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Robert Rosseter
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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 Releases Free Online QSEN Modules for Graduate Nursing Programs

Published April 15, 2014

AACN Releases Online Learning Modules for Faculty
Teaching Quality and Safety Content in Graduate Nursing Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 15, 2014 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)  is pleased to announce the launch of the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) learning module series, a free faculty development resource for nurse educators teaching in master’s and doctoral programs.

“Preparing faculty to teach quality and safety content is essential to ensuring that future generations of nurses are able to thrive in practice environments that promote patient-centered care, quality improvement, and interprofessional collaboration,” said AACN President Eileen Breslin. “In keeping with our commitment to providing state-of-the-art faculty development opportunities, AACN is pleased to offer these new learning modules that will assist nurse educators in shaping the curriculum used in master’s and doctoral programs.”

Between 2012 and 2014, AACN led a graduate nursing faculty development effort linked to the national QSEN initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). To build on AACN’s commitment to further disseminate the QSEN teaching strategies, the association has developed seven web-based learning modules focused on a Call to Action as well as the six core QSEN competencies:

  • Patient-centered care
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Evidence-based practice (EBP)
  • Quality improvement (QI)
  • Safety
  • Informatics

The cutting edge, interactive learning modules are available for free to all nurse faculty in graduate nursing programs and can be accessed through AACN’s online collaboration community. Faculty will have the opportunity to earn American Nurses Credentialing Center contact hours for each completed module. The modules can be accessed from the AACN site.

Enhancing Quality and Safety Content in Graduate Nursing Programs

In February 2012, RWJF engaged AACN in a national effort to extend the reach of the QSEN initiative to graduate nursing programs. Building on work completed by AACN at the undergraduate level, this project was initiated to provide educational resources and training to enhance the ability of faculty in master’s and doctoral nursing programs to teach quality and safety competencies. During this phase of QSEN, AACN collaborated with expert consultants and stakeholders to achieve four primary goals, specifically:

  • Develop consensus on the quality and safety competencies that must be accomplished in a graduate nursing program;
  • Create learning resources, modules, and interactive case studies to help prepare graduates with the competencies needed to provide quality and safe care across all settings;
  • Host workshops to train faculty from over half of the nation’s graduate-level nursing programs and their clinical partners to facilitate the implementation of the consensus-based competencies; and
  • Develop a Web-based learning program, a speakers’ bureau, an online collaboration community, and content-specific teaching materials for graduate-level faculty and their clinical partners.

In order to accomplish the first goal, AACN convened a panel of experts in the field of quality and safety education and graduate-level practice as well as representatives of key stakeholder organizations. This advisory group reviewed the existing graduate competencies as well as AACN’s Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing (2011) to determine the competencies that graduate prepared nurses must possess to meet contemporary care standards.

Click to download the graduate-level QSEN competencies. For more information on AACN’s work with the national QSEN initiative, see the QSEN homepage.