People of SU / Science / Technology and Health

Building Equity and Inclusion in Health Care

Written by Marketing Communications

March 29, 2022

Indoor portrait of Kumhee Ro. Graphic reads Celebrating Women's History Month. Text below reads Kumhee Ro, DNP, ARNP, College of Nursing.

Image credit: Yosef Kalinko. Graphic: Marissa Leitch

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Seattle University concludes its female faculty series honoring Women's History Month with Professor Kumhee Ro.

College of Nursing Assistant Professor Kumhee Ro, DNP, ARNP, is leading the charge to diversify the nursing profession.

Ro, the newly appointed director of the Advanced Practice Nursing Immersion Program in the College of Nursing, covers a wide spectrum of clinical and theory courses for undergraduate and graduate students.

What she finds so rewarding about teaching is “building relationships with the students. It enriches my own learning and helps me become a better educator and a clinician,” says Ro, who is also a part-time Emergency Department nurse practitioner.

“It is a great privilege to have the opportunity to create dynamic student-centered environments. … We use technology and collaboration to influence and inspire our students to make a broader impact in our communities,” says Ro.

Equally gratifying is serving as a role model and mentor to first-generation immigrant students. “It motivates me to work with and mentor students, particularly those who have faced significant adversity in pursuit of education.”

Outside of SU, Ro’s collaborative social justice work is making an impact.

As co-leader of the Diversity Committee within the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, Ro works to identify and ultimately eliminate bias in nursing academia. She also leads a national group of nurse faculty to better support historically marginalized, stigmatized and underrepresented populations.

Ro co-founded the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) Jesuit Diverse Nursing Faculty Network with the mission to support nursing faculty of color, promote the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and increase outreach to students of color.

Additionally, she also supports the mission of the Washington Center for Nursing and Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission of the Washington State Department of Health “to guide the development of a critical nursing-gap action plan for diversity in nursing—and develop policies and programs that support nursing faculty and students of color.”

The goal of her research “is to support the recruitment of faculty more representative of the population in which we teach.”

Recently, Ro was the only nurse practitioner from Washington state selected by the Fellows of American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP) for 2022. AANP Fellows, which will be inducted into the association June 23 in Orlando, are chosen based on outstanding contributions to clinical practice, research education or policy. Ro will join a group of leaders whose scholarly and forward-thinking contributions have led to meaningful improvements to health care and the nurse practitioner role.

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