Doctoral Education Conference

AACN's Doctoral Education Conference brings together deans/directors/chairs, associate deans for research, directors of doctoral programs, and faculty to chart the future of doctoral nursing education.

The annual Doctoral Education Conference welcomes deans, associate deans, doctoral program directors, directors of research, and faculty. Sessions address topics specific to doctoral education in nursing, including teaching strategies, program and student characteristics, research requirements/funding, and issues concerning advanced practice nursing. Participants are encouraged to share successful approaches and respond to the unique challenges affecting doctoral programs.

Pre-Conference Options (separate registration required)

PhD Pre-Conference
Deans and associate deans for research who offer research-focused doctoral nursing programs or those planning a new program will find great learning opportunities and a networking platform with the PhD Pre-Conference. Issues germane to PhD education and the challenges commonly encountered are presented by leaders in doctoral education

Faculty Practice Pre-Conference
Individuals involved in promoting, administering, and engaging in faculty practice should attend the Faculty Practice Pre-Conference, which is coordinated by AACN’s Practice Leadership Network. Emphasis is being placed on the need for practice savvy educators who can translate current healthcare environment scenarios to the classroom at every level.

Research Leadership Network Program (RLN)
Nursing faculty who have leadership roles facilitating research within their nursing programs come together at the RLN Program.

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:
  • Summarize current strategies for collaboration to improve health.
  • Compare and contrast improvement science and implementation science.
  • Apply an interprofessional model for teaching/learning in an academic-practice partnership.
  • Identify outcomes from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as well as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that have implications for doctoral education.

Doctoral Conference sessions are identified as most appropriate for faculty in Research (R) and Practice (P) programs, although you are welcome to attend sessions of your choice. Pre-registration is not required.

Thursday, January 18
Friday, January 19
Saturday, January 20

12:00-5:00 p.m.
Registration Open
Networking Lounge Open

12:00-6:30 p.m.
Learning Center Open
Our Learning Center is open all day. Vendors have been carefully selected to address current needs in doctoral nursing education. Be sure to stop by and explore innovative products, services and much more! Refreshments and healthy snacks are provided.

1:30-3:00 p.m.
Welcome and Opening Plenary Session
Promoting Collaborations for Research and Scholarship to Improve Health P R

With a breadth of knowledge on clinical research outcomes of advanced practice nurses and other areas of high impact, Dr. Kleinpell has linked the practice-academia world and is familiar with the advantages of partnerships necessary to advance health. With a focus on the development of scholarship and clinical outcomes, this presentation offers strategies to build capacity.
Speaker: Ruth Kleinpell, PhD, APRN, Assistant Dean for Clinical Scholarship, Independence Chair for Nursing Education, and Professor, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville Tennessee, Professor, Rush University College of Nursing, Chicago IL

3:00-3:30 p.m.
Networking Break

3:30-5:00 p.m.
Plenary Session
Partnership & Innovation from Storm to Success: NYU Nursing Advancing Health P R
When superstorm Sandy devastated the upper eastern shore of the US without precedence, two lead nurses affiliated with NYU began a partnership to forge innovations in nursing practice, education and research. Hear their story and how they established a vision for nursing that has catapulted nursing forward across the college, university and health center.
Speakers: Eileen M. Sullivan-Marx, PhD, Dean and Erline Perkins McGriff Professor, Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York University, New York, NY; and Kimberly Glassman, PhD, RN, Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services, Chief Nursing Officer, New York University Langone Health, & Associate Dean for Partnership Innovation, Rory Myers College of Nursing, New York University, New York, NY

5:00-7:00 p.m.
“Welcome to Naples” Networking Reception with Poster Presentations
Our opening reception provides a great forum to network, mingle with friends and colleagues, talk with our poster presenters, and to once again visit our exhibits. There is no better way to kick-off our conferences than by attending this event.

6:30-7:30 a.m.
Optional Daybreak Workout
Beach Walk and Talk

Join the group a few minutes early in the hotel lobby for a self-guided walk to the beach departing promptly at 6:30 a.m.

8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Registration Open
Networking Lounge Open

8:00-9:30 a.m.
Light Continental Breakfast and Poster Review

8:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Learning Center Open

8:15-9:15 a.m.
Informal Breakfast Forums
Bring your breakfast and join colleagues in similar administrative situations to discuss issues of mutual interest:

  • Meet the Editor of the Journal of Professional Nursing: Tips for Successful Publications
  • Practice Leadership Network (PLN) Breakfast Gathering
  • AACN’s Position Statement: Defining Scholarship for Academic Nursing

9:30-12:30 p.m.
Podium Abstracts (refreshment break from 11:00-11:30 a.m.)
(See separate schedule)

This is AACN’s version of TEDTalks, whereby presenters have 20 minutes to get their key points across, the audience has five minutes to ask questions, and then the last five minutes of each podium presentation are used strictly as a passing period among rooms in order to attend the next session of interest.

