National leader talks diversity, equity, inclusion

Rumay Alexander, keynote speaker for 2021 DNP Intensive, provides valuable insight, advice for UABSON students

alexander rumay webG. Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, FAAN, a recognized nurse leader with nearly three decades of experience in the areas of public policy, teaching and advocacy with an emphasis on cultural diversity issues joined University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing students for a keynote presentation and vital discussion on inclusive and supportive leadership, as part of the School’s 2021 Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) intensive.

Alexander recently retired from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she served as the Chancellor’s Special Assistant on Diversity. She also was the Director of Multicultural Affairs for UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing and Director of the UNC-Chapel Hills School of Nursing’s Office of Inclusive Excellence.

The theme of the intensive was “Leading in Uncertain Times,” and through presentations and breakout sessions, students discussed topics including diversity, equity and inclusion; ethics; resilience; dynamic leadership; and professional scholarship.

“The goal is that, through this intensive, our students have a better understanding about these important issues and are prepared to make a positive difference that shapes patient-centered healthcare in Alabama, nationally, and internationally,” said Assistant Dean for Graduate Clinical Education Aimee Holland, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC, NP-C, FAANP.

As part of her keynote, Alexander tackled at times difficult topics, including conflict resolution, diversity in health care, and improving access to care. She received so many questions that a follow-up presentation was scheduled the following week to continue the productive conversation.

“Our DNP students thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Alexander's keynote presentation during the Intensive,” Holland said. “There were so many unanswered questions submitted by students at the end of Dr. Alexander's presentation that she offered to host a follow-up session to further engage with students and to continue this important conversation. Feedback from students after both presentations was very positive.”

The UAB School of Nursing’s DNP pathway prepares graduates to improve population health and health systems outcomes in practice, and as a terminal degree, prepares them to excel as nurse leaders. Through Alexander’s presentations, students were able to gain insight into the challenges of leadership, including how to approach conflict through a respectful dialogue, how to be a good steward of resources, and how to hold thought-provoking conversations with colleagues and patients.

“Conversations like these with Dr. Alexander help students understand the importance of creating positive, safe, inclusive environments that can benefit patients and the populations we care for in addition to our coworkers, community and family,” Holland said.

Last modified on September 30, 2021

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