MentorLINK: A Virtual Mentor Program for Deans

MentorLINK: Connecting for Success

2020 Cohort Application Now Open - Register by August 5







Download Informational Flyer



MentorLINK: Connecting for Success is a personalized service that brings experienced deans together with deans looking for wisdom and support to overcome challenges and maximize impact. 

This structured, 8-month experience features: 

  • Guaranteed contact at least once a month
  • Leadership development programming
  • Career-plan development
  • Time for networking with your mentor at national AACN meetings. 

The mentoring relationships developed through this service reflect the principles of commitment, mutual respect, trust, empathy, self-assessment, and advocacy. Registrations are due in the spring; matches with a seasoned mentor are established in the summer; and the mentorship commences in September. The first cohort will focus on AACN Deans. 


Overall Program Design: Clear program goals, registration and mentor matching processes, clear outcomes, and evaluation. 

Leadership Curriculum: Sequenced and tailored content programming designed to set and manage expectations, as well as to engage and empower both mentors and mentees.  

Program Management: Seamless administration of mentor matching, participant activity tracking, communications and support, and evaluation with continuous improvement.

Benefits of AACN mentoring relationships:

  • Increased job satisfaction and enhanced role development 
  • Access to leadership training and seasoned deans for support of positive outcomes 
  • Possibility for professional collaborations 
  • Long-term retention in a deanship for those new to the role 
Program Features & Expectations

The program content is divided into three stages: Setting the Stage, Building the Relationship, and Sustaining the Gains. Each stage is delivered via highly engaging live sessions (all of which will be recorded and shared) and a customized content library of practical tips and tools for participants. Setting and working toward individual mentee goals will be a theme throughout the curriculum. This program is part of a partnership with the Nebo company, who specializes in leadership development, facilitation, and coaching.

Participation Expectations 

  • Orientation Session - Mandatory for mentors and mentees
  • Leadership Webinars:
    • Mentees are expected to attend all seven (7) sessions
    • Mentors are invited to attend (optional)
    • Mentees to complete pre-work and/or assignments for each session
    • Sessions will be recorded
  • One-on-one Mentoring Conversations: Mentors and mentees will have a minimum of seven (7) conversations over the course of the program.
    • Mentees are responsible for setting up these meetings (can be in person, by phone, or by video chat)
    • Conversations suggested to be 45—60 minutes in length
    • All conversations are confidential
How to Become a Mentor

If you are interested in committing to be a mentor for this first cohort (commencing September 2020), please complete the registration. The survey will include a few questions regarding your expertise and availability so that we can appropriately match you with a mentee. AACN is looking for mentors with 5 or more years of experience as a dean. Applicants must be deans/directors employed at AACN member institutions

NOTE: There is no registration fee for mentors.

Mentor Registration

Registration closes on August 5, 2020.

How to Become a Mentee

If you are committed to partnering in a mentored relationship for the 2020-2021 academic year, please complete the online registration form. We will ask a few questions regarding your goals, expertise, and availability so that we can match you with an appropriate mentor. AACN is accepting registrations from deans looking for wisdom and support to overcome challenges and maximize impact. Payment will be due at the time of your registration, and you will be matched in summer. Applicants must be deans/directors employed at AACN member institutions.

Learn more by watching the informational webinar

Mentee Registration Fee: $549

Mentee Registration

Registration closes on August 5, 2020.

Benefits of Mentoring

For Both the Mentor and Mentee:

  • Enhances relationship skills: Provides the opportunity to practice deep listening skills and to ask curious questions, enhances overall emotional intelligence and leadership capacity
  • Creates co-learners: Provides opportunity to learn from each other -- from handling stressful situations to applying technology (reciprocal mentoring)
  • Increases work-related fulfillment for both mentors and mentees; expands professional networks and new connections with academic nursing leaders 

For the Mentee:

  • Increases knowledge of the job role
  • Provides a sounding board and safe place to get honest feedback and support
  • Increases satisfaction in workplace environment  

For the Mentor:

  • Opportunity to support peer growth and development
  • Access to professional development training (Mentor Orientation and attendance at Leadership programming, as desired)
  • Opportunities for service to the association and the profession
  • Potential scholarly collaborations with outcomes 
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What if I can’t make a mentee leadership webinar? 

All webinars will be recorded and available to participants.  

Is the AACN’s New Deans Mentor Program still available?  

MentorLINK builds on the success of the now retired New Deans Mentoring Program by providing greater support for the mentors and mentees, access to state-of-the-art leadership development materials, and program evaluation. All those currently active in AACN’s New Dean Mentoring Program will complete their mentorship as scheduled. If you would like to continue your mentorship afterwards, you will have the option of moving to the new MentorLINK program. See application deadline. 

How do you match the Mentors and Mentees? 

Mentors generally have five or more years in a deanship and volunteer on an annual basis. Matching is done with consideration of school size and type, geographic area, goals of the mentee, and other demographic factors.

For additional questions, please contact AACN's Associate Director of Online Learning and Engagement Alexa Tehansky at 202-463-6930 ext. 265.