Masterís Education Conference

Examines the role of higher education in preparing nurses for a changing health care and practice environment.

The Master's Education Conference examines the role of higher education in preparing nurses for a changing health care and practice environment. The conference brings together deans/directors, academic administrators, and nursing faculty from masterís programs focused on direct care roles (e.g., Clinical Nurse Leaders and nurse educators) and indirect care roles (e.g., public health nurses, informaticists, clinical research coordinators, and nurse administrators/managers).

AACN is offering the CNL Summit and the CNL Research Symposium during the same week to provide greater opportunities for learning, discussion and networking among peers.†

Hotel Information

Hyatt Regency Orange County
11999 Harbor Boulevard
Garden Grove, CA 92840
Phone: 714-750-1234

  • The room rate starts at $179 single/double.
  • The cutoff date for reservations at the group rate is January 29, 2018.
  • To make reservations, please call the hotel at 1-888-233-1234 and request the group rate for AACN Masterís Education Conference. You may also place your reservation online.
  • The room block may fill before the deadline, so please make your reservation early.
    If/when the room block fills, AACN will post a list of alternative hotel on its website.

Click here to purchase specially-priced Disneylandģ Resort Theme Park tickets.

These special ticket prices are not available once you arrive at the Resort.
Our ticket store closes at 9:00 PM PST on Sunday, Feb 18, 2018.
Don't delay! Prices are subject to change without notice.

The Hyatt Regency offers a shuttle service to Downtown Disney at the cost of $6.00 per person for an all-day pass. The shuttle leaves every half hour.


John Wayne Airport- Orange County (SNA) is approximately 13 miles from the hotel. Taxi fare is approximately $45 each way. Shuttle service is also available through Super Shuttle (reservation required) and the fare is approximately $11 each way.

Long Beach Airport (LGB) is approximately 18 miles from the hotel. Taxi fare is approximately $70 each way. Shuttle service is also available through Super Shuttle (reservation required) and the fare is approximately $35 each way.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is approximately 35 miles from the hotel. Taxi fare is approximately $120 each way. Shuttle service is also available through Super Shuttle (reservation required) and the fare is approximately $17 each way.

Self-parking is available for $27.00 per day, and valet parking is available for $27.00 per day.

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 Centerís (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation.

Contact hours will be awarded to those who attest to attendance at entire sessions and complete the electronic evaluation process after the conference. The CE 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

Thursday, February 22
Friday, February 23
Saturday, February 24

7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Registration Open

7:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Networking Lounge Open

2:00-3:30 p.m.
Welcome and Opening Plenary Session
Improving the Work is the Work

Improving the healthcare experience can only be achieved by leveraging the knowledge and expertise of frontline nurses. This critical work will be led in many settings by master's prepared nurses from a variety of backgrounds. In this presentation, Dr. Needleman, a nationally recognized health workforce researcher, discusses the skills and organizational support needed from nurses to fully engage in process and quality improvement and highlights the policy and education implications for nurse educators in order to prepare this 21st century workforce.
Speaker: Jack Needleman, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Health Policy and Management, Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA

3:30-4:00 p.m.
Networking Break

4:00-5:30 p.m.
Plenary Session
Clinical Transformation in Quality and Safety and Nursing Leadership
The structure of healthcare in the U.S. is on the brink of significant system transformation, and clinical nurses in leadership are uniquely positioned to contribute to these important shifts. Quality and safety in healthcare have been significantly impacted by the leadership demonstrated by nursing in both the hospital and the academic setting. This presentation explores clinical and educational trends that will be most responsive to impending shifts in healthcare payer models, the accelerated pace of care across settings, and increasing complexity in healthcare environments and on healthcare teams. Dr. Armstrong leads interprofessional teams of clinicians focusing on systems leadership, process improvement, and patient safety, and she is uniquely positioned to speak on how quality and safety have clinically transformed the healthcare environment and the leadership necessary to effect change.
Speakers: Gail Armstrong, PhD, DNP, RN, Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO

5:30-7:00 p.m.
"Welcome to California” 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.

7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Registration Open

7:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Learning Center Open

7:30-9:00 a.m.
Light Continental Breakfast and Poster Review

7:45-8:45 a.m.
Breakfast Forum

  • New Dean’s Dialogue
  • Faculty New to Teaching at the Graduate Level

9:00-12:30 p.m.
Podium Abstracts (break from 10:30-11:00 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.

