Leadership Development Programs

Leadership development has been a cornerstone of AACN’s programs and
services since the association’s inception nearly 50 years ago. 

To ensure that all AACN members have access to enrichment experiences tailored to their needs, AACN has launched AACN LEADS.

Designed to provide a variety of learning opportunities to all individuals along the leadership continuum, from novice faculty to seasoned administrator, AACN LEADS introduces a portfolio of programs for new, early career, and experienced deans, associate deans, program directors, and faculty. AACN uses the acronym LEADS to intentionally match specific levels of programming with the audiences served:

LEADS acronym graphic  

View the Brochure


Though several existing programs are being reconceptualized to meet contemporary leadership development needs – including the Executive Development Series and the Summer Seminar – there are several new programs currently taking shape under the banner of AACN LEADS.


If you have questions about any of AACN's leadership programs, please contact Cynthia Leaver, AACN Director of Academic Nursing Development at cleaver@aacnnursing.org.

Programs Under AACN LEADS


Register by August 31!

MentorLINK is an 8-month program that brings experienced deans together with deans looking for advice on how to overcome challenges and maximize impact.

Learn more


Coming soon!

AACN is producing educational modules focused on leadership development, which can be accessed on demand.  Each module will spotlight insights and lessons learned from former AACN Board Chairs.


There's more time to apply!

Geared toward new and transitioning deans, Advancing Academic Leadership for New Deans, provides an intensive 13-month experience led by the Center for Creative Leadership. The deadline to apply is Monday, January 18.

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Apply by March 30

The AACN-Wharton Executive Leadership Program is a world-class enrichment program for seasoned academic nursing leaders. This program addresses issues related to managing and leading change, influencing and galvanizing a diverse set of stakeholders, and building enterprising relationships . 

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Rounds with Leadership

A forum for AACN’s Board Chair and President/CEO to offer commentary on issues and trends impacting academic nursing.

Read the latest forum


Apply by March 15

Designed for aspiring deans and faculty in leadership roles. This 12-month program kicks off with a week-long residency program tailored to meet the development needs of those wishing to advance to the next level of organizational leadership. 

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Under Development

Spotlight ELAN Cohort

38 nursing faculty from across the nation attended the inaugural Elevating Leaders in Academic Nursing (ELAN) program, held on July 28-August 2 in Chaska, Minnesota. 


View 2019-2020 Cohort Directory