PhD Pre-Conference

Designed for deans/directors/chairs and/or associate deans for research who offer research-focused doctoral nursing programs.

The PhD Pre-Conference is designed for deans/directors/chairs and/or associate deans for research who offer research-focused doctoral nursing programs. It is a continuation of the work developed at the 2013 PhD Summit; whereupon, issues raised but not resolved will be further explored.

This pre-conference immediately precedes the Doctoral Education Conference allowing educators to attend both events.

Hotel Information

The Naples Grande Beach Resort is Coming Back Grander Than Ever after Hurricane Irma! The resort has been upgraded and revitalized since the weather impact and is proud to reopen its doors again to guests beginning in December. AACN is excited to host its Doctoral Education Conference as planned in January in Naples. We hope to see you there!

Naples Grande Beach Resort
475 Seagate Drive
Naples, FL 34103
Phone: 239-227-2182

Hilton Naples (approximately 6 walking minutes)
5111 Tamiami Trail North
Naples, FL 34103
Phone: 239-430-4900

Staybridge Suites Naples - Gulf Coast (approximately 5 driving minutes)
4805 Tamiami Trail North
Naples, FL 34103
Phone: 239-643-8002

The room blocks at the Naples Grand Beach Resort, the Hilton Naples and the Staybridge Suites Naples are filled.

The following hotels are located near the Naples Grande Beach Resort and may have availability over the meeting dates:

Residence inn Naples by Marriott (approximately 5 minutes by car)
4075 Tamiami Trail North
Naples, FL 34103
Phone: 239-659-1300

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Naples (approximately 13 minutes by car)
3557 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34109

Courtyard by Marriott (approximately 12 minutes by car)
3250 Tamiami Trail North
Naples, FL 34103
Phone: 239-434-8700

Hampton Inn Naples-Central (approximately 7 minutes by car)
3210 Tamiami Trail North
Naples, FL 34103
Phone: 239-261-8000


Southwest Florida International (RSW) is approximately a 35-minute drive to/from the hotel. Taxi fare is approximately $94.00 each way. For further ground transportation information, please visit For directions to the Naples Grande Beach Hotel please visit:

Hotel self-parking is available at $18.00 per night; valet parking is available at $28.00 per night.

Above rates are subject to change.

Continuing Education Credit

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation.

Continuing nursing education (CNE) hours will be awarded to those who attest to attendance at entire sessions and complete the electronic evaluation process after the conference. The CNE certificate will be provided online only after completion of evaluation.

Dietary and Special Needs

If you have any dietary restrictions (e.g., vegetarian, kosher, or gluten-free) or special needs, please email us prior to the event at

Contact Information

AACN Conference Team
655 K Street, NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-463-6930

Learning Objectives for the Educational Sessions:
  • Describe clinically meaningful research from the academic health system perspective, the community perspective, and the magnet program perspective.
  • Analyze strategic approaches to align the PhD student’s research to solve clinically significant problems.
  • Design strategies for more PhD nurses to successfully obtain funding to support clinically meaningful research.

8:00-9:00 a.m.
Registration and Light Continental Breakfast

9:00-9:15 a.m.
Welcome and Summary of the Discussion at the 2017 Doctoral Conference*
Join us for an enthusiastic kick-off welcoming you to the fifth annual Nursing Science and the Research-Focused Doctorate (PhD) Pre-Conference. Hear about the history of this event, the highlights from the 2017 pre-conference, and logistics for the day’s events. In addition, learn more about the opportunities and challenges for conducting clinically meaningful research to solve vital health problems.
Mary E. Kerr, PhD, Dean and May L. Wykle Endowed Professor, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

9:15-10:30 a.m.
Conducting Clinically Meaningful Research - Solving Vital Health Problems*
This cutting-edge session is led by expert panelists and explores three different perspectives related to conducting clinically meaningful research.

  • Academic Health Systems Perspective
    Dorothy A. Jones, EdD, Professor, Boston College, Boston, MA
  • Community Perspective
    Miyong Kim, PhD, Professor, Associate Vice President for Community Health Engagement, La Quinta Centennial Endowed Professor, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
  • Magnet Program Perspective
    Loressa Cole, DNP, Executive Director/Executive Vice President, American Nurse Credentialing Center, Silver Spring, MD
Moderator: Margaret Grey, DrPH, Annie Goodrich Professor of Nursing, Yale School of Nursing, New Haven, CT

10:30-11:00 a.m.
Q & A*

11:00-11:15 a.m.
Networking Break

11:15-12:30 a.m.
Aligning the PhD Student’s Research to Solve Clinically Significant Problems*
This session, led by panelists, focuses on strategies to prepare PhD students to enthusiastically embrace conducting clinically meaningful research.