12:30-2:00 p.m.
Lunch (on your own)

2:00-3:15 p.m.
Learning Labs
These sessions are complimentary and no pre-registration is required. You may select two topics. All topics repeat 3:45-5:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

  • Accelerated Masters-Entry Programs: Structuring a Program Built for Success
  • Case Management: A Successful Non-APRN Entry Level Master’s
  • Research Findings on Pedagogical Guidelines for Student Enrollment in Online Courses
    (offered from 2:00-3:15 p.m. only)
  • Moving the Evidence on Online Courses and Class Size to Practical Application
    (offered 3:45-5:00 p.m. only)
  • Preparing for CCNE Accreditation & Tips on Reporting Data: Commonly Asked Questions
  • Why it Matters: The Power of Data Visualization and Storytelling in Health Care

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

3:45-5:00 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).

7:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Registration Open
Networking Lounge Open

7:45-9:15 a.m.
Light Continental Breakfast

8:00-9:00 a.m.
CCNE Forum on Accreditation Standards: An Update on the Review and Revision Process
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: Jane C. Voglewede, JD, Former Legal Counsel at Sanford Health (MeritCare Health System), Fargo, ND and CCNE Standards Committee Co-Chair,; and Lori Schroeder, MA, Director of Accreditation Services, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Washington, DC

9:15- 10:15 a.m.
Program Session
New Developments from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing for Master’s Education

The NCSBN has turned its attention to graduate education and has a new Regulatory Scholars Program with paid graduate internships, grants available through the Center for Regulatory Excellence (CRE), and opportunities for graduate student experiences at the NCSBN. Additionally, the new enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact has implications for graduate educators. Come hear Dr. Spector speak to new and ongoing initiatives related to graduate education.
Speakers: Nancy Spector, PhD, RN, Director of Regulatory Innovations, The National Council Of State Boards Of Nursing, Chicago, IL

10:15-10:45 a.m.
Networking Break

10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Closing Program Session
Managing Up and Influencing Across: A New Leadership Competency

A national expert in nursing leadership, Dr. Doucette has held leadership positions with Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System, Duke University Hospital, and the Lee Memorial Health System in Florida. Well versed in leadership competencies, he presents a thought-provoking session on Managing Up, a popular area of leadership practice often reported by the Harvard Business Review. Leadership, different from management, seeks to guide and Influence Across, necessary to mobilize individuals around a vision for the future. Come learn from a seasoned leader on how to both manage your boss while influencing outcomes in your setting.
Speakers: Jeff Doucette, DNP, RN, Vice President, Magnet Recognition Program and Pathway to Excellence, American Nurses Credentialing Center, Silver Springs, MD

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

For sessions awarding contact hours (which are denoted with an * throughout the schedule), participants must attend in entirety, evaluate each electronically after the meeting, and print the continuing education (CE) certificate. Attendees may earn up to 13 CE hours for the Master’s Education Conference. An email with a link to the evaluation will be emailed to all attendees upon completion of the meeting. Evaluations may also be accessed via the AACN App.

There are no known conflicts of interest concerning planners and presenters. Exhibitors have not been involved with planning the content for sessions awarding contact hours. AACN does not endorse particular products or services being exhibited.


Speaker Presentations
Speaker presentations and/or handouts are provided via the AACN App based on when they were made available to AACN, as well as if each speaker granted permission to publish them. Therefore, not all speaker materials may be accessible prior to or after the meeting. Feel free to contact speakers directly to ask for copies of their presentations and/or handouts.

Save the Date! 2019 Master's Education Conference

Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina – Tampa, FL

February 22-24, 2019

Registration Fees

(Only one discount per person, per conference can be taken.)


Early Bird
By January 23, 2018
After January 23, 2018
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:

a. Cancellation requests received by February 9, 2018 will be refunded minus a $150 non-refundable administrative fee.
b. Cancellation requests received after February 9, 2018 will not be granted any refunds.
c. Refunds will not be given for no-shows.
d. 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

Hyatt Regency Orange County
11999 Harbor Boulevard
Anaheim (Garden Grove), CA 92840

Get directions

Continuing Education