Member News

AACN Members and related stakeholders are encouraged to submit articles of interest, research awards and opportunities, member school announcements, new partnerships or grant-funded initiatives, and resources, to the AACN for inclusion on the AACN's website and AACN News Watch weekly newsletter.

Submissions must be received Monday at 12:00 pm (ET) in order to appear in that week’s issue. Send your article via email to Bill O’Connor, AACN’s Editorial Director at

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May 2023

  • The University of California Los Angeles School of Nursing has been selected as a recipient of the University of California Hispanic Serving Institutions Doctoral Diversity Initiative. This prestigious program is designed to attract underrepresented minorities to doctoral programs with the long-term goal of developing nursing faculty that reflect California’s diversity. The initiative, Nursing Professoriate Pathway Program: From Bench-to-Community, will work to recruit and support underrepresented minority students over the next 5 years. Read more >>
  • A gift of $7 million to the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) from the Bedford Falls Foundation-DAF, a donor-advised fund established by Bill and Joanne Conway, will create 218 Conway Scholarships over the next four years. In addition, UMSON has received a Conway Innovation Challenge grant of $145,000, which will fund a pilot of UMSON’s Nursing Professional Residency for Outstanding Faculty from the Conways’ Bedford Falls Foundation Charitable Trust. Read more >>
  • The Seton Hall University College of Nursing has received a second grant from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey for “Expansion of the Seton Hall University College of Nursing Online Nurse Practitioner Curriculum Using Innovations in Simulation." The project’s focus is to further expand nurse practitioner students’ education using online simulation and new telehealth technology to augment online nursing programs. Read more >>
  • The University of Houston (UH) has received a transformational $20 million gift from UH alumnus Andy Gessner and his wife Barbara to help bolster the nursing workforce. The gift to the UH College of Nursing will strengthen nursing education and research, fund scholarships and fellowships for students, and ultimately increase the number of highly educated nurses in the workforce. In recognition of the generous gift, the college has been renamed the Andy and Barbara Gessner College of Nursing. Read more >>
  • Dr. Trisha Leann Horsley has been named dean of the School of Nursing at Texas A&M University, effective July 1. Dr. Horsley’s career includes administrative, faculty, and healthcare service at the University of Oklahoma and South Dakota State University. Most recently she served as professor and dean of the College of Nursing at East Tennessee State University. Read more >>
  • Dr. Angela Amar has been appointed as the new dean of the New York University (NYU) Rory Meyers College of Nursing, effective August 1. An accomplished leader, advanced practice psychiatric nurse, and researcher studying sexual and dating violence, Dr. Amar joins NYU from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) School of Nursing, where she has been dean and professor since 2018. Read more >>
  • Dr. Larry Z. Slater has been appointed dean of the School of Nursing at Quinnipiac University, effective June 26. Dr. Slater is joining Quinnipiac from the University of Memphis, Loewenberg College of Nursing, where he serves as associate dean for academic programs and clinical professor. He will succeed Dr. Lisa O’Connor, who plans to return to the faculty next spring after serving as dean since 2018. Read more >>
  • Dr. Lori Popejoy is the new dean of the University of Missouri Sinclair (MU) School of Nursing, effective May 1. She has served as interim dean of the school since July 2022. Dr. Popejoy, who earned her BSN, MSN, and PhD degrees at MU, joined the nursing school faculty in 2007. Before serving as interim dean, she was the associate dean for innovation and partnership and an associate professor in the school. Read more >>
  • Dr. Victoria Vaughan Dickson has been selected as dean of the University of Connecticut School of Nursing, effective August 1. She currently is the John W. Rowe Professor in Successful Aging at New York University’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing, where she is also the Assistant Dean for Research Innovation and Director of the Pless Center for Nursing Research. She earned her BSN from Temple University and her MSN and PhD from University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.  Read more >>