12:30-2:30 p.m.
Lunch (on your own)

12:45-2:15 p.m.
Lunch Forums
Bring your lunch to these informal discussions intended specifically for the targeted audiences. The agenda is focused on issues particularly relevant to these types of programs and personnel, although all are welcome to attend:

  • Associate Deans for Research*
  • DNP Program Directors
  • PhD Program Directors
*If you are both an Associate Dean for Research AND the PhD Program Director, please attend the Associate Deans for Research Forum.

2:30-3:45 p.m.
Learning Labs
These sessions are complimentary and no pre-registration is required. You may select two topics. All topics repeat 4:15-5:30 p.m.

  • A Value-Added Approach to SBIRT Integration within Doctoral Level Nursing Programs P
    Using a panel format with doctoral students who have had experience with use of the Screening, Brief Intervention, and the Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) approach for people with substance abuse disorders, the value of this intervention strategy as a part of the curriculum is readily apparent. Led by Dr. Peppard, who is the Director of an SBIRT Training Grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), this session provides guidance on redesigning the curriculum to incorporate SBIRT and the value added from a student perspective as a means to improving the mental health of communities.
    Speaker: Lora Peppard, PhD, DNP, Professor and Project Director SBIRT, School of Nursing, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
  • Building Health Equity in Doctoral Education P R
    There are numerous challenges to achieving health equity and in order to affect change we must educate about the broader social inequities which determine the distribution of health and disease and the ways to address them. Additionally, promotion of diversity in doctoral programs may help to achieve health equity by changing the culture of health care. Guided by research in this arena, this speaker identifies ways to build health equity.
    Speaker: Karethy Edwards, DrPH, APRN, Associate Dean of Academic Programs and Professor, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
  • CCNE Accreditation Standards Forum: An Update on the Review and Revision Process P
    Take advantage of the opportunity to learn about the work of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education’s (CCNE) Standards Committee, which has been actively engaged in the review and revision of the accreditation standards. Learn the latest information about the timeline. Engage in a conversation and provide feedback about the areas that have been identified for revision.
    Speakers: Christine M. Pacini, PhD, RN, Dean and Professor, McAuley School of Nursing, University of Detroit Mercy, and Member of CCNE Board of Directors, CCNE Accreditation Review Committee, and CCNE Standards Committee; and Jane C. Voglewede, JD, Former Legal Counsel at Sanford Health (MeritCare Health System), Fargo, ND and CCNE Standards Committee Co-Chair
  • Embedding Innovation and Academic Rigor in DNP Programs P
    Innovations at the systems level are one of the hallmarks of the DNP degree; in fact, the degree itself has been a central component of the transformation movement in nursing education. To continue to be respected and considered an equal partner in interprofessional endeavors, it is critical that academic rigor is maintained and readily apparent at the curricular and operational levels. This presentation provides recommendations for innovation and strategies to maintain rigor.
    Speakers: Donna Velasquez, PhD, RN, Program Director and Clinical Associate Professor, Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ; Kathy Malloch, PhD, MBA, RN, Professor of Practice, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ, and Clinical Professor, College of Nursing, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; and Lynda Root, DNP, RN, Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
  • Implementation Science: Current State and Future Directions R
    As Editor in Chief of the Journal Implementation Science, Dr. Sales is uniquely positioned to speak to the state of the science. The science is multidisciplinary and aims to apply research evidence to practice settings to improve the health of individuals, communities and populations, as well as impact policy and public health initiatives.
    Speaker: Anne Sales, PhD, RN, Professor of Learning Health Sciences, Medical School & Adjunct Professor, School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Improvement Science: An Emerging Area of Scholarship P
    Improvement Science is an emerging field and as it evolves, the conceptual relationships of organizational systems will be used and tested. It is often compared to ‘translational science’ and ‘implementation science’ and while there are some similarities, improvement science allows for “a broad scope of scientific study about why and which improvement strategies work best” in complex systems. What strategies are best for assuring safe and effective care? Come hear a national expert in this developing paradigm and how we may better learn from the study of improvement.
    Speaker: Shirley Moore, PhD, RN, Edward J. and Louise Mellen Professor of Nursing, Distinguished University Professor, Associate Dean for Research, Director, SMART Center, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • RWJF Future of Nursing Scholars: First Year Graduate Results and Looking Forward R
    The Future of Nursing Scholars program, co-led by Dr. Susan Hassmiller and Dr. Julie Fairman, is a three year expedited PhD funding program that supports scholar education and leadership development. The entire first cohort has now graduated in or under three years’ time and several have had awards and post-doctoral appointments. This panel features a scholar-mentor pair from that first cohort, as well as one from the second cohort. Hear about their experiences and the legacy of the Future of Nursing Scholars program!
    Speakers: Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, Senior Advisor for Nursing, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ; and Julie Fairman, PhD, RN, Biobehavioral Health Sciences Department Chair and Nightingale Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, PA.
    Panelists: Geri L. Wood, PhD, RN, Coordinator, Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Program, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX; Latia M. Hickerson, PhD, APRN, Instructor, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX (and recent PhD graduate from University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX); Heidi Donovan, PhD, RN, Professor and Vice Chair for Research, School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; and Sarah Belcher, BSN, RN, Doctoral Student, School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

