Diversity, Inclusion, and Sustainability in Nursing Education Lectureship Award

AACN created an award that recognizes outstanding contributions made by an individual or a group that champion diversity, inclusion, and sustainability in nursing education. Diversity is defined as individual attributes that extend beyond race, age, and gender to also include, but are not limited to, characteristics such as national origin, immigrant status, language, color, disability, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, veteran status, and family structures. Inclusion is defined as a culture that encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness as well as leverages diversity so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential. An inclusive environment must be created in order for diversity to flourish. Sustainability occurs when structures and strategies, to manage diversity and institutionalize a culture of inclusion, are in place.

2019 Application Cycle has ended. 

Award Criteria

The winner will demonstrate excellence in nursing education in both of the following areas:

I. Creating Change – Plays a leading role in influencing change, adapting academic environments, and/or raising awareness of the need to promote diversity, inclusion, and sustainability in nursing education. Nominations must:

  • Clearly articulate the focus of the nomination
  • State the impact of actions taken by the nominee
  • Identify scope of change, i.e., partners, community engagement
  • Address sustainability

2. Influencing Others – Serves as an opinion leader and recognized advocate for diversity, inclusion, and sustainability resulting in significant organizational or community impact.

Below are examples of how the awardee might Influence Others and Create Change.

  • Continually Learning – Develops educational programs, professional development opportunities, and/or awareness events that support this award’s triple aim.
  • Cultivating Diverse Teams – Creates inclusive teams of faculty, staff, students, mentors, and other constituents representing the rich diversity of communities served.
  • Risk Taking – Advances innovative solutions and decisive actions that break new ground in the drive to champion diversity, inclusion, and sustainability.
  • Accountable for Diversity and Inclusion – Sets standards, advances strategies, and/or implements measures to ensure that goals related to diversity and inclusion are met.
  • External Leadership Involvement – Plays a leading role in advancing diversity, inclusion, and sustainability in the nursing profession in addition to local efforts.
Nomination Process

Recipients will be chosen by AACN’s Board of Directors.

Submission Process

Self-nominations are not accepted. Nominations must be made by representatives of AACN member institutions. Nominations are limited to one from each member school. The nomination letter should not exceed three pages in length and be single-spaced, 12- point font, with one inch margins. The curriculum vitae document is not included in the three-page limit. Only one nomination per institution is permitted. All nominations should be electronically submitted via the online application.

1. Letters of nomination must include the following:  

  • How the nominee has been instrumental in achieving diversity, inclusion, and sustainability in nursing education.
  • How the nominee fulfilled the criteria using concrete examples.
  • The impact of the nominee’s efforts. Please include numbers of affected individuals; programs or policies implemented; and any other relevant measurements of successful diversity efforts. The evidence can be both quantitative and qualitative.

2. Reference letters: Two letters of reference must accompany the nomination; one from the school of nursing and one external letter. Both must address the nominee’s diversity efforts.

3. The nominee’s most recent curriculum vitae.


Presentation of Awards

The award and lectureship opportunity will be presented yearly at the AACN Deans Annual Meeting. Funds will be provided to allow the association to cover honoraria ($2,500) and travel expenses for speakers. The honoraria and travel expense budget will be split between the winners if a group is chosen.


For more information, contact AACN's Director for Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Vernell DeWitty at (202) 463-6930, ext. 224 or at vdewitty@aacnnursing.org.

Congratulations to the 2018 Award Recipient!


Dr. Marion Broome, Dean and Ruby Wilson Professor of Nursing at Duke University School of Nursing, and Vice Chancellor for Nursing Affairs and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs for Nursing at Duke University Health System


See all past award winners >>