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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. 



Dr. Cynthia McCurren from the University of Michigan-Flint Appointed Chair of the AACN Board of Directors

Published March 28, 2022

Cynthia McCurrenWASHINGTON, D.C., March 28, 2022 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is pleased to announce that Cynthia McCurren, PhD, RN, dean and professor of nursing at the University of Michigan-Flint, has been appointed Chair of the AACN Board of Directors. Dr. McCurren began her two-year term as AACN’s highest elected official at noon today.

“As Board Chair, I look forward to helping to advance AACN’s mission and strategic priorities through thoughtful deliberation, generative thinking, and collaborative action,” said Dr. McCurren. “Together with colleagues on the Board, we will work to inspire excellence in nursing education, consider the needs of the next generation of nurse leaders, focus on relevant issues, and work toward creative solutions to the challenges before us.”   

Dr. McCurren is a distinguished nurse leader and scholar whose work has had a significant impact on transforming academic nursing. She was appointed by the University of Michigan Board of Regents to serve as dean of the school of nursing at the University of Michigan-Flint in December 2020. She previously served for 13 years as dean of the Kirkhof College of Nursing at Grand Valley State University, where she led the school to many firsts, including the launch of the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, the Clinical Nurse Leader program, and the creation of the Bonnie Wesorick Center for Healthcare Transformation, which was funded through a $1 million endowment. Prior to this appointment, she held a variety of leadership and teaching roles at the University of Louisville, including interim dean, associate dean for academic affairs, and director of nursing research for the University of Louisville Hospital.

Active in Michigan’s nursing community, Dr. McCurren currently serves on the Michigan Association of Nursing Leaders executive board, is the past president of the Michigan Association of Colleges of Nursing, and was an appointed member of the Michigan Task Force for Nursing Education. She serves as an appointed member of the Board of Directors for the University of Michigan Health-West and serves as the Chair of the Quality and Safety Committee.

Dr. McCurren has played an active leadership role in advancing many of AACN’s signature initiatives, including the development of new competency standards that will reshape nursing education. She has served the association as Board Member at Large, Chair of the Membership and Program Committees, State Grassroots Liaison, and in many other volunteer capacities. She was a member of AACN’s Vision for Nursing Education Task Force, which developed a white paper outlining priorities for professional nursing education into the foreseeable future. Dr. McCurren most recently served as Co-Chair of AACN’s Essentials Task Force, which developed The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education. This re-envisioned approach to preparing registered nurses for entry-level and advanced roles, endorsed by the nation’s nursing school deans in April 2021, has sparked a new era of innovation in nursing that will require fresh approaches to teaching, student assessment, clinical learning, and academic-practice partnerships.

“During my tenure as Board Chair, I will strive to create an environment that welcomes diverse perspectives, encourages dialogue, and promotes multiple ways of thinking,” added Dr. McCurren. “Such engagement can lead to creative solutions and collaborations, and ultimately have a positive influence on shaping policies and advancing meaningful change. Above all, I will foster academic/practice partnerships to promote a shared vision for the profession.” 

Joining Dr. McCurren on the AACN Board of Directors are these new and continuing members: Chair-Elect Jean Giddens from Virginia Commonwealth University; Treasurer Lin Zhan from the University of California Los Angeles; Secretary Julie Sanford from the University of Mississippi Medical Center; Pier Broadnax from the University of the District of Columbia; Stephen Cavanagh from the University of California-Davis; Deborah Jones from University of Texas Medical Branch; Jerry Mansfield from Mount Carmel Health System; Susan Mullaney from UnitedHealth Group; Victoria Niederhauser from the University of Tennessee Knoxville; Demetrius Porche from Louisiana State University Health Science Center; Ora Strickland from Florida International University; and Christine Verni from Niagara University. In addition, AACN’s President and Chief Executive Officer Deborah Trautman serves as an ex-officio member of the AACN Board. 

To read more about AACN’s 2022 election results, click here.