Using a national consensus-based process, AACN has led the development of The Essentials: Core Competences for Professional Nursing Education, which outline competency expectations for graduates of baccalaureate, master’s, and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs. To help implement these standards, AACN offers a full complement of training opportunities, a teaching resource database, implementation guides, a video gallery, curriculum mapping tools, and other resources on the Essentials homepage. AACN also has published a position statement on the research-focused doctorate, a white paper on the Clinical Nurse Leader, an array of faculty tool kits, and a directory of curriculum guidelines developed by colleague organizations to address specialty program needs.
Research and Data Services
Each year, AACN surveys all baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs as part of its work to maintain the Institutional Data System, a comprehensive databank reporting current statistics on student enrollments and graduations, faculty salaries and demographics, budgets, institutional resources, and other trends in baccalaureate and graduate nursing education. Several reports are published each year to assist member schools in benchmarking efforts and making policy decisions. Additional surveys are also conducted on faculty vacancies and the employment of new nurse graduates.
Leadership development has been a cornerstone of AACN’s programs and services since the association’s inception more than 50 years ago. To ensure that all AACN members have access to leadership enrichment experiences tailored to their needs, the association launched AACN LEADS. Designed to provide a variety of learning opportunities at all career levels along the leadership continuum, AACN LEADS introduces a portfolio of programs and conferences for new, early career, and experienced deans, associate deans, program directors, and faculty.
An autonomous arm of AACN, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate education programs preparing effective nurses. Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, CCNE serves the public interest by assessing and identifying programs that engage in effective educational practices. CCNE is the nation’s leading accrediting agency for baccalaureate, master’s, and DNP programs as well as post-baccalaureate nurse residency, post-graduate APRN certificates, and nurse practitioner fellowship/residency programs.
The Clinical Nurse Leader Certification Program is managed by the Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC), an autonomous arm of AACN, and governed by the CNC Board of Commissioners. CNC recognizes individuals who have demonstrated professional standards and knowledge through CNL certification. CNC promotes lifelong learning through CNL recertification.