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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 Selects New Members of the Graduate Nursing Student Academy Leadership Council

Published October 01, 2015

AACN Selects New Members of the 
Graduate Nursing Student Academy Leadership Council

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 1, 2015 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is pleased to announce that six nursing students have been selected to serve two-year terms on the national Leadership Council of the Graduate Nursing Student Academy (GNSA). Following a call for applications which was disseminated to more than 400 U.S. nursing schools with master's and/or doctoral degree programs, the following individuals were selected to serve on the council:

  • Rodolfo Aguilar, University of Texas at Austin
  • Cassandra Godzik, Regis College
  • Stacey Iobst, University of Maryland
  • Jo Ann Otts, Loyola University New Orleans
  • Nicole Osier, University of Pittsburgh
  • Stephanie Patterson, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

(Pictured from left to right)

These newly elected leaders will join four continuing GNSA council members who are serving their final terms, including:

  • Kim Crosby, University of St. Francis
  • Emily Emma, The George Washington University
  • Sarah J. Hoffman, University of Minnesota
  • Tonya L. Smith, Wright State University

(Pictured from left to right)

"AACN applauds the new GNSA council members for their courage to lead and their commitment to advocating on behalf of their fellow nursing students nationwide," said AACN President Eileen Breslin. "We look forward to working with these student leaders to enhance our programs and services designed exclusively for the more than 110,000 nurses enrolled in master's and doctoral programs in the U.S." 

The new members of the Leadership Council will continue the important work of the inaugural council and help develop future strategic goals as well as provide advice on future services and programming for the GNSA. The current council includes seven doctoral students – four PhD and three Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students – and three students enrolled in master's programs. Council members represent all regions of the country with four enrolled in public institutions and six enrolled in private schools.  

The GNSA provides high value programs, services, and resources to nursing students enrolled in master's and doctoral programs. Formed by AACN in 2012, the GNSA continues to experience significant growth. This free membership group provides services that help meet the professional development needs of graduate nursing students as they prepare for careers as faculty members, researchers, advanced practice registered nurses, policy experts, healthcare administrators, and other roles in nursing leadership.  

Open to all graduate students enrolled in AACN-affiliated schools, members have access to a free Webinar series on topics of particular interest to graduate students, including career horizons in nursing, leadership development, grant-writing, getting published, and securing research funding. Participating students receive monthly updates on funding announcements, leadership opportunities, career advancement resources, graduate study success strategies, and opportunities for public policy engagement through the GNSA Policy Committee. GNSA members can connect with fellow students nationwide through an online collaboration community and a variety of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn..  

Membership in the GNSA is free to all graduate nursing students enrolled in AACN member schools. Find out more about the GNSA.