Leadership Development



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

We all encounter pivotal moments in our lives that reshape us, leave a lasting imprint on our futures, and even mold the way we lead. Now, it's time for you to embark on a transformative leadership journey with AACN LEADS.

Launched by AACN in 2019, AACN LEADS is a visionary initiative aimed at ensuring that every AACN member gains access to customized enrichment experiences.

AACN LEADS is designed to provide an array of learning opportunities to individuals at various stages of their leadership journey, ranging from novice faculty to seasoned administrators. AACN LEADS offers an expansive spectrum of programs designed to cater to the distinct needs of new, early-career, and experienced deans, associate deans, program directors, and faculty members.

Programs Under AACN LEADS

Peer-to-Peer, AACN's Dean Mentoring Program. Peer-powered Excellence in Academic Nursing Leadership

AACN Dean Mentoring Program

Geared toward new, early career, and transitioning deans, matches made each year between experienced deans and early career deans to provide guidance, insight, and experience informed tips and tactics for leading academic nursing.

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Aspiring Deans & Faculty Program

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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Advancing Academic Leadership for Deans

Geared toward new and transitioning deans, Advancing Academic Leadership for Deans, provides an intensive 13-month experience led by the Center for Creative Leadership.

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Senior Academic Leaders Program

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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Leadership Education Modules

AACN is producing educational modules focused on leadership development, which can be accessed on demand. Each module will spotlight insights and lessons learned from recognized academic nursing leaders.

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LEADS Testimonal

Participant Testimonials

This experience will transform your ability to lead a strong team of individuals to positive outcomes.

I am already thinking of how to work with our team to provide more clear direction and alignment.

We made phenomenal connections and relationships.

The content was amazing and very helpful to me in my leadership role.

The hands-on sharing and exercises that followed review of leadership material was one of the most helpful aspects of the program. I found it very rewarding to apply the learning to current situations and challenges we are facing as new deans.

The individual challenges to dig deeper and engage within self. The conversations brought so much depth and insight. I have no words for the amazing experience!


Photo: 2019 ELAN Cohort

Read the Latest Rounds with Leadership

Cynthia McCurren and Deb Trautman

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

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Upcoming AACN Conference

image of US Capitol building in the fall

Academic Nursing Leadership Conference

October 28-30, 2023  |  Washington, DC

Organizational Leadership Network (OLN) Program - October 27-28, 2023

Register Now