Social Mission Metrics Initiative

Associate Degree Nursing

With funding from the AARP Foundation Health Equity Innovation Fund award, the Social Mission Metrics Initiative expanded the self-assessment to Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) programs in 2023. 


In 2019, the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN) and Social Mission Alliance began a collaboration to assess the feasibility of adapting the Social Mission Metrics Initiative (SMMI) self-assessment to Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) programs. These programs contribute to the largest segment of the U.S. health care workforce who are at the front line of patient care, and are a critical mechanism for diversifying the nursing workforce. This work was led by members of OADN’s Social Mission Task Force and began with piloting the original SMMI survey at 5 ADN programs, followed by focus groups with participating program leaders. After promising results from the initial pilot, an associate degree version of the SMMI survey was fielded to 17 ADN programs in 2021. The survey was adjusted at each step based on participant feedback, lessons learned from the broader SMMI, and input from the Social Mission Task Force. The result of this process was a ready-to-go ADN Social Mission Self-Assessment survey.

Organization for Associate Degree Nursing
Future of Nursing New York

Working in collaboration with OADN and the New York State Action Coalition (NYSAC), the team administered a social mission self-assessment survey in March 2023 to associate degree nursing program leaders across the country in order to provide a mechanism to assess their program’s social mission and benchmark it to national norms. This process has established a social mission performance baseline, identified strengths to build on and improvement opportunities for ADN programs to advance health equity and social justice, and allowed for evaluation of the effectiveness of subsequent performance-improving changes.


  • Conduct a national implementation of the SMM Survey with OADN member programs.
  • Develop a baseline for social mission in associates degree nursing education, including an assessment of difference in program performance by characteristics including geography, institutional structure, size, and student body characteristics.
  • Provide program specific benchmarking for ADN programs to advance targeted health equity promoting education, training, and institutional policy strategies.
  • Elevate the social mission conversation among ADN programs through turning data into collaborative efforts to facilitate structural change in nursing education.


44 Associate Degree Nursing programs across the US reported their commitment to social mission using the Social Mission Metrics Self-Assessment.

Curricular Design

The majority of schools had courses related to social mission

  • Social determinants of health
  • LGBTQ Health
  • Advocacy
  • Public Health

Admission Policies

37% had a holistic admission policy

Private institutions were more likely to require anti-bias training for admission committee members than public institutions

Faculty & Leadership

62% had a majority female leadership. 

44% had LGBTQ+ representation in leadership

Pathway Programs

70% offered pathway programs for K-12 students.

Public institutions were more likely to have and provide internal funding for pathway programs.

DEI Training

DEI training was completed more often among faculty than students.

  • Unconscious/ Implicit bias training 
  • Cultural Intelligence
  • Antiracism

Community Involvement

The majority of schools did not provide financial support to community activities related to the social determinants of health

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