August 15, 2023
To be a true champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), AACN recognizes that we must walk the talk and stay true to our mission, vision, and values. We applaud the robust and open dialogue about the upcoming AACN conferences in Florida, that is currently underway in our online discussion community. These discussions are extremely helpful to us as we consider how to move forward with programming in states with an anti-DEI legislative environment.
AACN works diligently to ensure we are being good stewards of the funds provided by member schools. Please know that AACN’s Board of Directors has discussed this concern several times, including at its recent July meeting. As many have noted, AACN’s conferences have contractual and financial obligations. Most contracts are multiyear commitments and have stringent cancellation criteria and penalties.
To date, 40 states have introduced some form of anti-DEI legislation, which makes navigating state policy conflicts very challenging for organizations like AACN whose members are active in every state. In Florida alone, AACN encompasses 34 member schools with 19,643 students and 1,867 faculty members. We are committed to serving these members who are facing real challenges and need a community of support. AACN will not abandon our commitment to advancing DEI, even in states that do not support this core value and our desire for equity.
AACN welcomes continued conversation about this critical issue at our meetings and in the online community. The AACN Board will continue to consider all comments and assess implications on future programming as we seek to serve the entire academic nursing community.