Essentials Committees and Working Groups

  • Essentials Implementation Steering Committee
  • Domain Tool Kit Working Groups
  • Concept Tool Kit Working Groups
  • Assessment Expert Working Group
  • Practice-Ready Advisory Group
  • Technology Working Group

Essentials Implementation Steering Committee

Committee Charge:

  • Finalizing the plan for the Implementation Roadmap of the 2021 Essentials
  • Providing broad-based oversight for the implementation process
  • Making ongoing recommendations for actions and activities related to the Roadmap,
  • Overseeing the work and progress of the Essentials Ad Hoc Work Groups
  • Monitoring for issues that impact significant sections of AACN membership or present major challenges for the implementation process
  • Ongoing evaluation of the implementation processes and phases
headshot of Maureen Swick Maureen Swick, PhD, Co-Chair
Atrium Health
Senior Vice President and System Nurse Executive
headshot of Julie Zerwich Julie Zerwic, PhD, Co-Chair
University of Iowa
headshot of Bimbola Akintade

Bimbola Akintade, PhD, First Term
East Carolina University

headshot of Jackie Dunbar-Jacob Jackie Dunbar-Jacob, PhD
University of Pittsburgh
headshot of Shelly Johnson Shelly Johnson, PhD
Florida A&M University
headshot of Kristine L'Ecuyer

Kristine L’Ecuyer, PhD, First Term
Saint Louis University
Associate Dean

headshot of Kathryn Wirtz Rugen

Kathryn Wirtz Rugen, PhD, First Term
Veterans Health Administration
Deputy Director - Clinical Practice

headshot of Susan Ruppert

Susan Ruppert, PhD, First Term
University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston
Associate Dean and Chair of Graduate Studies

headshot of Jean Giddens

Jean Giddens, PhD, Board Liaison
Virginia Commonwealth University


Susan Corbridge, PhD, Staff Liaison
Chief Essentials Program Officer


Joan Stanley, PhD, Staff Liaison
Chief Academic Officer

Domain Tool Kit Working Groups

Domain 1: Knowledge for Nursing Practice

Headshot of Marlaine Smith

Marlaine Smith, PhD
Florida Atlantic University

Headshot of Peggy Chinn

Peggy Chinn, PhD
University of Connecticut
Professor Emerita of Nursing

Headshot of Leslie Nicoll

Leslie Nicoll, PhD
Maine Desk, LLC


Domain 2: Person-Centered Care

Headshot of Sandy Rajamohan

Sandy Rajamohan, PhD
Roberts Wesleyan College
Associate Professor of Nursing

Headshot of Rick Zoucha

Rick Zoucha, PhD
Duquesne University
Professor/Chair of Advanced Role and PhD Program

Headshot of Adrian Hordon

Adrian Hordon, PhD
Landmark Health
Executive Director, Clinical Education & Operations

Headshot of Susan Brasher

Susan Brasher, PhD
Emory University
Assistant Professsor

Headshot of Catherine Johnson

Catherine Johnson, PhD
Duquesne University
Clinical Associate Professor


Domain 3: Population Health

Headshot of Susan Swider

Susan Swider, PhD
Rush University
Director, Advanced Public Health Nursing Program & Transformative Leadership: Population Health Program

Lisa Campbell

Lisa Campbell, DNP (she, her, hers)
The University of Texas at Tyler
Professor, Director Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, Student Advisor Graduate Program

Headshot of Judy Didion

Judy Didion, PhD
Oakland University
Dean and Professor

Marva Price

Marva Price, DrPH
Duke University
Associate Professor Emerita

Headshot of Gina Johnson

Gina Johnson, MS
The University of Kansas
Clinical Assistant Professor

Headshot of Susan Harrington

Susan Harrington, PhD
Grand Valley State University
Associate Professor

Domain 4: Scholarship

Headshot of Robin Newhouse

Robin Newhouse, PhD
Indiana University
Dean and Distinguished Professor

Headshot of Rosanne Burson

Rosanne Burson, DNP
University of Detroit Mercy
Associate Professor

Headshot of Katherine Moran

Katherine Moran, DNP
Grand Valley State University
Associate Dean


Domain 5: Quality and Safety

Headshot of Gerry Altmiller

Gerry Altmiller, EdD
The College of New Jersey

Headshot of Gail Armstrong

Gail Armstrong, PhD, DNP
Oregon Health and Science University


Marjorie Godfrey, PhD
University of New Hampshire
Research Professor


Domain 6: Interprofessional Partnerships

Headshot of Jane Kirschling

Jane Kirschling, PhD
University of Maryland
Dean and Professor, School of Nursing

