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Rounds with Leadership

Susan Bakewell-Sachs AACN Board Chair and Deborah Trautman AACN President and CEOWelcome to Rounds with Leadership, a forum for AACN’s Board Chair and President/CEO to offer commentary on issues and trends impacting academic nursing.

Jul 28, 2021 - Accelerating Momentum for Change

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing recognizes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as critical to nursing education and fundamental to developing a nursing workforce able to provide high quality, culturally appropriate, and congruent health care.

AACN Position Statement (2017)

Launching the new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Network earlier this week represents AACN’s latest step to serve as a primary advocate for advancing DEI-focused initiatives in academic nursing. Members of this network will help to distill the best thinking around how to prepare nurses to address health inequities and meet the care needs of communities of color.

Meet AACN’s New Chief Diversity Officer

Vernell DeWittyTo further enhance our impact in the area of DEI, AACN is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Vernell DeWitty to the new role of Chief Diversity Officer.  Dr. DeWitty joined the AACN staff in 2008 to lead the New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Scholarship Program, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. By the time this nine-year, $41 million initiative sunset in 2017, NCIN helped to support the academic success of more than 3,000 nursing students from underrepresented backgrounds at 130 schools of nursing. In her subsequent role as AACN’s Director for Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. DeWitty has been instrumental in leading many of the association’s signature initiatives in DEI, including our work to advance holistic admissions review, the development of the Diversity Leadership Institute, launch of the annual Diversity Symposium, and hosting of the recent Advancing Nursing Workforce Diversity Impact Summit, which attracted more than 950 attendees.

In addition, Dr. DeWitty was recently appointed to serve on the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing, where she will work with colleagues from other leading nursing organizations to better understand the impact of systemic racism on nurses of color and develop strategies for leading change across the spectrum of education, practice, policy, and research.

Dr. DeWitty’s commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion is having an impact within academic nursing and the larger healthcare community.  She was recognized by the American Nurses Association with the prestigious Mary Mahoney Award in 2014 and is also the recipient of the President’s Award from State University of New York, Downstate for her leadership in this arena.  Please join us in congratulating Dr. DeWitty on her new role at AACN.

Looking Ahead 

Academic nursing’s commitment to advancing DEI and combating structural racism is taking shape on several fronts. The newly endorsed Essentials calls for preparing new nurses with the competencies needed to address the Social Determinants of Health, serve diverse patient populations, and dismantle structural racism and systemic inequity. Our federal advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill will continue to focus in part on removing barriers to higher education for prospective students from underrepresented backgrounds, which is needed to enhance diversity in the nursing workforce. AACN’s programing this fall includes the second offering of the virtual Diversity Symposium in November and a new cohort for the Diversity Leadership Institute.  To help keep abreast of new developments in this focus area, we encourage all members to review the Diversity Digest – the next issue comes out tomorrow – and consider joining the new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Network to get the latest information on innovations and advances in DEI. 


Past Rounds with Leadership

July 28, 2021 - Accelerating Momentum for Change
June 30, 2021 - Charting the Future of Academic Nursing – Part II
May 26, 2021 -  Charting the Future of Academic Nursing – Part I
April 28, 2021 -  Sustaining the Nurse Faculty Population
March 31, 2021 - Divining the Data
February 24, 2021 - Collaboration, Community Engagement, and a Cure
January 27, 2021 - New Year, New Congress, New Administration
December 23, 2020 - Building a Solid Foundation
October 28, 2020 - Co-Creating the Future of Academic Nursing
September 30, 2020 - Combating Racism and Cultivating Inclusion
August 26, 2020 - Moving Towards Reopening Schools of Nursing
July 22, 2020 -  Bridging the Distance
June 24, 2020 -  Is Paying for Clinical Preceptors in Our Future?
May 27, 2020 -  Investing in the Future of Academic Nursing
April 29, 2020 -  Sustaining Nursing Education Pathways
March 25, 2020 -  Rising to Meet the Challenge
February 19, 2020 -  The Year of the Nurse Educator
January 29, 2020 -  A 2020 View of the Nursing Workforce
October 23, 2019 -  Building on the Past, Envisioning the Future
September 25, 2019 - A Legacy of Risks and Rewards
August 28, 2019 -  Academic Nursing and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
July 31, 2019 - A Time for Generative Thinking
June 26, 2019 - Celebrating the Power of Compassionate Care
May 29, 2019 - On the Front Line of the Opioid Crisis
April 24, 2019 - Galvanizing Support for Nursing Now USA
March 27, 2019 - Advocating for the Future of Nursing
February 27, 2019 - Monitoring Trends in Higher Education
January 30, 2019 - Taking Action to Champion the PhD in Nursing
November 28, 2018 - Artificial Intelligence
October 24, 2018 - AACN LEADS: Your Leadership Journey Accelerated!
September 26, 2018 - The Nursing Community Coalition Celebrates 10 Years
August 29, 2018 - Collaborating to Advance the PhD in Nursing
July 25, 2018 - Exercising Thought Leadership
June 27, 2018 - Moving Nursing Science from the Margin to Mainstream
May 23, 2018 - Rallying Support for Nursing Education
April 25, 2018 - Watching the Numbers
March 28, 2018 - Surveying the Landscape of Higher Education
February 28, 2018 - With Appreciation
January 31, 2018 - Strengthening the Pipeline to the PhD
November 29, 2017 - From Dialogue to Collaboration
October 25, 2017 - Bridging the Nurse Faculty Shortage
September 27, 2017 - Joining the Conversation about Competency-Based Education
August 23, 2017 - A Time for Moral Courage
July 26, 2017 - Leading the Way
June 28 - 2017 - Understanding Health Equity
May 24, 2017 - A Global Commitment to Advancing Academic Nursing
April 26, 2017 - Why We Need to Talk About Nursing Science
March 22, 2017 - Vital Directions for Nursing
February 22, 2017 - Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
January 25, 2017 - New Year, New Home Base for AACN
November 16, 2016 - The Lame-Duck Session and the New Administration
October 26, 2016 - Harnessing the Power of Technology
September 28, 2016 - Contemplating the Future of Higher Education
August 24, 2016 - Taking the Lead on Information Curation