April 2023

  • Sacred Heart University has received a $2.5 million grant from CT Health Horizons to help address the shortage of healthcare workers in the state and nation by expanding its nursing and social work programs. The grant is part of a three-year, $35 million initiative that CT Health Horizons has launched in partnership with the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, the state’s Office of Workforce Strategy, the University of Connecticut, the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, multiple state agencies, and the Connecticut Hospital Association. Read more >>
  • The University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Nursing (UTHSC) has added three colleges to its Partnership Enrollment Programs, bringing the total to eight colleges in the Mid-South and New Orleans. This expansion increases opportunities for students from a variety of educational backgrounds to continue their baccalaureate and advanced nursing degrees at UTHSC. Read more >>
  • The Ohio State University has selected Dr. Karen Rose as the next dean of the College of Nursing, effective July 1, 2023. Dr. Rose currently serves as the college’s vice dean and is a tenured professor and director of the college’s Center for Healthy Aging, Self-Management, and Complex Care. She joined the college’s faculty in 2019 after arriving at Ohio State from the University of Tennessee. Previously, she held numerous roles at the University of Virginia School of Nursing, including director of the school’s PhD program. Read more >> 
  • Dr. Clementina D. Ceria-Ulep has been appointed permanent dean of the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing, effective April 1, 2023. She served as acting dean from August 1 to October 31, 2021, and as interim dean since November 1, 2021. Dr. Ceria-Ulep joined the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene faculty at UH Mānoa in 1993 where she taught in both undergraduate and graduate programs. Read more >> 
  • Dr. Shawn B. Collins has been appointed dean of Loma Linda University School of Nursing. Dr. Collins, who has served as acting dean since August 2022 following the retirement of Dr. Elizabeth Bossert, has been associate dean for academic affairs and graduate programs since 2019. He previously served as a professor of nursing and held numerous leadership roles at Western Carolina University, including director of the nurse anesthesia program. Read more >> 
  • Dr. Azita Emami has been appointed as the next dean of the Yale School of Nursing, effective August 1, 2023. Dr. Emami is currently the executive dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Washington (UW). She earned her RN and PhD in medical sciences from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, where she served as the head of the Division of Nursing. She moved to the United States to take on the role of dean of the College of Nursing at Seattle University, serving there until 2013, when she joined UW. Read more >> 
  • Dr. Butch de Castro has been appointed the next dean of Seattle University’s College of Nursing and will hold the Robert J. and Mary H. Bertch Endowed Professorship in Nursing Leadership. Currently serving as the inaugural associate dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and professor in the Department of Child, Family, and Population Health Nursing at the University of Washington’s School of Nursing, he will join Seattle University on July 1. Current dean Dr. Kristen Swanson is retiring at the end of the academic year. Read more >> 
  • Dr. Tia Bell has been named as the new dean of the Alan and Sue Leighton School of Nursing at Marian University, effective May 22, 2023. Prior to joining the Leighton School of Nursing, Dr. Bell was assistant dean at the University of Indianapolis School of Nursing. Previously, she served as both the online program director and assistant professor/clinical site coordinator at UIndy. Read more >> 
  • Dr. Angela Bentley is the new director of the nursing program at Illinois College. Dr. Bentley has spent the last 5 years as an assistant professor of nursing at Millikin University in Illinois. She arrives at the program during a major expansion. Illinois College announced the addition of a four-year clinical nursing degree program in April 2020. The program has quickly grown to enroll more than 100 nursing majors and pre-nursing students and is expected to continue to expand. Read more >> 
  • The Villanova University Fitzpatrick College of Nursing has been awarded a Conway Innovation Challenge Gift from Bedford Falls Foundation to pilot an accelerated Clinical Faculty MSN to impact the nursing shortage. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has committed to partner with Villanova Nursing in this pilot. Read more >> 
  • The ANA Enterprise has announced that Dr. G. Rumay Alexander, professor at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will assist the enterprise as senior inclusion advisor. In this role, Dr. Alexander will provide guidance, expertise, and support across a wide range of programs, including the ongoing work of the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing. Read about the Commission here
  • The Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) has selected their sixth cohort of ambassadors, which includes 11 nurse scientists from AACN member schools. Ambassadors are selected from a national pool of applicants based on their abilities to advance public, health professional, and policymaker awareness of the critical research agenda advanced by NINR. See the full list of new ambassadors here.  

