Skip to main content

Rounds With Leadership: Monitoring Trends in Higher Education

Published February 27, 2019

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

February 27, 2019 - Monitoring Trends in Higher Education

Information curation is defined as “the process of discovering, collecting, organizing, and presenting information related to a particular topic or issue.” Though AACN has always provided resources requiring curation – including data briefs, fact sheets, talking points, newsletters, and policy papers – the association is taking steps to enhance its portfolio of services in this area. Driving this priority is AACN’s strategic plan, which calls for the association to serve as “the authoritative source of knowledge to advance academic nursing through information curation and synthesis.”


As part of this work, AACN strives to inform members about reports on emerging trends in higher education and health care that impact how we prepare the nursing workforce.  On February 18, The Chronicle of Higher Education released its 2019 Trends Report, which is based on research, interviews with experts inside and outside higher education, and reader suggestions. The articles compiled in this report contain deep analysis, fresh ideas, and commentary that nurse educators can use to advance conversations on their campuses, along with examples of success that can serve as models for their own initiatives.


Identified trends for this year include the diminishing public confidence in higher education, the rise of mega-universities, the push for open-access research journals, challenges to college autonomy and campus free speech, test-optional college admissions, considering social mobility in college rankings, the expansion of urban universities, the increase in college mergers, the move beyond traditional textbooks, and the Department of Education’s proposed rules on Title IX, the federal gender equity law.


When assessing these trends and other issues facing your school of nursing, please know that AACN is here as a resource to assist you in navigating change. Through our programming and services, we encourage members to bring forward their questions and comments on trends impacting academic nursing via our online collaboration community (AACN Connect) and at our upcoming conferences and meetings.


On March 23-26, AACN will host the Annual Deans Meeting  in Washington DC which will bring colleagues together to enjoy program sessions focused on Reflecting on the Past, Looking Toward the Future. In addition to informal like-school discussions and a focused dialogue with AACN leaders, a new session has been added – a Town Hall with AACN’s Board of Members and President/CEO – to give participants a chance to ask questions about our latest task force reports and to discuss issues impacting their schools.  Please join us and share your experiences with addressing change at your school of nursing, which will give your colleagues a chance to benefit from your lived experience and overcome future challenges.

Related Articles