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AACN News Watch Weekly Edition

Published October 28, 2020

Rounds with Leadership: Co-Creating the Future of Academic Nursing


Each year, AACN hosts an invitational Thought Leaders Assembly to provide an opportunity for candid reflection, learning, and generative thinking around issues impacting the future of academic nursing. Bringing together a small group of invited guests, member deans, AACN’s Board of Directors, practice leaders, and senior staff, this event is designed to stimulate fresh thinking and better position AACN to serve as a catalyst for innovation and change.

In a year marked by a once-in-a-generation public health threat, racial justice uprisings, economic instability, wildfires and hurricanes, and a divided electorate, this year’s Thought Leaders Assembly was developed around the theme Lessons Learned: Exemplary Partnerships in Response to COVID-19. With 44 individuals engaged in this virtual event, participants shared their insights on the importance of working together in teams to manage, support, adapt, and deal with uncertainty. Key topics of discussion, which were framed around the challenge of providing leadership in a “VUCA World” (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) included: 

  • Leadership in turbulent times 
  • Lessons learned by academic and practice leaders following the rapid response to COVID-19 
  • Opportunities to strengthen academic-practice partnerships 
  • Recommendations for re-envisioning future partnerships to ensure maximum impact


Weekly Digest

In the October 2020 issue of Minority Nurse magazine, writer Jebra Turner contributed a new article on second-career professionals looking to transition into nursing titled Act Two: How to Fast-Track Your Career Change. Dr. Vernell DeWitty, AACN’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion, is featured and describes efforts to recruit more individuals from groups underrepresented in nursing into the profession via accelerated baccalaureate and master’s programs.  Following the pandemic, Dr. DeWitty forecasts that the public will have a new appreciation for the contributions that nurses make to the health of this nation and addressing healthcare disparities. 

In the October 2020 issue of the Journal of Nursing Education, a research team led by Dr. Melinda Merrell from the Rural and Minority Health Research Center at the University of South Carolina published findings from a new study titled A National Survey of RN-to-BSN Programs: Are They Reaching Rural Students? With only 38% of RN to BSN programs targeting rural RNs for recruitment, the authors call for expanded efforts to reach nurses in these communities, which can be facilitated by partnerships with community colleges, rural clinical placements, and online offerings.

AACN Updates

AACN Recognizes Excellence at the 2020 Academic Nursing Leadership Conference

Register Now for AACN’s Virtual Fall Faculty Forum, December 7-9

NursingCAS Offering Two Free Webinars This Week

Apply Now for the GNSA Digital Innovators Program


Graphic - Participate in the Next AACN Webinar                

Graphic - Visit AACN's Career Center

The Social Pulse

Nurse Turned State Senator: Amplify Nursing Podcast Features Senator Maria Collett

Amplify Nursing, Penn Nursing's podcast aimed at showcasing the achievements of nurses, recently released an episode recognizing Pennsylvania State Senator Maria Collett, who started her career as a nurse before being elected to political office. Listen now and hear about Senator Collett's journey, her drive to advocate for the citizens of Pennsylvania, and her thoughts on how nurses can use their voice and make an impact on healthcare policy. 

National Academy of Medicine Releases Paper on Opioid Treatment Needs for Special Populations

A new discussion paper from the NAM Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic highlights opioid treatment needs across five special populations and identifies research priorities needed to improve their opioid use disorder care. Read the paper here and share on Twitter with the hashtags #NAMPerspectives and #OpioidCollaborative

Washington Weekly

Inside this edition of  Washington Weekly: 2020 Academic Nursing Leadership Conference: AACN Advocacy and Policy Recap; HHS Publishes Request for Information on Research Integrity and Responsible Research; 2021 Open Enrollment Begins November 1. 

Read AACN's Washington Weekly >>

Weekly Update for Coronavirus Resources for Nurse Educators

To support the information needs of nursing school deans, faculty, students, and other stakeholders, AACN has developed a resource center to highlight key information sources found on the Web regarding COVID-19. The following information and opportunities are currently featured.

Latest News

San Diego State University – October 27, 2020
San Diego State University Faculty Lead Collaborative COVID-19 Research Efforts: Health Care


Latest Resources

Inside Higher Ed Recorded Webcast – Aired October 27
Balanced Learning: Meeting Students’ Needs During COVID-19

Register for Recording
 |  Download Slides

Health Podcast Network
Expert Insights on COVID-19 with Elsevier


Share Your Resources

Schools wishing to suggest resources and links to be added to this section are encouraged to send an email to


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