Frontier Nursing University Receives INSIGHT Into Diversity 2018 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award

Lexington, Kentucky, UNITED STATES

Versailles, KY, Oct. 15, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Frontier Nursing University (FNU) received the 2018 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual Health Professions HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, nursing, veterinary, allied health, and other health schools and centers that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — FNU will be featured, along with 34 other recipients, in the December 2018 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.  

“We are deeply honored to receive the prestigious HEED Award,” said FNU President Dr. Susan Stone. “We believe in the benefits of a diverse university and in the positive impacts our diverse graduates can make in communities across the country. Our graduates serve people of all races and cultures and are increasingly coming from diverse backgrounds. It is imperative that our students, faculty and staff have cultural awareness and competency in order to effectively advance our mission of servant leadership. We have demonstrated our ongoing commitment to diversity by implementing programs and structure to ensure we reach our goals. The HEED Award is a validation of those efforts and provides additional inspiration to maintain our commitment to achieving and exceeding our diversity and inclusion goals.”

Since the implementation of the FNU PRIDE Initiative (Promoting Recruitment and Retention to Increase Diversity in Nurse-Midwifery and Nurse Practitioner Education) in 2010, which spearheaded many targeted recruitment activities, FNU has increased the student of color enrollment from 9% in 2010 to 23% in 2018. This success has been achieved through a comprehensive marketing effort targeting prospective students from underrepresented groups. Advertisements, conferences, events, and public relations have been focused on reaching and recruiting new students from underrepresented groups.

FNU has also held annual three-day Diversity Impact Student Conferences since the PRIDE Initiative began. The purpose of the Diversity Impact Conference is to ensure that nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives understand the challenges and opportunities offered by diversity in rural and underserved healthcare systems. Moreover, Diversity Impact advances solutions to problems posed by contemporary health care policy.

To further demonstrate its ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, FNU created the position of Chief Diversity Inclusion Officer (CDIO) in 2017 and named Dr. Maria Valentin-Welch to that office. Dr. Valentin-Welch was named one of the Top 25 Women in Higher Education by Diverse Magazine earlier this year.

“The Health Professions HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both; continued leadership support for diversity; and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a Health Professions HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for schools where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus.”


About Frontier Nursing University:

The mission of FNU is to provide accessible nurse-midwifery and nurse practitioner education to prepare competent, entrepreneurial, ethical, and compassionate leaders in primary care to serve all individuals with an emphasis on women and families in diverse, rural, and underserved populations. FNU offers graduate Nurse-Midwifery and Nurse-Practitioner distance education programs that can be pursued full- or part-time with the student’s home community serving as the classroom. Degrees and options offered include Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Post-Graduate Certificates. To learn more about FNU and the programs and degrees offered, please visit

About INSIGHT Into Diversity

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education today and is known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses. In addition to its online job board, INSIGHT Into Diversity presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as profiles of best practices and exemplary programs. Readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived, and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at


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