Assistant Dean for Relational Excellence, G. Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, FAAN, has been named the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) Scholar-In-Residence. In this role, she will be focused on addressing the persistent problem of systemic racism in the nursing profession.
As ANA’s Scholar-In-Residence, Alexander will work with ANA to support the scholarly activities that will propel the national discussion. Her more than 30 years of nursing experience and demonstrated commitment to equity and social justice will inform action-oriented plans for the ANA to address racism across nursing education, practice, policy, and research.
Her selection coincides with the launch of the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing – a collaborative of nursing organizations examining the issue of racism in nursing across the nation and describing its impact on nurses, patients, communities, and health care systems to motivate all nurses to confront systemic racism.
“Values cannot be aspirational they must get off the wall into the halls. Checking boxes is not the way forward and not something I will knowingly spend my time doing. This work begins with organizations by design reckoning with their past, even when it is uncomfortable to do so, and resetting for a future where everyone flourishes and has access to growth opportunities,” said Alexander.
“I am honored by this placement of close proximity to the courageous work of the ANA as its guide. Ultimately, this work is patient centered and situates squarely in one of my passionate spaces.”
In addition to her role at the UNC Adams School of Dentistry, Alexander is a professor at the UNC School of Nursing, where she also previously served as the director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and as former UNC-Chapel Hill associate vice-chancellor for diversity and inclusion/chief diversity officer.
She has provided leadership and resources for the Gillings School of Global Public Health, Kenan-Flagler Business School and the Adams School of Dentistry; taught a multi-session training program at Faculty Council meetings; and continues to lead the Faculty Governance Committee on Community and Diversity.
Alexander has an association management background having served as the senior vice president for Clinical and Professional services at the Tennessee Hospital Association. She served on several landmark commissions and has significant expertise in issues related to health equity, diversity in the workforce and social justice.
At a national level, she has served as the president of the National League for Nursing, and is a member of 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, a 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.