Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence

The UC College of Nursing is committed to preparing culturally humble patient advocates to champion health equity and provide unbiased and safe care to all populations, and ensure all individuals — independent of race, ethnicity or socio-economic group — receive a fair and just opportunity to live healthfully.

HEED Award Logo

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

The college’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives include:

  • Recruiting, retaining and graduating students who reflect the broader U.S. population;
  • Providing dedicated support and opportunities to historically marginalized students; 
  • Implementing efforts to increase the diversity and retention of faculty, staff and students;
  • Promoting cultural humility throughout the curriculum;
  • Increasing scholarship opportunities related to diversity, cultural sensitivity and health equity.

DEI Strategic Plan

Ann Gakumo

Ann Gakumo, PhD

Led by Ann Gakumo, PhD, associate dean for inclusion and community impact, Greer Glazer Endowed Chair in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and associate professor, the college has designed and implemented a DEI strategic plan. The plan’s vision, “To inspire, influence, engage, and guide the College of Nursing, the University of Cincinnati and the larger community to build a sustainable model of inclusive excellence that embraces and reflects the diverse population we serve,” is guided by four strategic goals and corresponding measurements to ensure accountability.

Admissions and Curriculum

A pioneer in using a holistic admissions process, the college looks beyond test scores to evaluate applicants for BSN and select graduate programs to form a student body that is empathetic and diverse in thought, background and life experiences. In fall 2023, 39% of students admitted to the BSN program would not have received an offer based on quantitative criteria only.

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

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.

The CURE — Cultivating Undergraduate Nursing Resilience and Equity — Fellowship is a grant-supported initiative that provides financial, academic and social support to students admitted as sophomores who are of underrepresented backgrounds. Learn more.

IFNL's vision is to enhance the international future nurse leaders’ experience through activities that promote diversity, equity, and a culture of inclusive excellence, as well as an important social support system centered on student-focused services and programs. 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 SHIIFT — Systems in Holistic Innovation and Inclusion for Transformation — Scholars program offers financial, academic, social and wellness support to students admitted as freshman who are of underrepresented backgrounds. Learn more.

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.

UC-Wide Support

UC's vision for the future, Next Lives Here, 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 sensitive members of the health workforce. Learn more about student organizations.


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