Kenya Beard Joins Inaugural Class of the Academy of Diversity Leaders in Nursing

Mercy University School of Nursing Dean Kenya Beard

Kenya Beard, EdD, AGACNP-BC, ANEF, FAAN, Mercy University’s dean of the School of Nursing, has been selected to be president of the National Black Nurses Association’s newly established Academy of Diversity Leaders in Nursing (ADLN). The  ADLN Fellows is comprised of 176 Fellows who have demonstrated expertise in one or more areas of nursing education, research, practice, policy, or administration as it relates to issues of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI).

“The Academy for Diversity Leaders in Nursing underscores the importance of our collective efforts towards improving health outcomes for all,” said Beard. “I am deeply honored to be chosen as a Luminary Fellow and to serve as the inaugural president.”

Beard is part of the Luminary ADLN Fellows, highly distinguished individuals who are renowned for their JEDI contributions in education, research, practice, policy, or administration. Each luminary ADLN Fellow has at least thirty years of experience in nursing and continues to open doors for greater JEDI in nursing while they continue their innovative groundbreaking work.

A national leader committed to strengthening workforce diversity and advancing health equity, Beard 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.

As a 2012 Macy Faculty Scholar, Beard 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.

Beard is 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.

She continues to make great strides in her work to advance health equity as dean of the School of Nursing. Under her leadership, SON recently launched the nation’s first Health Equity Influencers Program (HEIP) for nurse educators. This unique program is an intensive residency designed to strengthen nursing faculty’s preparedness to educate the newest generation of nurses through the lens of health equity. Beard is committed to evaluating policies and implementing programs to support student success and ultimately health equity.

The inaugural ADLN induction ceremony will take place on Thursday July 25, 2024, in San Francisco, CA, immediately following the opening ceremony of the 52nd Annual Institute and Conference of the National Black Nurses Association, Inc (NBNA). Read more about it here.