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AACN News Watch Weekly Edition

Published January 30, 2019

Rounds with Leadership: Taking Action to Champion the PhD in Nursing


Welcome to AACN's 50th anniversary year! Since 1969, AACN has been the nation's leading advocate for baccalaureate and graduate nursing education. Our founders clearly recognized the strong connection between having a well-educated nursing workforce and the ability to provide high-quality patient care. This guiding philosophy is alive today in our member deans, faculty, and students who are the core of AACN's strength and essential partners in our work to improve health and health care on a national scale.

Heading into the new year, one of our top priorities is to ensure steady enrollment in all baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral level nursing programs. Within this universe, one area of great concern is sustaining interest in the PhD in nursing, as these programs supply our future faculty, researchers, and leaders. As you likely know, enrollments in PhD programs have declined each year from 2013 through 2017. On a brighter note, preliminary data from AACN's 2018 annual survey show that enrollment in PhD programs is up 1%, which hopefully marks the end of the downward trend. Even with this welcome news, more must be done to ensure that we are graduating enough nurses from our PhD programs to meet workforce needs. 


Weekly Digest

In the January 28 issue of MarketWatch, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) announced the new national nurse practitioner (NP) count as well as findings from its 2018 National Nurse Practitioner Sample Survey. As of January, a record number of more than 270,000 NPs are licensed to practice in the U.S., which represents an 8.9% increase from March 2018. Findings from the AANP survey indicate that, on average, clinically practicing NPs are 49 years of age, female, and practice in non-urban areas. Most have graduate degrees (95.2%) with 17.8% indicating a doctoral degree as their highest level of education. AACN has reported that more than 26,000 new NPs completed their academic programs in 2017, a significant jump from the 23,698 graduates in 2016.

The American Institutes for Research released findings from the 2018 National Survey of Postsecondary Competency-Based Education, which show that though academic institutions are optimistic about the future of competency-based education (CBE) and see this as a way to serve nontraditional students and improve workforce readiness, most fall short of full CBE programming. This annual web-based survey of more than 500 postsecondary institutions in the U.S. is geared toward assessing the state of CBE and inclufes feedback from institutions interested in adopting CBE as well as those already on the adoption pathway.

AACN Celebrates 50 Years - A Look Back at 1976


Mary Kelly Mullane, the former Dean at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is appointed Executive Director. During AACN's infancy, Dr. Mullane was an active member highly regarded as a true visionary who helped increase public awareness of nursing's clinical expertise and advocated for excellence in academic programs. She served as Executive Director until 1978. In 1997 she was named a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing.


AACN Updates

Attend GNSA's Virtual Career Fair on March 6-7 and Connect with Employers Nationwide >>

Join Us Next Month in Tampa for the Master's Education Conference >>

Calling AACN Faculty: Join the Faculty Leadership Network (FLN) >>



The Social Pulse

NursingCAS Resource: Help Your Students Understand the Cost of Attendance 

Applicants to nursing school typically raise questions about financing their education. To help prospective students understand the Cost of Attendance (COA), NursingCAS has published a new blog to explain the variables associated with COA and how students may be able to lower it in "Financing Your Education: Cost of Attendance."

Last fall, HHS Secretary Alex Azar raised the question: "What if we provided solutions for the whole person, including addressing housing, nutrition, and other social needs?" While CMS is trying to quantify the health benefits and financial impact of addressing social determinants of health through its ongoing Accountable Health Communities Model initiative, two emergency department nurses at the TriHealth Bethesda Butler Hospital took the matter into their own hands by spearheading the Community Connection Center, a program that screens for food insecurity and other social needs. Read about their initiative and the current findings in "By Asking Questions, Nurses See Beyond Emergencies."

Washington Weekly


Inside this edition of Washington Weekly: House nursing champions introduce Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization; sign up today for the 2019 Student Policy Summit; and register to attend the Civics Refresher webinar on February 7.


Read AACN's Washington Weekly >>

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