School of Nursing Earns INSIGHT Into Diversity 2022 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award for Second Year

UW–Madison School of Nursing Receives Prestigious Award for Second Consecutive Year

2022 INSIGHT Into Diversity HEED Health Professions Logo

MADISON, Wis. (October 20,­ 2022) – The University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing has been selected as a 2022 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award recipient by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. One of just 64 institutions selected nationwide, and one of only 16 nursing schools to earn the honor, the designation marks the second-straight year that the School of Nursing has been named as a Health Professions HEED Award recipient.

“Earning HEED recognition for a second year reflects that advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion is an ongoing focus,” says School of Nursing Dean Linda D. Scott, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FNAP, FAAN. “I am proud that our progress is worthy of the award. We remain accountable and intentional in our efforts to realize inclusive excellence and to address the issues of racism that still plague society and the nursing profession. We are committed to creating an environment where all students are prepared to meet diverse health needs, and in which all members experience a sense of belonging. Our work continues!”

Officially announced October 13, 2022, the annual Health Professions HEED Award is a national honor recognizing U.S. health colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. “The award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a Health Professions HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for schools where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

The School of Nursing was selected for its ongoing commitment to social justice and health equity. As part of its efforts, the School requires all undergraduates to take coursework focused on social justice and health equity, and faculty include concepts like culturally congruent care and intersectionality in additional courses throughout the curriculum. Both faculty and students are encouraged to critically evaluate their materials for the presence or absence of diverse cultural representation. The School has also developed clinical immersion experiences for students, including opportunities to gain experience in two tribal clinics in Wisconsin.

On top of the School’s efforts to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into the academic setting, efforts extend out into the surrounding community and beyond, reaching individuals on the state, region, and national levels. Complementary content and programming hosted by the School of Nursing instills awareness of social determinants of health, barriers to health care, and disparate outcomes in health care.

To support the various curricular and community efforts, the School of Nursing has developed a new certificate program designed for faculty and staff to better understand social justice, health equity, and how to apply diversity, equity, and inclusion to their teaching, research, and practice.

Mel Freitag, PhD, the School of Nursing’s diversity officer, notes that while the award marks a significant achievement, there is always work to be done. “This award provides benchmarks for schools to measure their success, gauge areas of improvement, and develop systems for behavioral change. Participating in the HEED process assists the School of Nursing community in finding authentic ways to socialize diversity, equity, and inclusion into teaching, research, service, and practice. This is of value as we build a culture of health in the School of Nursing.”

All recipients will be featured in the December 2022 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. For more information on the UW–Madison School of Nursing’s inclusive excellence efforts, please visit

For more information about the 2022 Health Professions HEED Award, visit