Headshot of Brenda Zierler

Brenda Zierler, PhD
University of Washington

Headshot of Mayumi Willgerodt

Mayumi Willgerodt, PhD
University of Washington
Associate Professor / Vice Chair of Education


Lisa Singleterry, PhD
Western Michigan University
Interim Director and Associate Professor


Domain 7: Systems-Based Practice

Rachel Start

Rachel Start, MSN
Rush University Medical Center
Associate Vice President

headshot of Jerry Mansfield

Jerry Mansfield, PhD
Mount Carmel Health System/Trinity Health
Chief Nursing Officer, Ohio Region


Kimberly S. Glassman, PhD
New York University
Clinical Professor, Senior Associate Dean

Lydia Rotondo

Lydia Rotondo, DNP
University of Rochester
Associate Dean and Professor

Headshot of Shannon Sapp Layton

Shannon Sapp Layton, DNP
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Assistant Professor


Ana Stoehr, PhD, RN
George Mason University
Term Assistant Professor


Domain 8: Information and Healthcare Technologies

Headshot of Maria Wilson

Marisa Wilson, DNSc
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Associate Professor / Chairperson

Headshot of Alvin Jeffery

Alvin Jeffery, PhD
Vanderbilt University
Assistant Professor

Headshot of Susan Newbold

Susan Newbold, PhD
Nursing Informatics Boot Camp
Healthcare Informatics Educator and Consultant

Dan Weberg

Dan Weberg, PhD
The Ohio State University
Assistant Professor of Clinical Practice

Headshot of Dorcas Kunkel

Dorcas Kunkel, DNP
Jacksonville University
Adjunct Professor

Headshot of Debra Wolf

Debra Wolf, PhD
Chatham University
Director and Professor

Domain 9: Professionalism

Headshot of Nelda Godfrey

Nelda Godfrey, PhD
The University of Kansas
Associate Dean

Headshot of Darlene Del Prato

Darlene Del Prato, PhD
SUNY Polytecnhic Institute
Chair, Department of Nursing

Headshot of Susan Strouse

Susan Strouse, PhD
Grand Valley State University
Associate Professor

Headshot of Amy Hite

Amy Hite, DNP
Pittsburg State University


Domain 10: Personal, Professional, and Leadership Development


Debra Albert, DNP
New York University - Langone Health
Chief Nursing Officer

Headshot of Curry Bordelon

Curry Bordelon, DNP
University of Alabama Birmingham
Associate Professor

Headshot of Jose Rodriguez

Jose Rodriguez, DNP
Uniformed Services University
Assistant Professor

Concept Tool Kit Working Group

Concept: Clinical Judgement

Headshot of Mary Ann Cantrell

Mary Ann Cantrell, PhD
Villanova University

Headshot of Laura Klenke-Borgmann

Laura Klenke-Borgmann, MSN
University of Kansas Medical Center
Clinical Assistant Professor


Concept: Communication

Headshot of Joy Goldsmith

Joy Goldsmith, PhD
University of Memphis
Professor, Communication Studies

Smita Banerjee

Smita Banerjee, PhD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Behavioral Scientist

Headshot of Laureen Donovan

Laureen Donovan, PhD
Shepherd University
Assistant Professor

Headshot of Elaine Wittenberg

Elaine Wittenberg, PhD
California State University - Los Angeles
Assistant Professor, Communication


Concept: Compassionate Care

Headshot of Lisa Beasley

Lisa Beasley, DNP
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Assistant Professor

Headshot of Weihua Zhang

Weihua Zhang, PhD
Emory University

Headshot of Ab Brody

Ab Brody, PhD
New York University
Associate Professor

Headshot of Tina Antill Keener

Tina Antill Keener, PhD
West Virginia University
Assistant Professor


Concept: Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Headshot of Margo Brooks Carthon

