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Penn Nursing > Diversity

Diversity and Inclusivity

Changing the face of nursing advances health

Penn Nursing's Office of Diversity and Inclusivity supports the advancement, development, translation, and integration of culturally sensitive knowledge into nursing science, education, and practice. Penn Nursing promotes a climate that attracts, retains, and promotes a critical mass of faculty, students, and staff from underrepresented populations.

Barriers to building more diversity in the nursing profession remain high. Underrepresented minorities have less access to adequate educational preparation in math and science, often face higher financial hurdles, and are less exposed to nursing as a potential career option.

When former dean Afaf Ibrahim Meleis – a native of Egypt – arrived at Penn Nursing in 2002 her vision inspired faculty to add diversity and inclusivity as a key strategic goal for the school. Dean Antonia Villarruel continues to evolve and build on the school's legacy to reflect the diversity of our nation and global society through leadership development and research.

Taskforce on diversity and inclusivity

This charge is led by Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusivity Lisa Lewis, and the Taskforce on Diversity. Researchers in the Center for Health Equity Research and throughout the school conduct scholarship aimed at increasing health equity. In addition, they provide mentorship of ethnically and racially diverse nurse leaders who are rigorously prepared to lead change through research and policy development.

Penn Nursing's Office of Diversity and Inclusivity inspires leadership and innovation in our students, the future generation of nurse educators, scholars, and practitioners.

Contact Us: diversity@nursing.upenn.edu