Leadership development has been a cornerstone of AACN’s programs and services since the association’s inception nearly 50 years ago. To ensure that all AACN members have access to enrichment experiences tailored to their needs, AACN has launched AACN LEADS.

Designed to provide a variety of learning opportunities to all individuals along the leadership continuum, from novice faculty to seasoned administrator, AACN LEADS introduces a portfolio of programs for new, early career, and experienced deans, associate deans, program directors, and faculty. AACN uses the acronym LEADS to intentionally match specific levels of programming with the audiences served:

Though several existing programs are being reconceptualized to meet contemporary leadership development needs – including the Executive Development Series and the Summer Seminar – there are several new programs currently taking shape under the banner of AACN LEADS.

New Programs Under AACN LEADS

Designed for aspiring deans and faculty in leadership roles, this week-long residency program is tailored to meet the development needs of those wishing to advance to the next level of organizational leadership. Curriculum is geared toward those serving as Department Chair, Track Coordinator, Assistant or Associate Dean, Program Director, or, in some cases, Director, who wish to assume the role of dean.

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AACN is producing a series of eight educational modules focused on leadership development, which can be accessed by members on demand. Each module will be tailored to a specific LEADS target group and feature curated content and exercises designed to build new skills and amplify effectiveness. Each module will spotlight insights and lessons learned from former AACN Board Chairs.

This new service brings experienced deans together with deans looking for advice on how to overcome challenges and maximize impact.

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Geared toward new deans and those in the role for up to 2 years, this program provides an intensive 12-month experience led by the Center for Creative Leadership. This comprehensive program includes four- face-to-face meetings, three of which are tied to AACN meetings, as well as the expectation that participants will develop and implement a leadership project at their home institutions utilizing the principles they are learning. 

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Designed to meet the needs of experienced deans, this program will address advanced leadership and management concepts with exercises designed to help participants tackle the most pressing issues facing health care and higher education.

In addition to the highlighted programs, AACN is planning to debut a new Coaching Academy for deans and directors. More details will be released as this program takes shape.


Explore AACN LEADS Programs

Aspiring Deans
New Deans
Early Career Deans
Experienced Deans