Margo Brooks Carthon, PhD
University of Pennsylvania
Associate Professor

Headshot of Brigit Maria Carter

Brigit Maria Carter, PhD
Duke University
Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

Headshot of Billie Vance

Billie Vance, PhD
West Virginia University
Clinical Associate Professor

Headshot of Lisa Muirhead

Lisa Muirhead, DNP
Emory University
Associate Professor


Concept: Ethics

Headshot of Carol Taylor

Carol Taylor, PhD
Georgetown University

Headshot of Pamela Grace

Pamela Grace, PhD
Boston College
Associate Professor

Headshot of Sarah Vittone

Sarah Vittone, DBe
Georgetown University
Assistant Professor


Concept: Evidence-Based Practice

Headshot of Kim Olszewski

Kim Olszewski, DNP
Bloomsburg University
Associate Professor

Headshot of Lynn Gallagher-Ford

Lynn Gallagher-Ford, PhD
Ohio State University
Director of Transdisciplinary Evidence-based Practice and Clinical Innovation

Headshot of Julie Slade

Julie Slade, DNP
Chatham University
Associate Professor

Photo of Sheila Quinn

Sheila Quinn, PhD
Stockton University
Associate Dean and Chief Nurse Administrator

Headshot of Cindy Zellefrow

Cindy Zellefrow, DNP
Ohio State University
Director, Academic Core, Fuld Institute for Evidence-Based Practice


Concept: Health Policy

Headshot of Mikki Meadows-Oliver

Mikki Meadows-Oliver, PhD
New York University
Clinical Professor

Headshot of Garrett Chan

Garrett Chan, PhD
President & CEO

Headshot of Nancy Rudner

Nancy Rudner, DrPH
University of Alabama Birmingham
Associate Professor

Headshot of Alex Hoyt

Alex Hoyt, PhD
MGH Institute of Health Professions
Assistant Professor


Concept: Social Determinants of Health

Headshot of Sabita Persaud

Sabita Persaud, PhD
Notre Dame of Maryland University
Associate Dean, Associate Professor

Headshot of Maria Wilson

Marisa Wilson, DNSc
University of Alabama Birmingham
Associate Professor

Headshot of Kumhee Ro

Kumhee Ro, DNP
Seattle University
Assistant Professor

Headshot of Dula Pacquiao

Dula Pacquiao, EdD
Rutgers University

Assessment Expert Working Group

Working Group Charge:

The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education provides a framework for preparing nurses using a competency-based approach to education.  Methods to best measure competency in nursing education need further exploration and a design that will challenge students and prepare them for practice. A working group comprised of multidisciplinary competency-based education (CBE) assessment experts has been created to guide this work. The working group will help to identify the role AACN should take in addressing competency assessment as well as possible strategies for competency assessment. The group understands that while educational approaches may vary, outcomes should not. Additionally, the working group will provide guidance regarding AACN’s role in faculty development in the area of assessment and evaluation.

headshot of Bimbola Akintade

Bimbola F. Akintade, PhD, Chair
East Carolina University

headshot of Jonathan Amiel Jonathan Amiel, MD
Columbia University
Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Senior Associate Dean for Innovation in Health Professions Education
headshot of David Cella David Cella, PhD
Northwestern University
Chair, Department of Medical Social Sciences
headshot of Phil Dickison

Phil Dickison, PhD
National Council of State Boards of Nursing
Chief Operations & Examinations Officer

headshot of Carol Fowler Durham Carol Fowler Durham, EdD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Professor and Director, Education-Innovation-Simulation Learning Environment
headshot of bob englander

Robert Englander, MD
University of Minnesota
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education

headshot of Kara Hedvig Evan Kara Hedvig Evans, MSN
Atrium Health
Director of Nursing Professional Development
Headshot of Suzan Kardong-Edgren Suzan Kardong-Edgren, PhD
MGH Institute of Health Professions
Associate Professor
headshot of Cynthia O'Neal Cynthia O'Neal, PhD
University of Texas Health San Antonio
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies
Headshot of Margaret Rauschenberger Margaret Rauschenberger, MSN
Alverno College
Dean Emerita
headshot of Janelle Sokolowich Janelle Sokolowich, PhD
Western Governors University
Academic Vice President and Dean
  Susan Corbridge, PhD, Staff Liaison
Chief Essentials Program Officer


