Major Article 

The Challenges of Inclusivity in Baccalaureate Nursing Programs

Catherine Y. Read, PhD, RN; Judith A. Vessey, PhD, RN, FAAN; Angela Frederick Amar, PhD, RN, FAAN; Donna M. Cullinan, MS, FNP-BC

  • Journal of Nursing Education
  • April 2013 - Volume 52 · Issue 4: 185-190
  • DOI: 10.3928/01484834-20130225-01


Nurse educators must meet the challenge of preparing a new generation of nurse leaders who can address the health care needs of an increasingly multicultural society. Institutional culture change that promotes inclusivity develops in response to an intentional embracement of diversity and is key to the success of any program initiatives. Providing resources for students can backfire if they experience the negative consequences of labeling, if incentives are distributed without thoughtful consideration of the related expectations, and if the advising system focuses on prescriptive, rather than developmental, principles. A deficit-thinking perspective that brands a student as at risk can undermine the goal of providing support. Faculty must engage in open discussions about labels, underlying assumptions about student aptitudes, and strategies for ensuring student success. Most importantly, faculty must actively solicit and seriously consider the students’ accounts of their experiences and perspectives on changes that would make the climate more welcoming. [J Nurs Educ. 2013;52(4):185–190.]

Dr. Read is Associate Dean and Associate Professor, Dr. Vessey is Lelia Holden Carroll Professor in Nursing, and Ms. Cullinan is Assistant Clinical Professor, Boston College William F. Connell School of Nursing, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts; and Dr. Amar is Associate Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Address correspondence to Catherine Y. Read, PhD, RN, Associate Dean, Associate Professor, Boston College William F. Connell School of Nursing, Cushing Hall, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467; e-mail:

Received: August 31, 2012
Accepted: November 28, 2012
Posted Online: February 25, 2013



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