Professional Development

Member  learning and leadership development have been the cornerstone of AACN’s programs and services since the association’s inception more than 50 years ago.

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AACN Deans Annual Meeting (formerly Spring Annual Meeting)
As a unique platform for engagement with chief academic nursing officers, this meeting provides deans/directors of AACN member schools of nursing with the opportunity to hear the latest data, innovations, and strategies on issues of interest in the policy, leadership, higher education and workforce arenas. With dedicated time to network and collaborate, the Deans Annual Meeting re-energizes participants and helps them prepare and be responsive to an evolving higher education environment. The Spring Executive Development Series is offered prior to this meeting.

Academic Nursing Leadership Conference (formerly Fall Semiannual Meeting)
This gathering of AACN member deans/directors and their associate/assistant deans brings together senior academic leaders and noted thought leaders to advance the priorities of academic nursing.  National experts are invited to this professional, leading industry meeting to present macro trends facing higher education. Concurrent Sessions drill down to application level content.  Participants are also offered dedicated networking time with peers, synchronized visits to Capitol Hill to advance nursing policy, the opportunity to participate in shaping the business of the association, and time in an expanded exhibitor hall. The Organizational Leadership Network (OLN) Program is held in conjunction with the conference.  Learn more.

Baccalaureate Education Conference
Providing content on the latest trends in baccalaureate education, deans, associate deans and nursing faculty will find this conference professionally enriching. Participants explore issues of mutual interest, share ideas and successful strategies, and are kept apprised of upcoming changes from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, rulings from the Department of Education, updates from CCNE, and a myriad of other reports impacting nursing  education. Additionally, abstract presentations in both poster and podium format address the many changes and challenges in baccalaureate education. This conference prepares you for the challenges facing nursing academics teaching at the undergraduate level today. The Instructional Leadership Network (ILN) Program is held in conjunction with this conference. Two pre-event opportunities are available: the Fall Executive Development Series (EDS), and the Faculty Development Conference.

Faculty Development Conference
This informative and engaging program supports those new to the faculty role, but also seeks to provide educational opportunities for those that are more seasoned educators. Sessions address aspects of the faculty role such as creating an active learning environment, clinical teaching and student evaluation. It is offered as a 1.5 day program prior to the Baccalaureate Education Conference.

Master's Education Conference
As the only conference dedicated solely to meeting the needs of educators and administrators affiliated with master’s education programs, it provides a great opportunity to hear new developments and educational innovations for the multiple roles at the master’s level as well as programmatic needs for nurse educators, administrators, and others. With poster and podium presentations based on a competitive abstract review, come see what your colleagues from across the nation are implementing, inspiring, and transforming. This conference is ideal for deans, directors, and nursing faculty and offers robust discussions related to the changing healthcare and practice environments at the master’s level. 

Doctoral Education Conference
Deans, directors and faculty that teach in doctoral programs, as well as those who have the research agenda as a primary responsibility, convene annually at this popular conference. National trends in doctoral education, strategies to increase enrollment, and ways to increase or maintain rigor in doctoral education are hallmarks of this gathering. With content addressing both the practice and the research doctorate, and the willingness to debate the controversial issues that surround doctoral education, this conference provides ample opportunity for development of teaching, research, and administrative roles. Pedagogical research, scholarship in both PhD and DNP programs, practice initiatives, creative academic practice partnerships, and program development abstracts are sought for both poster and podium presentations.  The Research Leadership Network (RLN) meets in conjunction with this conference. Two pre-conference opportunities are available: the PhD Preconference and Faculty Practice Preconference.

PhD Pre-Conference
The PhD Pre-Conference is designed for deans/directors/chairs and/or associate deans  who offer research-focused doctoral nursing programs or for those planning a new program. Issues germane to PhD education and the challenges commonly encountered are presented by leaders in doctoral education. The preconference immediately precedes the Doctoral Education Conference, allowing educators to attend both events.

Faculty Practice Pre-Conference 
The Faculty Practice Pre-Conference is designed for those who promote, administer, and engage in faculty practice. More emphasis is being placed on the need for practice savvy educators who can translate current health care environment scenarios to the classroom at every level. Strong Academic-Practice Partnerships are instrumental in providing support for engaged faculty practice.  The pre-conference immediately precedes the Doctoral Education Conference, allowing educators to attend both events.

Executive Development Series (Fall and Spring)
Offered twice a year, this program is open to aspiring leaders, associate deans, and current chief academic nursing officers in the fall (prior to the Baccalaureate Education Conference), and AACN member deans and directors in the spring (prior to the Deans Annual Meeting). Whether it is providing approaches to building key connections, mastering a variety of communication techniques, or facilitating the advancement of those that report to you, participants consistently report that the presentations provide recommendations and strategies that are relevant, timely, and transferable. 

Summer Seminar
Our popular summer event provides chief academic nursing administrators, associate deans, and senior faculty with the opportunity to explore leadership development strategies in a setting far away from the pressures of daily academia. Themes and topics change each year, and creatively address the latest information in academic leadership. 

