The AACN Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Tool Kit is designed to:
What is Inclusive Excellence?
The operational definition of Inclusive Excellence as introduced by the Association of American Colleges and Universities includes four primary components:
1. A focus on student intellectual and social development. Academically, it means offering the best possible course of study for the context in which the education is offered.
2. A purposeful development and utilization of organizational resources to enhance student learning. Organizationally, it means establishing an environment that challenges each student to achieve academically at high levels and each member of the campus to contribute to learning and knowledge development.
3. Attention to the cultural differences that learners bring to the educational experience and that enhance the enterprise.
4. A welcoming community that engages all of its diversity in the service of student and organizational learning.
Inclusive Excellence Ecosystem for Academic Nursing
The Inclusive Excellence Ecosystem for Academic Nursing depicts a model for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within schools of nursing. The arrows depicted above are dual directional to depict the connectivity, intersection, and influence of all dimensions of the ecosystem. For instance, it is not sufficient that a nursing school transition to a holistic admissions process; it is imperative that the school also creates a welcoming environment where all students feel that they belong and will advance academically. Equity and inclusion are essential components to achieving the promise that greater diversity brings to higher education and the future health workforce.
The model’s four dimensions - Institutional Viability and Capacity, Access and Success, Climate and Culture, and Education and Scholarship - serve to widen the lens to allow a more comprehensive view that incorporates not only aspects of the overall institution on teaching and learning, but also the impact and influence of the communities in which the school is situated, the communities it serves, as well as the wider local, regional, national, and global contexts.
Source: Williams. D.A., Berger, J.B., & McClendon, S. A.. (2005). Toward a Model of Inclusive Excellence and Change in Post-Secondary Institutions. Association of American Colleges and Universities. Washington DC.
Institutional Viability and Capacity is necessary to examine the nursing school’s organizational structure (i.e., mission, vision, values, goals, and priorities). The allocation and utilization of resources must support alignment to build the support and capacity for diversity, equity, and inclusion. The nursing schools's leadership, accountability, strategic planning, and metrics are key drivers for success.
Access and Success focuses on access to the nursing school, inclusion and belonging, and success of historically underrepresented and marginalized groups. Nursing schools must critically examine the structures, policies, practices, and attitudes to ensure access, retention, and success for all faculty, students, and staff.
Climate and Culture is critical to the experience of faculty, staff, and students. The institution fosters an environment where diverse backgrounds are valued and respected. In addition, diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible environments show a collective sense of belonging. All individuals thrive and do their best work, which are critical to achieving the nursing school’s goals and commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Education and Scholarship are core competencies of nursing skills and reflect faculty capacity and pedagogical approaches that embody diversity, equity, and inclusion. The structure of these processes determines the educational experiences of all students who are invited to participate in the learning environment.