a newly minted School of Nursing PhD, sought to address the gap in LGBTQI-specific nursing content through assessing areas in the MSN (Entry into Nursing) program, as well as in the DNP Advanced Practice tracks for areas in which LGBTQI content could be integrated.
Dr. Sherman, who uses the pronouns xe/they/she, convened a task force of interested faculty, staff, and students, to solicit support and ideas for specific content and best placement for content integration. As part of the Nurse Faculty Fellow Scholar award, Dr. Sherman (today an assistant professor at the Emory School of Nursing) worked with JHSON faculty and associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion to integrate this important content into the MSN (Entry into Nursing) and DNP Advanced Practice Programs. Outcomes from this initiative include the development and deployment of an LGBTQI patient case study for the Chronic Health Alterations course; the compilation of LGBTQI health resources that were forwarded to the university-wide LGBTQ Life department and an abstract on the curriculum integration was accepted for a poster presentation at the 6th National LGBTQ Health Conference.