2018 Health Equity Academy Scholars


Duke University School of Nursing has been committed to investing resources in recruiting and graduating nurses from diverse populations in an effort to build a nursing workforce that reflects society.

The Academy for Academic and Social Enrichment and Leadership Development for Health Equity—more commonly known as the Health Equity Academy II (HEA II)—has been one of the programs at Duke created to support minority students in the ABSN program.

“The Health Equity Academy II is designed to cultivate our HEA II Scholars in career and leadership development,” says Brigit Carter, PhD, MSN, RN, CCRN, associate professor, associate dean for diversity and inclusion and HEA II program director. “The program increases their understanding and ability to identify and create proactive responses to social determinants of health.”

HEA II is a nursing workforce diversity grant funded by the Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services (D19HP25902). This project is committed to the development of minority nurse leaders with an understanding of and commitment to addressing the relationship between social determinants of health, health access, health disparities and health equity.  

“Our goals are to enhance their access to resources to improve socialization to the DUSON setting. DUSON is committed to diversity and inclusion which includes broadening access and increasing the percentage of ethnic/racial underrepresented minorities prepare for careers and leadership roles in nursing,” Carter says. “Our multi-level, multi-dimensional program supports that cultivation, creates permanent pipelines to increase access to ABSN educational programs and supports DUSONs goal to advance as an academically and socially responsive center of excellence in the development, education and support of underrepresented minority students.”

Duke University School of Nursing and the HEA recently welcomed its third cohort of Scholars (from left to right): Shema Gordon, Erica Richmond, Daisy Valdovinos, Roxanne Finch, Ruben Maya-Luevano, Edgardo Torres, Ericka Dennis, Brook Williams, Janiaya Anderson, Brianna Gamble.

These ten Scholars were on-campus participating in the Pre-Entry Immersion in Nursing (PIN) program from June 4 until July 13, 2018.  During the six-week experience, Scholars lived on-campus and worked with Duke faculty, advisors and mentors to develop an enhanced understanding of social determinants of health by exploring health access, health disparities and health equity.  

Upon successful completion of the PIN program, 10 of the Scholars entered the Pathways to Success in Nursing (PSN) program and matriculated into the DUSON ABSN Fall 2018 cohort. Pathways to Success in Nursing provides academic and social supports to Scholars throughout the ABSN program. 

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