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University of Phoenix College of Nursing Leadership Selected for Prestigious Podium Presentation at AACN's 2024 Diversity Symposium

By Michele Mitchum

Dr. Raelene Brooks, Dr. Sun Jones, and Dr. Tina Ho co-authored the abstract, "Embracing Diversity in Nursing Education," recognized for leadership in fostering inclusivity amidst evolving educational landscapes

University of Phoenix proudly announces Dr. Sun Jones, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, Systematic Program and Curriculum Evaluator Raelene Brooks, Ph.D., RN, Dean, College of Nursing, were selected to present their co-authored abstract, "Embracing Diversity in Nursing Education: A Journey of Inclusivity Amidst Policy Evolution," as a Podium Presentation at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) 2024 Diversity Symposium taking place February 5-7, 2024, in New Orleans, LA. The presentation was an adaptation of the original work authored by Dr. Brooks, Dr. Jones, and Tina Ho, DNP, FNP-C, RN, Clinical Coordinator for RN-BSN & MSN Non-NP Programs.  

In response to this prestigious acknowledgment, Dr. Sun Jones expressed her enthusiasm, stating, "I am honored our work was chosen for the Podium Presentation at AACN's 2024 Diversity Symposium. This recognition underscores the importance of fostering inclusivity in nursing education, a topic that is close to my heart. I believe that by embracing diversity, we can enrich the educational experience for future nurses and contribute to a more equitable healthcare system."  

The College of Nursing incorporates diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) into its core values and curriculum, aligning with the broader university initiatives. The selected abstract delves into the challenges and triumphs encountered on the journey to inclusivity in nursing education, shedding light on the dynamic intersection of policy evolution and fostering diversity within the nursing profession. 

Dr. Raelene Brooks, Ph.D., RN, dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Phoenix, commented on the selection, saying, "It is a privilege to present alongside Dr. Jones on the topic of embracing diversity in the nursing profession, and to examine how we can further support DEIB in nursing education. The abstract's selection for the Podium Presentation at AACN's 2024 Diversity Symposium is a testament to the desire to advance inclusivity in the field, and we are proud to help drive positive change in nursing education."

The AACN 2024 Diversity Symposium, themed, “Unlocking the Power of Nursing’s PEARLS: Practice, Education, Access, Research, Leadership, and Scholarship,” aims to examine several key components impacting the nursing field. Objectives include creating strategies to advance academic nursing and support diversity, equity and inclusion, and exploring policies that can lead to improved student outcomes. The AACN Symposium provides a national forum featuring diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) leaders who offer valuable guidance for schools transitioning from awareness to action in preparing students to provide equitable healthcare in an ever-changing landscape.

In her role at University of Phoenix, Brooks has overall accountability for the College of Nursing curriculum and all other academic components including faculty approval and oversight, student satisfaction and retention, academic policy and standards, and program evaluation. Before serving as Dean, Brooks was the Associate Dean of the University of Phoenix's Undergraduate and Graduate Nursing Programs. As a nursing researcher, she studied the long-term outcomes and weight regain in the bariatric surgery population. She has several publications in the areas of critical care and nursing education.

A registered nurse for over 25 years, Brooks has practiced extensively in intensive care, trauma, and critical care in the UC Healthcare System. Completing a master’s in science of nursing education in 2000, she went on to complete her doctorate in Nursing Science with the University of San Diego in 2018. She is a Doris Howell Scholar and an active member of several professional nursing associations including American Association of Colleges of Nursing, National League of Nursing, and Association for Critical Care Nursing. She was recently recognized as an industry leader in healthcare by AzBusiness magazine.

Jones is an esteemed bilingual family nurse practitioner who has served her Korean community for over 23 years. She holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Family Nurse Practitioner from Arizona State University. Jones serves as Systematic Program and Curriculum Evaluator and an interim Program Chair for the Family Nurse Practitioner program, and as associate faculty. Her contributions extend beyond academia; she is a contributing author to the book, Journey to Equity: Strengthening the Profession of Nursing, and presents at various conferences. 

A dedicated mentor, Jones guides FNP students and has received accolades for her preceptorship. Committed to community health, she founded the Arizona Korean Nurses Association in 2010 and the Korean American Nurses Foundation in 2021, focusing on the Asian and Pacific Islander communities' well-being. Her leadership and volunteer efforts were recognized with awards, including a commendation from the Arizona Governor for her role in COVID-19 vaccination clinics, which reached thousands of minority community members. Jones was the recipient of the March of Dimes HEROES IN ACTION Leadership Award in 2022.

Ho is an instructor at College of Nursing with more than 15 years’ experience teaching nursing students at various levels including ADN, BSN, MSN, and DNP. She is well-versed and committed to promoting DEIB throughout her career. She believes in equal opportunity for every student since they are unique in their own way. Ho strives to create an open, inclusive, and equal learning environment in which every student can grow and flourish.

Learn more here about the College of Nursing at University of Phoenix.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the voice for academic nursing representing more than 865 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide. AACN works to establish quality standards for nursing education; assists schools in implementing those standards; influences the nursing profession to improve health care; and promotes public support for professional nursing education, research, and practice. Learn more at

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