Doctoral Education Conference


PhD Pre-Conference
Being Bold: Moving Away from the Status Quo

January 17, 2024

This 1-day pre-event, held prior to the Doctoral Education Conference, is designed for deans and associate deans from schools offering research-focused doctoral nursing programs or those planning a new program. Issues germane to PhD education and the challenges commonly encountered are represented by leaders in doctoral education.

Register Here     View Agenda

Who Should Attend

Deans/directors/chairs and/or associate deans who offer research-focused doctoral nursing programs or for those planning a new program.

How to Attend

The PhD Pre-Conference is offered as an in-person event prior to the Doctoral Education Conference in Naples, FL.

Conference Venue

Naples Grande Beach Resort
475 Seagate Drive 
Naples, FL 34103

Registration Fees

PhD Pre-Conference Sandard
Ends Dec. 18
Begins Dec. 19
AACN Member $349 $449
AACN Non-Member $449 $549


  • You may substitute your registration to another individual within your organization. This must be done by contacting the AACN Conference Department via email at
  • If a substitution is not possible, your cancellation request must be received in writing and confirmed by AACN; otherwise, it cannot be honored. The following refund arrangements will then apply:
    1. Cancellation requests received by January 4, 2024, will be refunded minus a non-refundable administrative fee:
        1. PhD Pre-Conference: $90
        2. Faculty Practice Pre-Conference: $90
        3. Research Leadership Network (RLN) Program: $30
    2. No refunds will be given after January 4, 2024, nor will refunds be given for no-shows.
    3. No-show registrations with an open balance will be charged the non-refundable administrative fee as outlined above after the event.
  • Your cancellation request must be submitted in writing to and confirmed by AACN.

Please note: AACN will issue refunds within a 2-week time period of receipt of written cancellation notice.

Event Cancellation by AACN

AACN reserves the right to modify, postpone/reschedule or cancel this conference and any related group activity for any circumstance beyond AACN's control, including but not limited to emergency, acts of God, government regulations, disaster, strike, and non-fulfilment of minimum group requirements. If AACN cancels an event, every attempt will be made to reschedule or provide a modified virtual offering, and registration fees will be applied to the rescheduled/virtual event. If a cancelled event cannot be rescheduled, AACN will issue a full refund of the registration fee(s). Any travel, lodging, or incidental expenses incurred related to a cancelled/postponed event cannot be refunded under any circumstances as AACN resumes no responsibility for such expenses.


Learner Outcomes for the Educational Sessions:

  • Contrast trends in PhD education for efficacy, impact, fiscal constraints, and social context.  
  • Identify evidence-informed strategies to attract and retain diverse PhD students and PhD-prepared faculty.
  • Discriminate among various philosophies for what should be taught in PhD programs, by whom, and with what outcomes.
7:30-8:30 a.m. Registration and Light Continental Breakfast
8:30-8:45 a.m. Welcome
Join us for an enthusiastic kick-off welcoming you to AACN’s eleventh annual pre-conference focused on nursing science and the research-focused doctorate in nursing. 
8:45-9:40 a.m. Disrupting Silos of Knowledge
This opening keynote presentation will focus on trends in PhD programs, which have had varying degrees of success, and viable strategies that can be implemented to effectively address recommendations put forward in AACN’s position statement, Research-Focused Doctoral Program in Nursing: Pathways to Excellence.  
Speaker: Marion Broome, PhD, RN, Ruby F. Wilson Professor of Nursing and former Dean for Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, NC
9:40-9:50 a.m. Networking Break
9:50-10:45 a.m. Open Dialogue with Participants
This open dialogue session will feature questions developed by the PhD Pre-Conference Subcommittee to generate conversation about how we can continue to promote PhD education moving forward. 
Speakers: Rosalie Mainous, PhD, APRN, Dean and Warwick Professor of Nursing, University of Kentucky College of Nursing, Lexington, KY; Ronald Hickman, PhD, APRN, The Ruth M. Anderson Endowed Professor and Associate Dean for Research, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH; and Mikyoung Lee, PhD, RN, Professor, Doswell Endowed Chair for Informatics and Healthcare Transformation, Texas Woman’s University College of Nursing, Dallas, TX
10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. The Evolution of the Scholarship of Discovery
What is the Scholarship of Discovery? Who can contribute to nursing science? 
This presentation will focus on the evolution and impact of data science, systems science, nursing and interdisciplinary collaboration, and informatics education to welcome a new paradigm transformation.
Speakers: Suzanne Bakken, PhD, RN, Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Alumni Professor of the School of Nursing, Columbia University, New York, NY; and Connie White Delaney, PhD, RN, Professor and Dean, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
12:00-1:00 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:00-2:30 p.m. Benchmarking to Evaluate and Implement Change: Networking Session
This session will provide participants with an opportunity to explore different approaches to benchmarking in PhD programs across student, program, school, community, and societal levels. A forward-looking perspective on new conceptual frameworks and benchmarks for addressing health equity and the social determinants of health will be explored. 
Speaker: Rosa M. Gonzalez-Guarda, PhD, MPH, RN, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of the PhD Program, Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, NC
2:30-2:45 p.m. Networking Break
2:45-4:10 p.m. Nursing: Sharing the Science or Staying Close to It?
This session will offer two perspectives in a point-counter-point fireside chat. There is much debate in nursing as to what type of research we should be conducting and who should be conducting the work and within what types of frameworks. Come consider the opportunities.  
Speakers: Helen Lach, PhD, RN, Associate Dean for Research and PhD Program Director, Saint Louis University-Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing, St. Louis, MO; and Stephen Cavanagh, PhD, MPA, RN, Dean, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at University of California Davis, Davis, CA
4:10-5:00 p.m. Summary/Wrap Up
This final session will be a synthesis of the key points during the day. Discussion is encouraged related to the takeaways for the day. 

Looking for Answers?

Contact AACN Nursing Education Coordinator Bridget Bingle at