Clinical Nurse Leaders Summit
The Clinical Nurse Leaders (CNL) Summit brings together educators, practitioners, and leaders in the practice arena to discuss the latest trends in higher education and practice impacting CNLs. Unique among conferences within AACN because of the collaboration between educators and practitioners, you will have the opportunity to hear educational strategies, regulatory mechanisms, and the impact of CNL practice on patient outcomes. Tied to the CNL Research Symposium, this conference is a one of a kind in the nation. It is offered in conjunction with the Master’s Education Conference. 

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Leadership Development Programs

AACN-Wharton Executive Development Program
This highly respected leadership development program offers chief academic nursing officers the opportunity to enhance a skill set allowing them to progress to higher levels of leadership, or build leadership capacity to move forward strategically. AACN partnered with the Wharton School within the University of Pennsylvania, to offer this one of a kind program that experientially teaches how to manage and lead change at the enterprise level. The program is dynamic, responsive to current issues in higher education, and will have a lasting impact on attendees. Learn more.

Advancing Academic Leadership for New Deans
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. Learn more.

Elevating Leaders in Academic Nursing (ELAN)
ELAN is an evolution of the LANP program.
This leadership program for upper level faculty who have experience in academic administration roles and chief academic officers new to the role, includes a week-long intensive seminar that allows for a select group of fellows to become immersed in a unique leadership experience. With a focus on an assessment and evaluation of leadership skills, opportunities for strategic networking and case study development, consultation to achieve long-term goals, and identification of key partnerships, fellows are well prepared to test new strategies at home. Fellows are chosen in a highly selective process. Consider joining the inaugural cohort of ELAN fellows. 
Applicants must be nurse educators employed at AACN member institutions, meet the eligibility criteria, and provide evidence of institutional support for this program.  Learn more

Leadership Network Conferences

Organizational Leadership Network (OLN) Program
The AACN Organizational Leadership Network (OLN) is comprised of nursing academic leaders with broad administrative responsibilities, including associate deans and assistant deans. The OLN fosters professional growth and development, information sharing, communication, and discussion of key issues. Networking within these groups will be facilitated through programs, meetings and electronic communications. Learn more.

Faculty Leadership Network (FLN) Conference
The AACN Faculty Leadership Network (formerly known as Instructional Leadership Network) is comprised of nursing faculty responsible for educational programs, including curriculum development experts and faculty with teaching and/or curriculum as their primary responsibility. FLN will foster professional growth and development, information sharing, communication, and discussion of key issues. Networking within these groups will be facilitated through programs, meetings and electronic communications. FLN will meet during the Baccalaureate Education Conference.

Faculty Practice Pre-Conference
The Faculty Practice Pre-Conference is designed for those who promote, administer, and engage in faculty practice. The pre-conference immediately precedes the Doctoral Education Conference, allowing educators to attend both events. This event is sponsored by the Practice Leadership Network (PLN). Learn more.

Research Leadership Network (RLN) Program
The AACN Research Leadership Network will foster professional growth and development, information sharing, communication, and discussion of key issues. Networking within these groups will be facilitated through programs, meetings and electronic communications. Learn more.

Nursing Advancement Professionals (NAP) Conference
The annual Nursing Advancement Professionals Conference is a networking and educational opportunity for advancement, development, marketing, and communications professionals; deans and directors; volunteer foundation and alumni board members; and anyone interested in learning more about how nursing schools can build their external relations programs. Learn more.

Graduate Nursing Admissions Professionals (GNAP) Conference
Graduate Nursing Admissions Professionals is a diverse group comprised of nursing education administrators and faculty responsible for graduate nursing student recruitment, admissions, marketing, and programming. The purpose of the group is to provide an opportunity for those most involved in recruiting graduate nursing students to share their successes, develop new strategies, and to establish a resource network of peers. Learn more.

Business Officers of Nursing Schools (BONUS) Annual Meeting
Business Officers of Nursing Schools is dedicated to facilitating networking among those who work in the administration of nursing education and to providing education in areas of business, technology, and financial and administrative management of nursing schools. Assistants to the dean, fiscal managers, business officers and any personnel involved in the operational management of a school of nursing will benefit from attending this conference. Learn more.

Online Learning Center: Webinars, Conference Recordings, and Modules

AACN provides an array of webinars exclusively for nurse educators teaching in baccalaureate and higher degree programs. All webinars offer continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. You can take advantage of the Webinars live, or in an archived format when convenient for you. Continuing Education Credit is available for up to three years following the live presentation of the webinar.  

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Conference Recordings

Take advantage of livestreams, audio, and video recordings from select conferences! The offerings are a great opportunity to tune in for those unable to attend the conference and a chance for participants to virtually relive their favorite sessions by noted thought leaders and experts. 

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Learning Modules

AACN offers learning module series as a free faculty development resource for nurse educators teaching in undergraduate and graduate programs. 

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