The Department of Nursing (DoN) is committed to creating an inclusive environment in which faculty, staff, and students are representative of and responsive to diverse populations. This commitment flows from the vision of St. Catherine University’s founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Catholic social teaching, which inform our liberal arts goals; findings of community-based collaborative action research conducted by DoN faculty and students with communities of color; research mandates from the Institute of Medicine; and position statements from the American Academy of Nursing and National League for Nursing. Specifically, we are committed to preparing all students to:
- Confidently and compassionately provide high quality, equitable care for all people.
- Understand the historic roots of the social construction of marginalized groups and the resultant hierarchical arrangements in society, unequal distribution of resources, and disparities in health promotion and outcomes.
- Create inclusive practice environments that promote the health and human dignity of all.
- Embrace a life-long commitment to learn and understand the history, culture, and experience of populations that are marginalized, and enter into authentic, meaningful, caring relationships with individuals who are marginalized.
- Take action against systems of oppression built on socially constructed differences in race/ethnicity, sex/gender identity or orientation, physical characteristics, socioeconomic status, language, age, religious or political affiliations, disability, country of origin, and/or citizenship status.
To assure inclusivity, we are committed to a systematic analysis of curricular materials pedagogical approaches; assessment practices; nursing education environment; and our faculty, staff, and student recruitment and retention practices, policies, and outcomes.
To foster authentic and healing communication, the following inclusivity statement1 is included in every course syllabus:
Nurses are called to promote human dignity. In order to be aware of the ever changing environment in nursing and health care, an open dialogue must be able to occur in a non-threatening environment in which students and faculty can engage in discussions that are taking place, challenge comments that are made, and evaluate aspects of the structural environment that support injustice. Bringing attention to expressions of cultural bias is a way to model against stereotyping. At any time, a moment of consideration can be called. This can and should be called by anyone, student or faculty, in order to facilitate needed conversation around sensitive issues. These moments are times for all of us to learn how to become more sensitive in our language and actions. Such dialogues may pertain to stereotypes related to “race,” sex, religion, gender identity, sexual preference, weight, economic status, and anything that can impact the dignity of persons, including equitable treatment of patients and students. These moments of consideration should be freely addressed in the classroom and are an essential aspect of learning in this course.
1This statement is based on a statement written by NURS 6790 student, Maria Kludt (Spring 2009).