In 2017, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) published a call to action and position statement addressing the need to enhance, augment, and include the constructs and values of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) to improve the quality of education in academic nursing. In 2019, AACN formulated the DEI Group and held its first Diversity Symposium in November 2020.
In December 2020, Rick Ramirez, DNP, APRN-Rx, AG-ACNP-BC, FNP-BC, ENP-C,CEN, CPEN, UHM NAWSON Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Director and Chairperson of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Workgroup at NAWSON was selected by the AACN to join the DEI Leadership Network (DEILN). Ramirez is an active member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community and is passionate about DEI and Social Justice. Ramirez was recommended for the position and was endorsed by NAWSON Dean Mary Boland.
The purpose of the DEILN is to inform and contribute to the advancement of DEI in academic nursing. The goals of the DEILN align with the strategic goals of AACN and the committee is charged with increasing academic education and rigor for all schools of nursing on the subject matter related to DEI. The leadership network serves as an integrated and collaborative covening body to provide expertise, experience, and guidance for academic nursing educators, therefore educating the future nursing workforce at all educational levels. The DEILN will support the AACN national movement to provide member institutions of academic nursing the necessary tools to successfully implement DEI into nursing curricula which will improve health equity for all.
In addition to serving on the AACN DEILN, Ramirez is also the American Association of Emergency Nurse Practitioners DEI committee chair, the Hawaii Association of Professional Nurses Board Member and Chair of the Education Committee, and is an active member of the Hawaii LGBT community.