3:45-4:15 p.m.
Networking Break

4:15-5:30 p.m.
Learning Labs (repeated)

6:00 p.m.
Networking Dinners
A great opportunity for you to connect with other participants while enjoying the local cuisine! Simply choose from our pre-selected restaurants posted near the registration desk and sign-up – it’s just that easy. Participants are responsible for their own tabs and share transportations costs (if any).

6:30-7:30 a.m.
Optional Daybreak Workout
Beach Walk and Talk
Join the group a few minutes early in the hotel lobby for a self-guided walk to the beach departing promptly at 6:30 a.m.

8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Registration Open
Networking Lounge Open

8:00-9:30 a.m.
Light Continental Breakfast

8:15-9:15 a.m.
Like-Schools Informal Breakfast Discussions
Bring your breakfast and come to one of these collegial sessions, which are facilitated by the Doctoral Education Conference Subcommittee members. This open forum provides you with an opportunity to discuss issues pertinent to different school sizes. You may choose which group to attend based on affinity and no preregistration is required.

  • Small Schools
  • Academic Health Centers (AHC)
  • Private Colleges/Universities without an AHC
  • Public Colleges/Universities without an AHC

9:30- 10:30 a.m.
Plenary Session
Open Forum with AACN Leadership P R

Dr. Juliann Sebastian, Board Chair of the AACN Board, and Dean and Professor, College of Nursing, University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Dr. Deborah Trautman, President and CEO of AACN offer a session for the membership to answer pressing questions about the direction of the association, strategic priorities, current and future partnerships, and policy initiatives. Come hear the leadership of your association speak to the national impact being made in academic nursing. Participants may submit questions for AACN’s Leadership prior to the session (by the end of Friday, 1/19) at the registration desk.
Speakers: Juliann Sebastian, PhD, RN, Dean and Professor, College of Nursing, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE and Chair, AACN Board of Directors; and Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, President and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Washington, DC

10:30-11:00 a.m.
Networking Break

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Closing Program Session
Teamwork—An ITIM of Necessity: The Interprofessional Team Innovation Model (ITIM) P R

Academic-Practice Partnerships facilitate the work across disciplines to advance health. Nursing and Medicine have worked collaboratively together, and with others, to develop a new model for interprofessional education and practice. Come hear how these thought leaders are performing transformational work that is serving as an exemplar for other health professions schools.
Speakers: Mark Williams, MD, Chief Transformation and Learning Officer, Chief, Division of Hospital Medicine, Vice Chair, Department of Internal Medicine, Director, Center for Health Services Research, UK Healthcare, Lexington, KY; and Colleen Swartz, DNP, RN, Chief Nurse Executive, UK Health Care, Lexington, KY.

Save the Date! 2019 Doctoral Education Conference

Hotel Del Coronado – Coronado, CA

January 18-20, 2019

Registration Fees


  Early Bird
By December 19, 2017
After December 19, 2017
AACN Members $449 $549
Additional Registration(s) from same institution
*Applies to AACN Members only.
$419 $519
AACN Non-Members $599 $699
Full-Time Students* $225 $275

* Full-time graduate students carrying 9 or more credit hours this semester may request a 50% discount. Submit your request together with verification of your full-time student status to

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 $150 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 $150 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

Get directions

Continuing Education