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Illinois university nursing program gets ‘racial healing’ grant for DEI curriculum


Registered nurse says DEI makes healthcare worse, drives people from profession

Elmhurst University will hire a “diversity, equity, and inclusion” consultant to revise its nursing program.

The $25,000 “racial healing” grant from Illinois will “help the department ensure its Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) curriculum fully integrates diversity, equity and inclusion concepts,” according to a March news release.

“We’re hoping to get people more comfortable talking and learning about the intersectionality of our lives and society,” Becky Hullet, director of the west suburban Chicago university’s graduate nursing programs, stated in the news release.

The eventual goal is to integrate DEI throughout all nursing degrees.

Hullet did not respond to two emailed requests for comment sent in the past two weeks asking for comment on the plans.

“Among the near-term changes she envisions: ensuring that assignments reflect what’s happening in the real [world], adjusting how assignments are measured, and changing how faculty members talk with students,” the university announced. “She also hopes the grant can help fund faculty professional development.”

Elmhurst’s DEI team also did not respond to two emailed requests for comment.

The College Fix asked Bruce King, vice president of equity and inclusion, and Karin Rivera, a project director, for comment on the grant.

The program is “disappointing,” according to Laura Morgan, a registered nurse who now works for Do No Harm.

“While it’s not surprising to see this type of indoctrination happening in an Illinois university, it’s still disappointing, especially when a private university is accepting public funds to support it,” Morgan told The Fix via an emailed statement.

MORE: Dental schools continue to embrace DEI

The chief of staff for Do No Harm, which opposes DEI in healthcare, said patients are “better served by individuals educated to be competent nurses who approach their practice from the perspective of treating everyone equally, regardless of immutable characteristics.”

“While several states have taken measures to remove DEI from their institutions of higher education, Illinois continues to plunge headlong into institutionalizing divisive race-based ideology through its taxpayer-funded entities like the Department of Human Services,” Morgan said.

Elmhurst University is just one of the recipients of the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Healing Illinois program which funds “racial healing activities” and initiatives to advance “anti-racism.” The state will spend up to $4.5 million on grants.

“This grant contains all the well-worn language about systemic racism and inequity and seeks to create ‘racial healing practitioners.’ This is not nursing; it’s engaging in radical initiatives that seek to create social justice activists rather than nursing leaders,” she told The Fix.

Morgan said DEI will not improve patient care but will make it worse. She said “experience nurses” have resisted “attempts to indoctrinate them into concepts such as implicit bias.”

“Nurses are being driven out of the profession because of it, all while we hear report after report about extreme shortages of nurses in all practice settings,” she said.

“Continuing to infuse divisive concepts into every aspect of the profession will only worsen this trend.”

Editor’s note: The description for Morgan has been changed from ‘retired’ nurse to ‘registered.’

MORE: Conservative professor sues ASU over mandatory DEI training

IMAGE: Steve Sanchez Photos/Shutterstock

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Mary Noble is a student at Christendom College where she studies English and history. She serves as an executive board member of her school's Network of Enlightened Women chapter. She is also a member of the Writing Guild on campus and runs on the cross-country team.