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GNSA Ask Me Anything: Exploring Doctoral Education

As graduate students begin to consider pursuing doctoral education, many questions arise related to program expectations, graduate requirements, curriculum emphasis (research or practice; PhD or DNP), and potential career opportunities. 

AACN's Graduate Nursing Student Academy (GNSA) will be hosting an Ask Me Anything Event in GNSA Connect titled Exploring Doctoral Education. This event will be hosted by two current doctoral program experts on October 1-5, 2018. During this week-long event, students are encouraged to submit their questions through the online GNSA Community.  


Susan Bindon, DNP, RN-BC, CNE, Director Post-Master's DNP Program, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland, earned her DNP, post-graduate teaching certificate, and MS as an Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist from the University of Maryland; and her BSN from the University of Pittsburgh. She maintains a faculty practice in nursing professional development with the University of Maryland Medical Center, and is Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development. She is the 2016 winner of the AACN Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Award. She presents regularly on topics related to teaching, learning, and professional development, and has authored peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. She is an NLN Certified Nurse Educator and is ANCC-certified in Nursing Professional Development.

Jacqueline Dunbar-Jacob, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean, Distinguished Service Professor of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, is a Professor of Psychology, Epidemiology, and Occupational Therapy and has been Dean of the School of Nursing at University of Pittsburgh since 2001. She received her BS degree in nursing from Florida State University, her Master of Science in Psychiatric Nursing with a post-master certificate in Child Psychiatric Nursing at the University of California San Francisco, and her PhD in Counseling Psychology, focusing on health psychology, at Stanford University. She is both a registered nurse and a licensed psychologist.

Dr. Dunbar-Jacob has worked at a staff nurse (psychiatry, medicine, pediatrics, ICU and ER), unit manager, and nursing director, and has taught nursing at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She served as a behavioral scientist for key multi-center clinical trials and as an NIH data and safety board member for three multi-center trials. Additionally, her own research has been continuously funded by the NIH for more than 25 years. She has over 130 papers and chapters focusing primarily on patient adherence.

How to Participate

Students interested in participating should sign up for the GNSA before the start of the event to gain access to GNSA Connect. GNSA members can find the community through their MyAACN dashboard.

Starting on October 1, the hosts will create relevant discussion posts through GNSA Connect with “Ask Me” included in the subject title. Once students receive the introductory posts, they can open the messages, which will be delivered directly via email and click “Reply to Discussion” to add a comment or question to the thread.

If you have questions about this event, please contact Autumn Spriggs at

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