Since it emerged as a buzzword, diversity’s old meaning has amassed more heft. Today’s definition recognizes differences that appear on the outside – like skin color, or one’s language of origin – as well as the kind that’s harder to see: life experience, socio-economics, affinity with a particular group or exposure to a population or circumstance. It’s also become about the space that’s created for individuals through real engagement, inclusion and acceptance.
“Diversity’s a lot more than improving headcount,” explains Susan Kools, the Madge M. Jones Professor of Nursing and the School’s first director of Inclusion, Diversity and Excellence, “and really has become a way to appreciate human variation in its richest, broadest sense.”
When you come across those who aren’t like you, Kools explains, your world view expands, as does your ability to accept, respect and empathize, behaviors integral to good nursing.
“How and who we attract for students, staff and faculty is part of it,” adds Dean Dorrie K. Fontaine, “but what matters the most is how we engage and support our people once they’ve landed here.”
Welcome to diversity, take two. >>
VNL Editorial staff & advisory board
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