Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, FAAN, special assistant to the dean for the UNC Adams School of Dentistry; professor at the UNC School of Nursing; and former UNC-Chapel Hill associate vice-chancellor for diversity and inclusion/chief diversity officer, has been honored by Vanderbilt University School of Nursing with the school’s Alumni Award for Diversity and Inclusion.
“To be recognized for advocating for the recognition of the legitimacy of all of humanity, alleviating suffering, and expanding the understanding of what nurses do well whether they are the bedside, the boardrooms and the C-suites by your alma mater not only takes my breath away, it provides satisfaction to my soul and spirit,” said Alexander. “This R.E.S.P.E.C.T. personified!”
Alexander received her MSN from the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing as a student in the FNP program. Her nursing career spans over 40 years in the areas of public policy, advocacy, teaching, and health careers development with an emphasis on cultural diversity issues.
Alexander’s nursing career spans over 21 years in the areas of public policy, advocacy, teaching, and health careers development with an emphasis on cultural diversity issues.
At a national level, she has served on the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Workforce Commission, the board of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the National Quality Forum Nursing Care Performance Measures’ Steering Committee, Chairperson of the American Organization of Nurse Executives Diversity Council, and a member of the AHA’s Leadership Circle of Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care. She is immediate past president of the National League for Nursing.
She is sought regularly to consult, lead, and speak to groups across the country on the issues of the healthcare workforce and provide guidance on moving from rhetoric to reality in the spaces of diversity, inclusion and equity whether personal or institutional for strategic intent and design.
Since joining the UNC School of Nursing’s faculty in 2003, she has held a variety of leadership positions at UNC-Chapel Hill, including director of the School of Nursing’s Office of Inclusive Excellence, Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion for UNC-Chapel Hill.
She has provided leadership and resources for the Gillings School of Global Public Health and the Adams School of Dentistry, and taught a multi-session training program at Faculty Council meetings and continues to lead the Faculty Governance Committee on Community and Diversity.
The award honors a Vanderbilt graduate for notable work toward reducing social barriers and for creating awareness of bias in order to generate more inclusive, yet diverse, organizations in nursing in an academic, clinical, political or other setting. Alexander was recognized with the award for her dedication to the nursing profession.
VUSN Alumni Association President Hannah Lowe, DNP, RD, FNP-C, CDCES, praised Alexander for spending “the greater part of her career helping others to be conscious of how each person’s circumstances and experiences affect who they have grown to become. Her work is utilized by many varied organizations striving to foster equity and inclusion of people from multiple backgrounds.”
Nominations for the Vanderbilt School of Nursing Alumni Association Awards are made by Vanderbilt alumni, friends and faculty. Honorees are selected by the VUSN Alumni Board in consultation with the school’s dean, Linda D. Norman, DSN, FAAN.