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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 Announces Members of the Inaugural GNSA Policy Committee

Published October 23, 2014

AACN Announces the Selection of Seven New Members of the
Graduate Nursing Student Academy Policy Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 23, 2014 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is pleased to announce the appointment of seven nursing students to the inaugural Graduate Nursing Student Academy (GNSA) Policy Committee. Selected through a competitive application process, members of this committee will receive support and guidance to become highly-skilled advocates on behalf of patients and the nursing profession.

“Providing opportunities to graduate nursing student to engage more deeply in the policy arena is critical to their formation as effective healthcare leaders,” said Dr. Deborah E. Trautman, AACN’s Chief Executive Officer. “I applaud the new members of the GNSA Policy Committee for their commitment to enhancing the skills needed to shape public policy at the national, state, and local levels.”

The GNSA received more than 100 applications for the five-member committee, making the selection process very competitive.  Due to the high caliber of the applications received, AACN decided to increase the size of the committee from five to seven members. Members of the inaugural GNSA Policy Committee include: 

  • Marlena Fisher, master’s student, Saint Xavier University
  • Teresa Hagan, PhD student, University of Pittsburgh, GNSA Leadership Council Liaison Coordinator
  • Sheba Kuriakose, DNP student, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston
  • Daniel Ochylski, DNP student, University of Michigan, Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar
  • Onome Osokpo, BS to DNP student, Stony Brook University
  • Anne Rendeiro, PhD student, University of California, Irvine, Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar
  • Shelly Tran, master’s student, Georgetown University

Pictured from left to right:

The GNSA Policy Committee members will have an opportunity to enhance their professional development while learning first-hand how to navigate the policy process and advocate on behalf of patients. Members will serve a one-year term and be responsible for amplifying AACN’s policy and advocacy messages, participating in quarterly conference calls, and contributing insights to help inform AACN’s grassroots strategies.   

AACN launched the Graduate Nursing Student Academy in 2012 to provide high value programs, services, and resources to nursing students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees. With almost 11,000 students currently enrolled, the GNSA serves the professional development needs of graduate nursing students as they prepare for future careers as faculty members, researchers, advanced practice registered nurses, policy experts, healthcare administrators, and other roles in nursing leadership. GNSA members have access to many benefits, including a free Webinar series on topics of particular interest to graduate students, funding opportunity announcements, multiple networking platforms, and a graduate nursing career board among others. Membership in the GNSA is free to all graduate nursing students enrolled in AACN member schools.