Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence

We know the conditions in the environments where we are born, live, learn, work, play, worship and age explain why some individuals are healthier than others.

Access to quality health care, housing and education; economic opportunities; and community support combine to influence a wide range of health, functioning and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. Social and economic disadvantages, often linked to discrimination or exclusion, lead to differences in access to medical care and treatment modalities and create disparate outcomes, or health disparities.


UC College of Nursing has received INSIGHT Into Diversity's Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award annually since 2015.

To ensure all individuals — independent of race, ethnicity or socio-economic group — receive a fair and just opportunity to live healthfully requires removing obstacles, such as poverty, discrimination and structural racism. That's why the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing embraces diversity, equity and inclusive excellence in its culture and curriculum, developing culturally humble patient advocates prepared to champion health equity and provide unbiased and safe care to all populations.

UC College of Nursing accomplishes this through a combination of student support programs, strategic partnerships, focused coursework and college- and university-wide initiatives meant to increase awareness of the need for systematic change and to lead the transformation of health care.

Admissions and Curriculum

UC College of Nursing is a pioneer in using holistic admissions strategies to select candidates and create a diverse student body. In addition to test scores, admissions processes for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and select graduate programs value intellect, life experiences, motivation and character when evaluating applicants. In the last two years, about one third of admitted students would not have received an offer based on test scores alone.

In addition, the college continuously revises its curriculum to support diversity, equity and inclusion, underscoring implicit biases and the impact of social determinants of health on patient outcomes, to cultivate nurse leaders dedicated to providing equitable care.

Offered in partnership with UC College of Pharmacy, the Caring for the Underserved Certificate provides students in PharmD and advanced-practice nursing programs the opportunity to focus their required coursework, professional development and clinical experiences on acquiring the skills needed to expertly care for underserved populations. Learn more.

Student Support

AMBITION, which stands for Advising Minorities by Inspiring & Transforming them into Outstanding Nurses, works to provide a community for minority/underrepresented nursing and interdisciplinary studies students at UC and UC Blue Ash. AMBITION offers students a mentoring system, led by a student executive board and faculty advisors. Learn more.

Leadership 2.0 aims to increase the number of first-generation, underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students while providing comprehensive academic and social support to those in the program. Learn more.

The Rise Global Health Ambassadors program offers selected minority/underrepresented students scholarships for international clinical experiences and opportunities to serve as student advocates for diversity, equity and inclusive excellence locally and globally.

The UC chapter of the American Association of Men in Nursing (AAMN) provides a framework for nurses, as a group, to meet, discuss and influence factors that affect men as nurses. This service-oriented organization is committed to the education of the male role in the nursing profession.

College and University Initiatives

UC College of Nursing's vision statement includes "inclusive excellence" as a pillar in its ongoing efforts to lead and impact the transformation of health care, highlighting the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in nursing education and research. This aligns with UC's collective vision for the future, Next Lives Here, which includes an emphasis on urban impact and health in the Cincinnati region. The urban health component of Next Lives Here aims to create solutions for equitable health and well-being in the community and develop diversified, culturally competent members of the health workforce.

Ann Gakumo, PhD

Ann Gakumo, PhD

To coordinate and amplify its push for diversity, equity and inclusion, the college established the Committee for Equity and Inclusive Excellence (CEIE). The committee of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members works as a "catalyst for a culture of inclusive excellence" through open programming and discussions, climate assessments and curriculum consultation.

In 2021, the college hired Ann Gakumo, PhD, as its first Greer Glazer Endowed Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Gakumo collaborates with faculty, staff and students to lead DEI efforts.

It's about more than academics. We have to provide the tools, support and an inclusive environment so that students, faculty and staff can feel a greater sense of belonging.

Ann Gakumo, PhD Greer Glazer Endowed Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


Many UC College of Nursing researchers investigate health disparities and develop interventions to combat inequities. Below are a few examples. For a full list of researchers and their focus areas, visit the Researchers page.