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Leading diversity at the Duke School of Nursing

Monday, September 17, 2018
Brigit Carter

Brigit Carter, PhD, MSN, RN, CCRN, is focused on making the Duke University School of Nursing a welcoming and inclusive place for all employees and students.    

Only a month into her new position as associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the School of Nursing, Carter is meeting with members of different departments to form strategies that encourage an affirming atmosphere. 

“We want to be known as a place where all people can come together and feel comfortable, at home and supported” she said. “I want us to be proactive in our approach to diversity and inclusion.” 

For the past nine years, Carter has used a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to fund the School of Nursing’s Academy for Academic and Social Enrichment and Leadership Development for Health Equity II, known as the Health Equity Academy. 

Duke nursing students from underrepresented minority groups take part in the academy to study social determinants of health.

“When people walk into a health system they bring their background and history with them,” Carter said. “We want to understand how to best serve them.”

She also works as a secondary clinical staff nurse in the Duke University Hospital Intensive Care Nursery. Carter cares for infants who were born early, born with a condition or disease at birth that requires immediate attention or born with a pre-existing condition like genetic anomalies.

“I end working side by side with someone who graduated from the School of Nursing,” Carter said. “It’s very rewarding to see them using what they’ve learned in our Duke Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program to better serve the patient population.” 

What she loves about Duke

What she loves about Duke: Carter loves Duke’s employee tuition assistance program, which provides up to $5,250 a calendar year for full-time employees with at least two years of continuous service. 

Duke helped pay for Carter to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from North Carolina Central University and her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 

“Duke makes education something everybody can achieve,” she said. “It’s not a pipe dream. If people work hard education becomes accessible to them.”

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