WASHINGTON, D.C. – In September 2020, a new collaboration emerged against the backdrop of the pandemic: a network of racially and ethnically diverse nursing faculty across 18 Jesuit nursing schools in the United States. The Jesuit Diverse Nursing Faculty Network serves to better facilitate success in scholarship, leadership, teaching, and the professional development of racially and ethnically diverse nursing faculty.

After nearly a year and half of strategic collaboration between its members, the network is now the newest Conference of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). AJCU’s president, Rev. Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., said, “We are grateful for the leadership of the network’s co-founders, Dr. Kumhee Ro of Seattle University and Dr. Edilma Yearwood of Georgetown University, for organizing such an impressive program. It is because of their work that faculty at nursing schools across the country now have opportunities for greater support, as well as professional development, in nursing. We are delighted to welcome the network to our system of AJCU Conferences.”

In just a year and a half, the network has seen several accomplishments to further develop and support racially and ethnically diverse nursing faculty. These include the sponsorship of a junior faculty member to become a fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP); the formation of a manuscript subcommittee to support scholarship; Zoom sessions on best practices for tenure and promotion; and collaboration with the Jesuit Conference of Nursing Programs.

Dr. Kumhee Ro said, “We feel that this network is a starting point to foster a culture that not only recruits, but also supports racial and ethnic nurse educators who can better meet the changing landscape of the nursing student demographics, and contribute to policies and initiatives to advance health equity and social justice. We know that becoming an AJCU Conference will help us to further build our network with other Conference leaders and help us achieve our goals more effectively.”

To learn more about the Jesuit Diverse Nursing Faculty Network, please click here.