Practice-Ready Advisory Group

headshot of susan ward Susan Ward, PhD, Chair
Nebraska Methodist College
Accreditation Specialist
headshot of debra barksdale Debra Barksdale, PhD
University of North Carolina Greensboro
Greg Eagerton Greg Eagerton, DNP
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Associate Professor
headshot of Denise Neill Denise Neill, PhD
Texas A&M University - Commerce
Associate Professor
headshot of Kristen Ostrem-Niemcewicz Kristen Ostrem-Niemcewicz, DNP
University of New Mexico
Interim Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Education
Executive Director of Undergraduate Programs
headshot of Tricia Templet Tricia Templet, DNP
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Director of BSN Program
  Susan Corbridge, PhD, Staff Liaison
Chief Essentials Program Officer

Technology Working Group

Working Group Charge:

With the adoption of the new AACN Essentials in April 2021, schools of nursing are expected to transition to competency-based education (CBE) and prepare graduates of professional nursing programs, entry-level and advanced level, with delineated core competencies. This transition, although expected to occur over three or more years, is significant and will require multiple changes in nursing programs, curricula, and learning/assessment strategies. Changes in higher education and health profession education are also occurring at a rapid pace, including the use and applicability of technology.

Based on a review of the potential applications, uses, benefits, and barriers/challenges for the use of technology to support the implementation of the new Essentials, the Working Group will:

  • Develop recommendations regarding the use of technology within academic nursing, including for the association, accreditation, nursing education programs, and students.   
  • Develop recommendations regarding existing or needed technology/digital tools to support the implementation of the new Essentials, such as for curriculum mapping, data collection and reporting, and competency attainment/tracking.  
    • Tools that support the needs of AACN, member schools, accreditors, and students.
    • Tools/products should be accessible to all member schools.
    • Recommendations should be prioritized and include potential costs (fiscal and human resources).
    • Recommendations should include appropriate standards for the technology, tools, and products to allow access and sharing.
  • Consult with others who have applicable expertise, as needed.
  • Provide input/oversight for the development/selection of technologies to support nursing education.

View the report:  Vision for Sharing Data and Information Across Nursing Education, Practice, and Regulation

headshot of David Bowersox David Bowersox, MBA
Duke University
Vice Dean, Finance and Administration
Headshot of Mary Joy Garcia Dia Mary Joy Garcia Dia, DNP
New York Presbyterian Hospital
Director, Nursing Informatics
Headshot of Tao Le Tao Le, MD
University of Louisville
Professor of Medicine
headshot of Janelle Sokolowich Janelle Sokolowich, PhD
Western Governors University
Academic Vice President and Dean
headshot of Melissa Stec Melissa Stec, DNP
Emory University
headshot of dan weberg Dan Weberg, PhD
The Ohio State University
Assistant Professor of Clinical Practice
Headshot of Alison Whelan Alison Whelan, MD
Association of American Medical Colleges
Chief Academic Officer
headshot of marisa wilson Marisa Wilson, DNSc
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Associate Professor and Chairperson
  Joan Stanley, PhD, Staff Liaison
Chief Academic Officer


Become an Essentials Champion

AACN is looking for each member school to identify one lead faculty member to serve as an Essentials Champion. These individuals will be your school’s resident contact and communication liaison who will have access to a new network of leaders engaged in Essentials implementation. Champions will be encouraged to bring forward issues, ask questions, and share ideas during virtual Q & A sessions held each quarter with AACN staff leaders.

How to Sign Up

Deans are encouraged to identify their school’s champion by contacting:

Sandra Maroa, Essentials Program Assistant


Contact AACN

For questions about Essentials programs, implementation efforts, resources, and more, please contact the following AACN staff members for assistance.

Susan Corbridge, PhD
Chief Essentials Program Officer

Sandra Maroa
Essentials Program Assistant