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Rounds with Leadership - A Global Commitment to Advancing Academic Nursing

Published May 24, 2017

Welcome to Rounds with Leadership, a new forum for AACN’s Board Chair and President/CEO to offer commentary on issues and trends impacting academic nursing.


Later this week, many of the world’s top academic and practice nursing leaders will travel to Barcelona, Spain to attend the 2017 Congress of the International Council of Nurses (ICN). This year’s event, which is expected to draw thousands of nurses from every continent, will focus on the leading role nurses play in transforming health care and maintaining healthy communities. Together with Chair-Elect Ann Cary, we are proud to represent the interests of academic nursing in the U.S. at this convening, which promises to bring opportunities for in-depth discussion on sustainable health policies and evidence-based solutions to promoting global health.

AACN has a long history of engaging with the international community to advance the goals of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education. The Board of Directors made the strategic decision back in 2006 to make AACN’s Essentials documents free and available for download from the AACN website to better serve nurse educators worldwide who are seeking guidance on how to structure high-quality nursing programs. Here’s a sampling of how AACN’s global engagement has extended into several arenas:

  • Formed in 2005, the Global Alliance for Leadership in Nursing Education and Science (GANES) was created to serve as the “international voice on the contribution of professional nursing education and scholarship to improving global health and health care.” AACN and the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) were founding members of GANES and are now joined in this alliance by the Forum of University Nursing Deans in South Africa (FUNDISA) and the Association of Latin American Schools and Colleges of Nursing (ALADEFE). With membership comprised of national associations of nursing deans and schools of nursing, GANES is committed to providing information, support, and advice to healthcare policymakers and nurse educators worldwide.  Since its formation, GANES has convened three international conferences, including a well-received event in Miami last month; issued a position statement on the need for investing in nursing education; compiled resources from member organizations on the web; and presented workshops in conjunction with several ICN meetings.
  • In January 2000, AACN joined with the City of Hope Medical Center to develop a national education initiative focused on improving palliative care known as the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC). Over the past 17 years, the project has provided undergraduate and graduate nursing faculty, continuing education providers, staff development educators, and nurses specializing in pediatrics, oncology, critical care, and geriatrics with education in palliative care so they can teach this essential information to nursing students and practicing nurses. To date, ELNEC has educated more than 22,000 healthcare providers worldwide, held training sessions in 90 countries, and had its curriculum translated into eight languages (Spanish, Russian, German, Romanian, Albanian, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese).
  • Since 2002, AACN has sponsored the nursing arm of Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO), which provides international volunteer opportunities to nurse faculty. HVO consults with representatives from developing nations who are seeking help with strengthening the educational infrastructure for health professionals. A variety of other health profession groups support HVO’s work related to their discipline. HVO does not provide funding for the international work of volunteers, but does provide networking and intellectual support for making the connections. AACN advertises volunteer opportunities as they become available.
  • AACN is a founding sponsor of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Global Forum on the Health Professions Workforce along with the other members of the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC). AACN’s Board Chair and President serve as the association’s representatives to this initiative. Annually, the Forum sponsors two workshops on interprofessional education and workforce development efforts. The first Forum workshop occurred in August 2012 and focused on a review of the current U.S. and international efforts to enhance interprofessional education.

AACN is committed to expanding our global footprint to better influence how professional nurses are prepared and how they practice. As part our current strategic plan, we are exploring options related to furthering our reach into the international arena. Stay tuned for more information about this important work as it rolls out.