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Follow-up and Highlights of AACN's Deans Annual Meeting

Published April 28, 2022

Thank you to all who joined us in Washington, DC, and online, for the AACN Deans Annual Meeting in late March. We are happy to report that this year’s meeting had more than 400 academic nursing leaders join us in person and virtually. If you could not attend, be sure to view the highlights posted on the AACN website, including PowerPoint presentations, task force, committee reports, notes from like-school discussions, and photo galleries.  Please log in to the AACN website and visit AACN’s Meeting Highlights web page to access these materials.

Meeting Highlights

AACN recognized several individuals with special awards, including Dr. George Thibault, recipient of this year’s Geraldine “Polly” Bednash Lectureship Award; Dr. Janie Heath, University of Kentucky, who received the Advocate of the Year Award; and Dr. Philip Greiner, University of San Diego, who received AACN Emeritus Membership award.  For more details on all of these award winners, see the most recent Syllabus issue.

Dr. George Thibault receiving award with Drs. Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Polly Bednash, and Deb Trautman

From left to right: AACN Immediate Past Board Chair Susan Bakewell-Sachs, George E. Thibault, Polly Bednash, and AACN President and CEO Deborah Trautman

Dr. George Thibault receiving award with Drs. Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Polly Bednash, and Deb Trautman

From left to right: AACN President and CEO Deborah Trautman, Janie Heath, and AACN Immediate Past Board Chair Susan Bakewell-Sachs


During the Business Meeting on March 21, AACN announced that online voting would commence on the position statement, titled The Research-Focused Doctoral Program in Nursing: Pathways to Excellence. On April 12, AACN member deans endorsed this new statement. For more details, see AACN’s press release.

At the end of the Membership Meeting, Dr. Cynthia McCurren from the University of Michigan-Flint assumed the role of Chair of the AACN Board of Directors. To read more about Dr. McCurren as well as continuing and new board members, see AACN’s press release.

Dr. Cynthia McCurren, Dr. Susan Bakewell-Sachs, and Dr. Deborah Trautman at the Deans Annual Meeting during the gavel exchange.

From left to right: AACN Board Chair Cynthia McCurren with AACN Immediate Past Board Chair Susan Bakewell-Sachs, and President and CEO Deborah Trautman

Finally, AACN’s 2022 Student Policy Summit was held and attended by nearly 90 baccalaureate and graduate nursing students from 24 states and 53 schools. During the Summit, students were able to interact directly with policy leaders and attend networking sessions to meet their peers across the nation. See AACN’s Washington Weekly for additional highlights.


Membership Calls to Action and Updates

Call for Nominations for the 2023 Election

AACN has issued a call for nominations for candidates to fill positions on the Board of Directors and Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee will choose the slate of candidates at the Academic Nursing Leadership Conference in October based on nominations received and the committee's deliberations.

Summer Seminar Registration Now Open

Each year, deans, directors, and senior faculty meet annually in a picturesque setting far away from the pressures of daily administration to sharpen their leadership skills. This year’s destination is Vail, Colorado. We invite you and your team to join us July 17-20 for an interactive experience-themed Meeting of the Minds: Create an Engaging and Productive Workplace Culture. Learn more and register here.

Save the Date for the Next Membership Meeting
October 22-24, 2022 | Washington, DC

Be sure to mark your calendar for the upcoming Academic Nursing Leadership Conference. Open exclusively to AACN member deans and associate/assistant deans, this prestigious conference connects members with noted thought leaders to discuss critical organizational, funding, and legislative challenges and opportunities impacting nursing education. Registration will open May 16.

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