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National League for Nursing Convenes Innovative Think Tank on Expanding Diversity in Nurse Educator Workforce

National League for Nursing Convenes Innovative Think Tank on Expanding Diversity in Nurse Educator Workforce 

Leaders in Nursing Education, Practice, Health Care, and Higher Education Pool Expertise in Ethnic and Racial Diversity


February 4, 2008 — New York, NY — Decrying a lack of diversity in the nations nurse educator workforce, the National League for Nursing has taken the lead in working to change this reality in all types of nursing programs. This high-priority NLN initiative, which grew out of the Leagues 2007-2010 Strategic Plan, is projected to evolve over the coming decade. It began with an invitation to influential nurse educators, practicing nurses and professionals in health care and higher education to join a new NLN-led Think Tank on Expanding Diversity in the Nurse Educator Workforce.

Providing the rationale and context for the NLNs decision to spearhead the think tank, NLN CEO Beverly Malone, RN, PhD, FAAN asserted, "Among NLNs stated core values is the understanding that a culture of diversity moves beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the richness of each individual, recognizing that while diversity can be about individual differences, it also encompasses institutional and system-wide behavior patterns."

The inaugural group of a dozen met on January 9-10 in Orlando, FL, with discussions facilitated by Sr. Rosemary Donley, SC, PhD, C-ANP, RN, FAAN, ordinary professor at Catholic University in Washington, DC, and Frances Henderson, EdD, RN, retired dean and professor at Alcorn State University in Natchez, MS. Sr. Donley, a past president of the NLN, has also chaired Catholic Universitys Community/Public Health Nursing Graduate Program, where one of the clinical specialty options is in global, immigrant, and refugee health. Dr. Henderson, a former member of the NLN Board of Governors, serves as deputy director of the largest, single-site, epidemiological, population-based study of African Americans and cardiovascular disease ever undertaken, the Jackson Heart Study.

Other think tank participants reflected the scope of diversity the NLN envisions in the nurse education workforce. Represented were Asian, Hispanic, Native American, African American, and Filipino voices in nursing, as well as those who deal with multicultural affairs and advocate for nurse educators with disabilities. With male representation on the think tank as well, increasing gender diversity is another current agenda priority.

Recommendations from the initial meeting include the use of several existing NLN initiatives to build diversity including the Centers of Excellence in Nursing Education Program, NLN awards, and the "Reflection and Dialogue" series. The think tank also discussed:

  • Identifying two priority issues the NLN must address in order to expand diversity in the nurse educator workforce
  • Identifying significant concepts and recommendations to be included in an NLN position statement on "Expanding Diversity in the Nurse Educator Workforce" that will engage the nursing education community in dialogue and encourage the development of diversity building initiatives within all types of nursing education programs
  • Identifying potential authors for and concepts to be addressed in a new NLN book or other publication, to be titled Expanding Diversity in the Nurse Educator Workforce

Dr. Malone praised members of the think tank as "leaders we can count on to bring inspiration and real excitement to our work at the NLN. We are committed for the entire journey, beginning with racial/ethnic/gender diversity and moving to include a broader, more comprehensive spectrum of diversity," vowing, "I will keep you informed as our diversity initiatives take shape."

Echoing that commitment, NLN president M. Elaine Tagliareni, EdD, RN, said, "Fulfilling the vision of the NLN Board of Governors, through this process, we fully intend to bring about an ethnically and racially diverse workforce of faculty, researchers, and pedagogical scholars who mentor and serve as role models for future nurses and nurse educators."

Editors and reporters: For interview opportunities, please contact Jane Rosen at 201-906-7339 or


Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education offering faculty development, networking opportunities, testing and assessment, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 25,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members.

Diversity Think Tank Co-Facilitators

Sr. Rosemary Donley, SC, PhD, C-ANP, RN, FAAN Ordinary Professor and Chair, Community/Public Health Nursing Graduate Program
Catholic University
Past President NLN and STTI

Frances Henderson, EdD, RN
Retired, Dean and Professor
Alcorn State University

Diversity Think Tank Invited Members

Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN
Clinical Associate Professor and Director, Multicultural Affairs, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Bronwynne Evans, PhD, RN, FNGNA
College of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation, Arizona State University
President-Elect, National Organization for Nurses with Disabilities

Audwin Fletcher, PhD, CFNP
Associate Professor, University of Mississippi


Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
CEO, National League for Nursing


Diane J. Mancino, EdD, RN, CAE
Executive Director, National Student Nurses Association (NSNA)


Rosario-May Mayor, MSN, RN
Director of Performance Improvement, Bronx VA Medical Center
President, Philippine Nurses Association of America (2006-2008)


Beverly Patchell, RN, MS, CNS
President, National Alaskan Native American Indian Nurses Association (NANAINA)
Project Director, Adjunct Faculty, American Indian Nursing Program
AI/AN MS to PhD Nursing Science Bridge, University of Oklahoma College of Nursing


M. Elaine Tagliareni, EdD, RN
Independence Foundation Chair and Professor, Community College of Philadelphia
President, National League for Nursing


Cheryl Taylor, PhD, RN
Director, Office of Nursing Research, Southern University and A & M College of Nursing
(has devoted her nursing career to the health needs of medically underserved populations)


Sara Torres, EdD, RN
Associate Dean, School of Nursing, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Walden University
Author, NLN-published book
, Hispanic Voices


Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor, University of Michigan School of Nursing
Past President, National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN)
Vice President, National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations (NCEMNA)


Lin Zhan, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean and Professor, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston
Member, NLN Board of Governors
Author, NLN-published
Asian Voices


NLN Diversity Think Tank Staff

Carol Fetters Andersen, MSN, RN
Director, Curriculum Assessment and Retention Solutions


Lynette Hinds, MSN, RN
Manager, Professional Development


Maureen Peters
Executive Director, NLN Foundation (observer)


Terry Valiga, EdD, RN, FAAN
Chief Programs Officer