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About the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing representing more than 850 schools of nursing nationwide. AACN establishes quality standards for nursing education, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. 



AACN Endorses New Roadmap to Elevate the Organization's Role as the Voice for Academic Nursing

Published November 02, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 2, 2015 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has endorsed a bold new set of recommendations to better position the organization as the nation’s leading voice for academic nursing. Developed by AACN’s Futures Task Force, the recommendations provide a strategic framework for the association’s work in the areas of nursing education and research, healthcare redesign, interprofessional engagement, health policy formation, leadership development, strategic collaboration, and information curation among others.

“The national dialogue on the need to re-envision both health care and education is accelerating change for those working within the healthcare delivery system and those educating the future workforce,” said AACN Board Chair Eileen T. Breslin. “To remain relevant and forward-leaning, the association has taken decisive action to further its mission in all areas of academic nursing, which includes education, research, and practice. We look forward to partnering with other organizations to enhance AACN's reach and impact on shaping the future of academic nursing.”
The AACN Board of Directors established the Futures Task Force in 2014 to develop recommendations “regarding potential new efforts that can be implemented to support the mission of the organization and assure support for the development of a nursing workforce for the future.” To execute this charge, the task force received input from a variety of sources and conducted an assessment of emerging opportunities and challenges in nursing education, research, and practice. Specific activities included identifying major trends that are shaping nursing practice and the implications for transforming nursing education and research, as well as assessing current AACN programs and structures and their capacity to adapt as needed.
Following a rigorous review of information and feedback collected from internal and external stakeholders, the task force formulated four core recommendations under the guiding statement that AACN is the catalyst for innovation in nursing education that will improve health and health care. The four recommendations are:

  • AACN should be the driving force for innovation and excellence in nursing education
  • AACN should position nursing as a leading partner in advancing systemic improvements in health and health care.
  • AACN should expand its reach and influence through the development of an organizational structure that is representative of and responsive to key stakeholders.
  • AACN should be a leader in information curation and synthesis related to nursing education, research, and practice.

The AACN Board of Directors endorsed these recommendations at its July 2015 meeting and shared the final task force report with member deans and associate deans at the association’s Fall Semiannual Meeting held in Washington, DC on October 24-27.

Chaired by Dr. Fay Raines, former AACN President and Dean Emeritus of the University of Alabama in Huntsville School of Nursing, the 13-member Futures Task Force included nursing deans and faculty from a wide array of academic institutions as well as representatives from nursing practice and medicine.

The findings and recommendations included in the final report of the Futures Task Force will be incorporated into AACN’s long- and short-term strategic planning process. Access the task force report.