AACN Essentials

The Essentials

Essentials Implementation Steering Committee & Contributors

Committee Charge:

  • Finalize the plan for the Implementation Roadmap of the 2021 Essentials
  • Provide broad-based oversight for the implementation process
  • Make ongoing recommendations for actions and activities related to the Roadmap,
  • Oversee the work and progress of the Essentials Working Groups
  • Monitor for issues that impact significant sections of the AACN membership or present major challenges for the implementation process
  • Provide ongoing evaluation of the implementation processes and phases
  • Julie Zerwich

    Julie Zerwic, PhD, Co-Chair
    University of Iowa

  • Dale Beatty

    Dale Beatty, DNP, Co-Chair
    Stanford Health Care
    Chief Nurse Executive

  • Bimbola Akintade

    Bimbola Akintade, PhD
    East Carolina University

  • Jackie Dunbar-Jacob

    Jackie Dunbar-Jacob, PhD
    University of Pittsburgh
    Dean Emerita

  • Kristine L'Ecuyer

    Kristine L’Ecuyer, PhD
    Saint Louis University
    Associate Dean

  • Kathryn Wirtz Rugen

    Kathryn Wirtz Rugen, PhD
    Veterans Health Administration
    Deputy Director - Clinical Practice

  • Susan Ruppert

    Susan Ruppert, PhD
    University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston
    Associate Dean and Chair of Graduate Studies

  • Julie Sanford, DNS, Board Liaison
    The University of Alabama

  • Susan Corbridge, PhD, Staff Liaison
    Chief Essentials Program Officer

  • Joan Stanley, PhD, Staff Liaison
    Chief Academic Officer


Working Group Charge:

The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education provides a framework for preparing nurses using a competency-based approach to education. Methods to best measure competency in nursing education need further exploration and a design that will challenge students and prepare them for practice. A working group comprised of multidisciplinary competency-based education (CBE) assessment experts has been created to guide this work. The working group will help to identify the role AACN should take in addressing competency assessment as well as possible strategies for competency assessment. The group understands that while educational approaches may vary, outcomes should not. Additionally, the working group will provide guidance regarding AACN’s role in faculty development in the area of assessment and evaluation.

headshot of Bimbola Akintade

Bimbola Akintade, PhD, Chair
East Carolina University

headshot of Jonathan Amiel Jonathan Amiel, MD
Columbia University
Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Senior Associate Dean for Innovation in Health Professions Education
headshot of David Cella David Cella, PhD
Northwestern University
Chair, Department of Medical Social Sciences
headshot of Phil Dickison

Phil Dickison, PhD
National Council of State Boards of Nursing
Chief Executive Officer

headshot of Carol Fowler Durham Carol Fowler Durham, EdD
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Professor and Director, Education-Innovation-Simulation Learning Environment
headshot of bob englander

Robert Englander, MD
University of Minnesota
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education

headshot of Kara Hedvig Evan Kara Hedvig Evans, MSN
Atrium Health
Director of Nursing Professional Development
Headshot of Suzan Kardong-Edgren Suzan Kardong-Edgren, PhD
MGH Institute of Health Professions
Associate Professor
headshot of Cynthia O'Neal Cynthia O'Neal, PhD
UT Health San Antonio
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies
Headshot of Margaret Rauschenberger Margaret Rauschenberger, MSN
Alverno College
Dean Emerita
headshot of Janelle Sokolowich Janelle Sokolowich, PhD
Chamberlain University
Associate Provost, Social Mission
  Susan Corbridge, PhD, Staff Liaison
Chief Essentials Program Officer

headshot of susan ward Susan Ward, PhD, Chair
Nebraska Methodist College
Accreditation Specialist
headshot of debra barksdale Debra Barksdale, PhD
University of North Carolina Greensboro
Greg Eagerton Greg Eagerton, DNP
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Associate Professor
headshot of Denise Neill Denise Neill, PhD
Texas A&M University - Commerce
Associate Professor
headshot of Kristen Ostrem-Niemcewicz Kristen Ostrem-Niemcewicz, DNP
University of New Mexico
Interim Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Education
Executive Director of Undergraduate Programs
headshot of Tricia Templet Tricia Templet, DNP
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Director of BSN Program
  Susan Corbridge, PhD, Staff Liaison
Chief Essentials Program Officer

Working Group Charge:

  • Develop recommendations regarding the use of technology within academic nursing, including for the association, accreditation, nursing education programs, and students.
  • Develop recommendations regarding existing or needed technology/digital tools to support the implementation of the new Essentials, such as for curriculum mapping, data collection and reporting, and competency attainment/tracking.
    • Tools that support the needs of AACN, member schools, accreditors, and students.
    • Tools/products should be accessible to all member schools.
    • Recommendations should be prioritized and include potential costs (fiscal and human resources).
    • Recommendations should include appropriate standards for the technology, tools, and products to allow access and sharing.
  • Consult with others who have applicable expertise, as needed.
  • Provide input/oversight for the development/selection of technologies to support nursing education.

View the report: Vision for Sharing Data and Information Across Nursing Education, Practice, and Regulation

headshot of David Bowersox David Bowersox, MBA
Duke University
Vice Dean, Finance and Administration
Headshot of Mary Joy Garcia Dia Mary Joy Garcia Dia, DNP
New York Presbyterian Hospital
Director, Nursing Informatics
Headshot of Tao Le Tao Le, MD
University of Louisville
Professor of Medicine
headshot of Janelle Sokolowich Janelle Sokolowich, PhD
Chamberlain University
Associate Provost, Social Mission
headshot of Melissa Stec Melissa Stec, DNP
Emory University
headshot of dan weberg Dan Weberg, PhD
The Ohio State University
Assistant Professor of Clinical Practice
Headshot of Alison Whelan Alison Whelan, MD
Association of American Medical Colleges
Chief Academic Officer
headshot of marisa wilson Marisa Wilson, DNSc
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Associate Professor and Chairperson
  Joan Stanley, PhD, Staff Liaison
Chief Academic Officer
Become an Essentials Champion

Become an Essentials Champion

AACN is looking for each member school to identify one lead faculty member to serve as an Essentials Champion. These individuals will be your school’s resident contact and communication liaison who will have access to a new network of leaders engaged in Essentials implementation. Champions will be encouraged to bring forward issues, ask questions, and share ideas during virtual Q & A sessions held each quarter with AACN staff leaders.

How to Sign Up

Deans are encouraged to identify their school’s champion by completing a short online form.

Complete the Form

Contact AACN

For questions about Essentials programs, implementation efforts, resources, and more, please contact essentials@aacnnursing.org or the following AACN staff member for assistance.

Susan Corbridge, PhD
Chief Essentials Program Officer