Kenya Beard

  • Dean, School of Nursing
  • Professor, Nursing
Kenya Beard

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Dr. Beard is the Inaugural Dean and Chief Academic Officer for the School of Nursing at Mercy University. As a national leader committed to strengthening workforce diversity and advancing health equity, she served as a reviewer for the Future of Nursing's 2020-2030 report and established the nation's first Nurse Faculty Fellow's program. Recognizing that a diverse workforce could improve healthcare outcomes, she has led efforts to advance the needle on diversity, inclusion, and health equity for over three decades and created environments where professional values align with behaviors.

Dr. Beard has consistently accepted the challenge of mitigating disparities in nursing. As a 2012 Macy Faculty Scholar, she founded the Center for Multicultural Education and Health Disparities and propagated research and best practices to improve health outcomes. As a Senior Fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement, she co-produced healthcare disparity segments on WBAI-FM for over 400,000 listeners. She co-created the Josiah Macy Foundation's 2018 ground-breaking document, Improving the Environment for Learning in the Health Professions, and led the New York State Action Coalition team as Chair of the Diversity Committee in creating the NY State Diversity and Inclusion in Nursing Toolkit to support DEI initiatives. The Harvard Macy Institute's Program for Educators in the Health Professions supports her workshop, Leading in a Race-Conscious Society. She co-edited the book The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Global Applications to Advance Health Equity to amplify meaningful ways to improve health outcomes, 

Dr. Beard served as an Advisory Board Member for the New York Academy of Medicine's Health Equity Scholars and co-authored the National Academy of Medicines' (NAM) Perspectives Dismantling Systemic Racism and Advancing Health Equity throughout Research. She co-authored the 2022 Racism in Nursing foundational report and continues to serve on the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing. She is the immediate past Chair of the New York State Board of Nursing. She serves on the American Journal of Nursing's editorial board and the American Academy of Nursing's Institute for Nursing Leadership. She is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Nursing, and Academy of Nursing Education.

EdD Educational Administration Dowling College, NY

MS Adult Nurse Practitioner, Stony Brook University, NY

BS Registered Nurse, Excelsior College, NY

AAS Registered Nurse, Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing, NY

Research interests include identifying and mitigating barriers to eliminating health care disparities. As a social justice advocate, Dr. Beard uses a social mission framework to illuminate ways to strengthen diversity in nursing. Her research revealed that not all faculty are prepared to address factors undermining efforts to advance health equity. She created the nation's first nurse faculty residency program to strengthen the preparedness of educators to move the needle on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her current research explores the extent to which policies in nursing education support access, progression, and the graduation of culturally diverse learners positioned to advance health equity.

Beard, K. V., Sumpter, D., Carlisle, S., & Fields, S. D. (submitted). Preparing the next generation of educators with a nurse faculty residency program.

Bartley, T., O'Connor, R., & Beard, K. (accepted). Should all Nurses be Required to Complete Implicit Bias Training? American Journal of Nursing

Hassmiller, S., Darcy-Mahoney, A., & Beard, K. V. (Eds.), (2023). The future of nursing 2020-2030: Global applications to advance health equity. Springer

Beard, K. V. & Mason, D. (2023). Breakfasts, open doors, and belonging: Moving through and beyond racism. In N. Rollins-Gantz, & T. B. Hafsteinsdottir (Eds.), Mentoring in nursing through narrative Stories across the world. Springer

Beard, K., Dobkin, F., & Webster, K. (2023). Should Nursing Schools Boycott Traditional College Ranking Systems? American Journal of Nursing, 123(9).

O’Connor, M. R., Beard, K. V., van Ryn, M., Inevil, S. G., Palacios, L., Strauss, A., Acosta, A., Rustan, K., Willgerodt, M., Pintye, J., Hulick, J., Hirsch, A., de Castro, B. (2023). Using equityXdesign to develop nursing curricula. Nurse Educator

Waite, R., Varghese, J…. & Beard, K. (2023). Promoting health equity with HBCUs: Breaking away from structural racism. Nursing Outlook, 71(2)

Sumpter, D., Petsas-Blodgett, N., Beard, K. V. & Howard, V. (2022). Transforming nursing education in response to the future of nursing 2020-2030 report. Nursing Outlook, 70(6 Suppl. 1), S20-S31.      doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2022.02.007

Covelli, A. F., Darcy-Mahoney, A., Batra, S., Beard, K., Campbell, L. A., & Pittman, P. (2022). Driving toward a culture shift: Case studies of social mission in nursing education. Journal of Professional Nursing, 42(5), 225-230.