  • Planning one’s research trajectory
    Ruth A. Anderson, PhD, Kenan Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean for Research UNC at Chapel Hill School of Nursing, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Dissertation versus publication model
    Christine Kennedy, PhD, Professor, M.H. Sly Endowed Chair, Associate Dean for Academics, University of Virginia School of Nursing, Charlottesville, VA
  • Participating in the transdisciplinary research conversation
    Ronald L. Hickman, Jr., PhD, Associate Professor, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Moderator: Alexa Stuifbergen, PhD, Dean, University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing Laura Lee Blanton Chair in Nursing and James R Dougherty, Jr. Centennial Professor in Nursing, Austin, TX

12:30-1:00 p.m.
Q & A*

1:00-2:30 p.m.
Lunch (on your own)

2:30-3:30 a.m.
Financial Support of Clinically Meaningful Research*
This panel presentation emphasizes the great opportunities for nurses to apply for funding from three prominent organizations; in fact, these organizations would welcome more nurses to apply for funding.

  • John A. Hartford Foundation
    Rani E. Snyder, MPA, Program Director John A. Hartford Foundation, New York NY
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    Sue B. Hasmiller, PhD, Senior Adviser for Nursing, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Princeton, NJ
  • American Hospital Association
    Nancy Howell Agee, MN, President and CEO of Carillion Clinic and Chair, American Hospital Association, Roanoke, VA
  • American Heart Association
    Jean McSweeney, PhD, Chair, American Heart Association, Professor, Associate Dean for Research, Co-Director, PhD Program, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR
Moderator: Dorrie Fontaine, PhD, Dean of the School of Nursing University of Virginia, Sadie Health Cabaniss Professor of Nursing, Charlottesville, VA

3:30-3:45 p.m.
Q & A*

3:45-4:15 a.m.
Discussion of AACN’s Position Statement: Defining Scholarship for Academic Nursing*
This presentation provides an overview of the work of the task force and the revised position statement which will be voted on by the AACN membership at the Deans Annual Meeting in March 2018.
Speaker: Robin P. Newhouse, PhD, Chair of Defining Scholarship for Academic Nursing Task Force, and Dean, Indiana University School of Nursing, Indianapolis, IN
Moderator: Lazelle E. Benefield, PhD, Parry Endowed Professor, Dean Emeritus, Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Director, Reynolds Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, Oklahoma City, OK

4:15-4:30 p.m.
Q & A*

4:30-5:00 p.m.
This final session will highlight key conclusions and issues that were raised during the workshop, as well as the path forward. Important takeaways will be summarized, themed, and analyzed.
Speaker: Margaret Grey, DrPH, Annie Goodrich Professor of Nursing, Yale School of Nursing, New Haven, CT; and Mary E. Kerr, PhD, Dean and May L. Wykle Endowed Professor, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Registration Fees


  Early Bird
By December 19, 2017
After December 19, 2017
AACN Members $249 $299
AACN Non-Members $249 $299


For payment related questions, please contact us at


Substitution, Cancellation, and Refund Policies

If you subsequently cannot attend this event, the following options are available:

1. You may substitute your registration to another individual within your organization. This must be done by contacting the AACN Conference Department via email at

2. If a substitution is not possible, your cancellation request must be received in writing and confirmed by AACN; otherwise, it cannot be honored. The following refund arrangements will then apply:

  • Cancellation requests received by January 3, 2018 will be refunded minus a $75 non-refundable administrative fee.
  • Cancellation requests received after January 3, 2018 will not be granted any refunds.
  • Refunds will not be given for no-shows.
  • No-show registrations with an open balance will be charged a $75 non-refundable administrative fee after the event.

Please note: Cancellations received fewer than 7 days prior to the conference start date will be reviewed and processed within two weeks after the last day of the conference.

AACN reserves the right to cancel this conference and any group activity that does not meet minimal group requirements. AACN assumes no responsibility for non-refundable airline tickets, hotel reservations, car rental, or other travel costs.

Location Information

The Naples Grande Beach Resort
475 Seagate Drive
Naples, FL 34103

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Continuing Education