Skip to main content

Upcoming Opportunities for Member Feedback and Engagement on the AACN Essentials

Published September 23, 2019

AACN's Essentials Task Force is moving ahead with its charge to re-envision the Essentials documents, which are used to ensure quality in nursing programs offered at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral (DNP) levels. These documents have been used by members to shape the development of hundreds of nursing programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and other entities.

AACN is using an accelerated process to update all three Essentials documents simultaneously to ensure that competency expectations are closely aligned and appropriately leveled. Given the importance of this work to the future of professional nursing education, AACN is planning a number of opportunities for members to provide input on draft documents produced by the task force as we work to reach consensus around the competency expectations of future graduates. The following feedback opportunities are planned through March 2020:

October 2019 

Academic Nursing Leadership Conference, Washington, DC 
The task force is planning to share the first draft of its work with the membership, including the preamble to the new Essentials, the 10 identified domains (or areas of practice), and domain descriptions. Meeting attendees will have a chance to provide input on this material and ask questions during these sessions:

October 19, 3:45-5:00 pm: At the Here to Serve session, AACN President and CEO Deborah Trautman will provide a brief update to members on the Essentials process, including an overview of feedback sessions planned at the Fall meeting.  

October 20, 9:30-10:30 am: The Essentials Task Force will update members and share new content from the draft Essentials for participants to review and comment. Plans for a National Faculty Meeting also will be discussed. 

October 20, 10:45 am-12:00 pm: Members will be asked to consider specific questions related to the new Essentials during the Like Schools Discussions. 

October 21, 9:00-10:30 am: One of the task force co-chairs will provide a verbal report during the AACN Business Meeting. 

October 22, 8:00–9:00 am: All meeting attendees will be invited to participate in a focused discussion on issues emerging from the Essentialsrevision process. 

For those unable to attend the AACN meeting, opportunities for input will be available over the next several months.

November 2019

Baccalaureate Education Conference, November 23, 9:00-10:15 am, Orlando, FL 
Task force chairs Drs. Jean Giddens and John McFadden will provide an update on the Essentials revision, discuss opportunities for feedback, and answer questions. The presenters also will outline plans for a National Faculty Meeting in December.

November 2019-January 2020

National Faculty Meeting at AACN Member Schools 
To reach the largest constituency possible, AACN will encourage all member schools to host a faculty meeting between November 25, 2019-January 15, 2020 to discuss the re-envisioning of the Essentials and related issues. AACN will provide a video overview, meeting goals, discussion questions, and an online mechanism to provide feedback to the task force. More details on this consensus-building event will be shared at AACN's Fall meeting.   

January/February 2020

Doctoral Education Conference, January 30-February 1, Naples, FL 
AACN members will have two opportunities for discussion about the Essentials revision at this conference:

February 1, 8:15-9:15 am: At the Like School Discussions, attendees will be asked to share their reactions to the latest draft of the Essentials, including addressing specific questions raised by the task force.
February 1, 10:45 am-12:00 pm: At the closing session of the Doctoral conference, task force members will provide an update on the work of the task force and share details on upcoming regional meetings. 

February/March 2020

Regional Meetings, Dates and Locations TBD
The task force is planning to host a series of regional meetings to collect feedback on the draft Essentials from members and the larger community of interest. Information about these regional events will be shared later this fall.

March 2020

AACN Deans Annual Meeting, March 21-24, Washington, DC 
Led by the task force, the final day of AACN's annual Spring conference (March 24) will focus on the new Essentials document, including a discussion of the issues and challenges involved with re-envisioning curricular expectations at the undergraduate and graduate level, which may touch on simulation, clinical hours, final products and immersion experiences. 

Additional opportunities to review drafts of the new Essentials and provide feedback, including webinars, will be announced as this work moves forward. Any questions about the task force's work and opportunities for engagement should be directed to AACN's Chief Academic Officer Joan Stanley at

Related News