New Dean Resources

Becoming a dean is a rewarding yet challenging career transition that may leave you struggling to prioritize new responsibilities and navigate difficult decision-making. AACN is here to help guide you through the process by providing practical resources and tools for those new to leading an academic nursing enterprise.

If you have questions or need additional information, contact Beth Aronson, AACN's Membership Director at

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New Dean Dialogue and Orientation

During the Academic Nursing Leadership Conference and AACN Deans Annual Meeting there is an Orientation for New Deans and New Members and we encourage those new to their role to attend this very informative session where an overview will be provided regarding membership benefits and opportunities to engage with AACN. In addition, AACN schedules a New Dean Dialogue at many of our conferences where new deans have the opportunity to connect with a member of the Board or Membership Committee in a small informal setting. 


AACN members have access to over 200 on-demand webinars free of charge. A sampling of topics is listed below. AACN is an accredited provider of continuing education units by ANCC. 

  • Academic-Practice Partnerships
  • CCNE Accreditation
  • COVID-19 Response
  • Executive Leadership Development in Nursing Academia
  • Government Affairs and Advocacy
  • Incivility
  • Interprofessional Education
  • New Essentials Implementation Webinar Series
  • Quality and Safety Education in Nursing
  • Sustainability in Nursing Education

View the Online Learning Center

Books on Leadership

Transformational Leadership in Nursing
by Marion E. Broome and Elaine Sorenseen Marshall, 2020

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Other’s Don’t 
by Simon Sinek, 2017

Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions 
by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber, 2016

The Leadership Challenge 
by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, 2017

The Essential Academic Dean or Provost 
by Jeffrey L. Buller, 2015

Reframing Academic Leadership 
by Lee G. Bolman and Joan V. Gallos, 2011

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Advancing Academic Leadership for New Deans

Geared toward new and transitioning deans, this program provides an intensive 12-month experience led by the Center for Creative Leadership. This comprehensive program includes four- face-to-face meetings, three of which are tied to AACN meetings, as well as the expectation that participants will develop and implement a leadership project at their home institutions utilizing the principles they are learning.

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The AACN Essentials

Used to define quality in nursing education, the AACN Essentials outline the necessary curriculum content and expected competencies of graduates from baccalaureate, master’s, and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. With the endorsement of the new AACN Essentials by the membership in April 2021, academic nursing is moving toward a new model and framework for nursing education using a competency-based approach.  AACN is committed to providing resources, education, and guidance to bring about this transformation..

View AACN Essentials

Digital Conference Library

AACN’s Digital Conference Library gives the academic nursing community access to a comprehensive collection of knowledge and resources from AACN’s conferences. High-quality content from industry experts and thought leaders is made available at the conclusion of an event, offering a great opportunity for on-demand online learning and collection of CEs at the same time.

View Digital Conference Library

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Leadership Development

Leadership Education Modules
This on-demand  modules series in  offers guidance and practical strategies on how to navigate real-world challenges and amplify your effectiveness. Content is designed to stimulate fresh thinking and provide solutions to some of your most pressing challenges.  

Executive Development Series for Deans
Designed for academic leaders who want to polish their executive-level skills. Explore mutual challenges and share winning solutions in a collegial, interactive environment. This program is exclusively for the Chief Academic Nursing Officer (Dean/Director).

Summer Seminar
Our popular summer event provides chief academic nursing administrators, associate deans, and senior faculty with the opportunity to explore leadership development strategies in a setting far away from the pressures of daily academia. Themes and topics change each year, and creatively address the latest information in academic leadership. 

MentorLINK: Connecting for Success
A personalized service that brings experienced deans together with deans looking for wisdom and support to overcome challenges and maximize impact. This structured, 8-month experience features guaranteed contact at least once a month, leadership development programming, career-plan development, and time for networking with your mentor at national AACN meetings. The mentoring relationships developed through this service reflect the principles of commitment, mutual respect, trust, empathy, self-assessment, and advocacy. Applications are due in the spring; matches with a seasoned mentor are established in the summer; and the mentorship commences in September.

View all leadership development opportunities