Brooks, L., Pitts, C. J., Medina, R., Downes, L., Dahlem, G., & Beard, K. V. (2022). Building a culturally responsive workforce: Faculty of color in nursing. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 18(5), 575-579

Beard, K., Julion, W. A., & Waite, R. (2022). Educators countering the impact of structural racism on health equity. Nursing Clinics of North America, 57(3), 453-460.

Fields, S. D., Wharton, M. J., Ackerman-Barger, K., Lewis, L. M., & Beard, K. V. (2022). The rise of diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioners in academic nursing. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 27(1), DOI:10.3912/OJIN.Vol27No01Man03.

Beard, K. V. & Sanderson, C. (2022). Racism: Dismantling the threat for health equity and the nursing profession. Nursing Economic$, 40(1), 11-18.

Beard, K., Iruka, I. U., Laraque-Arena, D., McBride-Murry, V., Rodriguez, L. J., and Taylor, S. (2022). Dismantling systemic racism and advancing health equity throughout research. NAM Perspectives. Commentary, National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC

Rumala, B., & Beard, K. V. (2022). When structural racism hides behind the veil of resilience. American Journal of Nursing, 122(2), 11.

Beard, K. V. (2021). Taking Action: Racism in the workplace. In D. Mason, E. Dickson, M. R. McLemore & G. A. Perez (Eds.), Policy & politics in nursing and health care. (8th ed., pp. 465-468). Elsevier.

Darcy-Mahoney, A., Carter, B., Green, K., Mullan, F., & Beard, K. V. (2020) Looking backwards to move forward: Using a Social Mission Lens in Nursing Education. Journal of Professional Nursing, 36(5), 412-416.

Beard, K. V., Julion, W., & Waite, R. (2020). Racism and the diversity policy paradox: Implications for nurse leaders. Nursing Economic$, 38(4), 176-177.

Day, L., & Beard, K. V. (2019). Meaningful inclusion of diverse voices: The case for culturally responsive teaching in nursing education. Journal of Professional Nursing, 35(4), 277-281.

Beard, K. (2017). Values and Ethics. In C. Morano (Ed.), (2017). Perspectives on interprofessional education and practice (pp 29-39). D.C.: National Association of Social Workers.

Beard, K. V. (2016). Examining the impact of critical multicultural education training on the multicultural attitudes, awareness, and practices of nurse educators. Journal of Professional Nursing, 32(6), 439-448.

Beard, K. V. & Julion, W. (2016). Does race still matter in nursing? The narratives of African American nursing faculty members. Nursing Outlook, 64(6), 583-596.

Beard, K. V. (2014). Strengthening diversity in nursing: The practices and preparedness of nursing faculty.Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 4(11), 59-65.

Beard, K. V. (2014). How much diversity is enough? American Journal of Nursing, 114(9), 11.

Beard, K. V. (2013). Teaching in a multicultural society: How nurse educators describe their role. Journal of National Black Nurses Association, 24(2), 65-72.

2022                  Greater New York City Black Nurses Association, Nurse Educator of the Year 2022                  National Black Nurses Association, Trailblazer Award                                                        2021                  National Association of Health Services Executives, NY Regional Chapter,                                                President's Award                                                                                            2020                  Jeannine Rivet National Leadership Award, Nominated                                            2017                  American Academy of Nursing, Fellow                                                                            2015                  Dowling College, Alumni Recognition Award for Leadership & Service                     2015                  National League for Nursing Academy of Nursing Education, Fellow                           2014                  Hunter College, Witten Award for Excellence in Teaching                                           2014                  Northeastern Association, Nominated for the Master’s Teaching Award                    2014                  Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International Alpha Phi Chapter            2013                  National Black Nurses Association, Nurse Educator of the Year                                
2013                  Hunter College Nominated for Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence                     2013                  New York Academy of Medicine, Fellow                                                                         2012                  Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, Macy Faculty Scholar 2012-2014                                  2012                  24th Annual Black Nurses Day 2012, Outstanding Service to the Nursing Profession                                and the Community At Large Award