College of Nursing Humanity Statement

“The greatness of humanity is not in being human, but in being humane.” – Mahatma Gandhi


The University of Iowa College of Nursing values different backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences across the lifespan. The resources you see listed on this site are available for everyone to use. Our college is a microcosm of the larger American community and experience. We strive to celebrate our similarities and embrace and learn from our differences through civil and reciprocal discourse that respects everyone’s right to freedom of expression. It is our goal to provide a welcoming, inclusive and accessible environment for everyone in our college and our profession.  We know our work today will graduate tremendous future nurses and build safer and healthier communities where everyone belongs and is valued, needed, and appreciated.  

However, we also recognize the physical, emotional, and traumatic impact that acts of bias, discrimination, misconduct, and hate may have on our students, their families, our healthcare colleagues, and our patients who may be representative of diverse identities and/or diverse perspectives that enrich the tapestry of our vibrant American culture. 

The College of Nursing emphatically denounces all forms of bias, discrimination, misconduct, and hate. We strive to hold our faculty, staff, and students accountable for our attitudes, actions, and words as we uphold the tenets of the college’s Seven Pillars of Diversity.                                          

Our college is proud to contribute to public health and to be representative of the quality and effective educational practices that reflect the integrity of our accrediting agency, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. 

In our efforts to achieve the highest level of excellence in nursing education, research, practice, and service, the College of Nursing is engaged in education, policies and practices that advocate for and implement equity and social justice for all people, including reducing disparities in the delivery of high-quality, ethical, and culturally responsive health care to improve patient outcomes. 

The American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics guides nursing practice and states that all patients will receive nursing care no matter their background, resources, or situation. The ANA recognizes bias, discrimination, misconduct, and hate as a longstanding public health crisis contributing to inequities impacting mental, spiritual, and physical health and well-being. The ANA seeks to strengthen the nursing profession by increasing intellectual diversity and inclusive leadership while striving to establish anti-discrimination nursing practices and environments.  

It remains important to and for us as a health sciences college, as a healthcare profession, and as a humane community of professionals and educators to work diligently to stay true to the core values of the ANA as well as our other nursing governing body, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). 

Under domain nine of “The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education", the AACN guidelines for professional nursing education, nursing professionalism encompasses the development of a nursing identity embracing the values of integrity, altruism, inclusivity, compassion, courage, humility, advocacy, caring, autonomy, humanity, and social justice. 

In addition, nursing professionalism includes integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion as core to one’s professional identity. This means:

  • modeling respect for diversity, equity, and inclusion for all team members, 
  • analyzing the impact of structural and cultural influences on nursing’s professional identity, 
  • structuring the practice environment to facilitate care that is culturally and linguistically appropriate, 
  • advocating for social justice and health equity, including addressing the health of vulnerable populations, 
  • demonstrating sensitivity to the values of others,
  • demonstrating respect for diverse individual differences and diverse communities and populations
  • demonstrating awareness of personal and professional values and conscious and unconscious biases.
  • integrating core principles of social justice and human rights into practice.

We ask our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and members of our UI and global health sciences communities to join us in working to dismantle all forms of inequitable care by advancing health, building healthy work and educational environments, empowering leadership, and fostering innovative partnerships and­­­­ practices with a broadly defined diverse group of colleagues and communities that welcome and utilize the perspectives, talent and contributions of all. 

The University of Iowa College of Nursing is more than a college – we are a community that cares for all. 

Definition of Diversity

The College of Nursing definition of diversity embraces a broad range of identities and ancestral backgrounds, including those that have been historically underrepresented within the nursing community. Diversity bridges all aspects of human difference, social identities, and social group differences, including but not limited to: 

  • race, ethnicity, creed, color,  
  • sex, gender, gender identity, sexual identity, sexual orientation, 
  • pregnancy,**
  • socio-economic status, caste*  
  • language,
  • culture, national origin,
  • religion/spirituality,  
  • age,
  • (dis)ability,  
  • military/veteran status, 
  • political perspective, and 
  • associational preferences 

Submitted by the College of Nursing's Diversity-Equity-Inclusion Committee and approved by Faculty Org. in 2013. *Revised September 2020 **Revised October 2023 

The College of Nursing definition acknowledges men as underrepresented in the field of nursing and aligns with UI definition of diversity.

Commitment to Diversity

The University of Iowa has a long history and proud tradition of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our college is committed to creating a supportive environment and an educational experience that recognizes diversity and cultural competence as integral components of academic excellence.

In our continuous effort to build a richer understanding of the relationship between health and culture, our Diversity Resources Office helps guide our college - faculty, staff, students, and alumni - with knowledge and resources to increase awareness about vulnerable populations, social determinants of health, and other cultural issues impacting health. 

Nurses know patients are more likely to accept health information when it is communicated in a way that is respectful and responsive to the cultural beliefs and practices of patients. The Diversity Resources Office is engaged in ongoing efforts to ensure our curriculum and programs prepare students with the skills they will need to meet the complex health demands of an ever-changing diverse population. 

Diversity - UI Health Sciences

The College of Nursing collaborates with the UI Health Science Colleges and the University of Iowa Hospital & Clinics to provide a variety of events and activities that support an inclusive learning environment and increased knowledge about cultural competency in health care through:

  • Welcome reception for diverse health science students
  • Welcome reception for LGBTQ health science students
  • Winter weather workshop for international students
  • Culturally responsive health care in Iowa conference
  • CultureVision training
  • Guest lectures and other health related workshops
  • UIHC nurse residency program diversity training

In addition, the College of Nursing is part of the UI Health Sciences' Diversity Committee.


Other Resources


CV is a user-friendly, comprehensive database with information on more than 50 ethnic and cultural groups across 12 clinical and non-clinical areas. This tool assists health care professionals in the provision of patient-centered and culturally responsive care of our increasingly diverse patient population.  Email Val Garr for login information.

Request for Diversity Office funding