March 2023

  • Northern Arizona University recently received a $6.4 million grant as part of an Arizona Department of Health Services initiative meant to address the state's nursing shortage. The university was one of five institutions across the state to receive a total of $43.1 million in grant money. Read more >>
  • The University of Connecticut School of Nursing and School of Social Work have been awarded more than $6 million through the new CT Health Horizons program to address statewide shortages in social workers and nurses. Read more >>
  • The School of Nursing at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, has been awarded a grant of nearly $1 million by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration to help address a statewide nursing shortage. The grant will be used to provide high-quality, simulated clinical learning exercises, enabling the school to increase the number of admitted students by at least 25 percent. Read more >>
  • Dr. Christopher Coleman has been named the new dean of the Oakland University School of Nursing. His tenure will begin in late spring. Currently serving as professor at Purdue University School of Nursing, Dr. Coleman previously served as associate dean and professor at Indiana University, Fort Wayne School of Nursing. He also has held faculty positions at the University of California, Los Angeles; Rutgers University; Virginia Commonwealth University; and the University of Pennsylvania. Read more >>
  • Dr. Lixin (Lee) Song, vice dean of research and scholarship at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Nursing, has received a Translational Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention (STARs) award in the amount of $600,000 to support her ongoing research and the development of a Center for Holistic Care of Cancer Patients and Their Family Caregivers at the school. Read more >>
  • Dr. Karen Moore, associate professor of nursing at Saint Louis University’s Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing, has received a Fulbright Specialist Award. Dr. Moore, who studies global health and international exchange, will spend up to 6 weeks in Ireland developing the DNP role and curriculum and strengthening ongoing international nursing exchange at Dublin City University, while also working on the development and curriculum for simulation within their nursing curriculum. Read more >>
  • Dr. Mary A. Nies, professor at Idaho State University School of Nursing, has been named the recipient of the Western Institute of Nursing’s (WIN) 2023 Distinguished Research Lectureship Award. This annual award recognizes a senior investigator whose research career has made substantial and sustained contributions to nursing. Dr. Nies will receive her award and deliver her address at the WIN conference in April. Read more >>
  • The College of Nursing at Texas Woman’s University has received a $100,000 gift from Ardent Healthcare. The gift will be used to create an endowment to support scholarships for undergraduate nursing students and to fund salary enhancements for full-time faculty who demonstrate inspired teaching and a commitment to clinical practice and safety in hospice, palliative, and home health care. Read more >>

February 2023

  • Dr. Bernadette Melnyk will step aside as dean of The Ohio State University College of Nursing on June 30, 2023. Dr. Melnyk, who also serves as the nation’s first vice president for health promotion and chief wellness officer (CWO) at an institution of higher education, will continue full-time in the VP/CWO role at Ohio State. Read more >>
  • Dr. Patricia Thomas is the new acting dean at Grand Valley State University’s Kirkhof College of Nursing (KCON), effective January 6, 2023. Dr. Thomas previously served as the associate dean for faculty affairs at Wayne State University’s (WSU) College of Nursing. Before joining WSU’s faculty, she served as the assistant dean and as an associate professor, then later as associate dean at KCON from 2016-2019. Read more >>
  • The University of Rochester (UR) Medical Center and School of Nursing has established a program to provide a tuition-free education for 33 nursing students per year. The UR Nursing Scholars Program will cover 100% of tuition costs for Accelerated Bachelor’s in Nursing (ABSN) students at the university, after passing their NCLEX-RN® licensure exam and in exchange for committing to work at participating UR Medicine facilities for 3 years after graduation. Read more >>

January 2023

  • Dr. Patricia Bruckenthal has been named the new dean of Stony Brook University’s (SBU) School of Nursing. Dr. Bruckenthal became a clinical instructor in the Department of Neurology in SBU’s School of Medicine in 1989 and later joined the School of Nursing as a clinical assistant professor, where she has held a range of roles over the years. She became chair of the Department of Graduate Studies in Advanced Practice Nursing in 2010, and in 2016 was promoted as associate dean for Research and Innovation and professor in the School of Nursing. Last year she was named interim dean of the school before her appointment as dean.
  • Dr. Kristen Abbott-Anderson is the new dean at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire School of Nursing, effective January 3, 2023. Dr. Abbott-Anderson most recently was director of the Glen Taylor Nursing Institute for Family and Society and a professor in the College of Allied Health and Nursing at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She succeeds Dean Emerita Dr. Linda Young, who retired in June after more than a decade of leadership at UW-Eau Claire.

December 2022

  • Dr. Barbara Bates-Jensen, professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), School of Nursing, has been awarded more than $3 million for a new R01 grant by the National Institute of Nursing Research to conduct a 4-year pragmatic, multi-site study of pressure injuries in nursing homes. This study will be conducted across eight nursing homes and will examine the use of subepidermal moisture assessment results as a cue for nursing staff to initiate pressure injury prevention.
  • The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has awarded a three-year, $1.5 million grant to a partnership of The Ohio State University, the University of California San Diego, and the American Nurses Association to determine the best intervention strategy for preventing nurse suicide. The project is led by Dr. Bernadette Melnyk, vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer, and dean of the College of Nursing at Ohio State, and Dr. Judy Davidson, nurse scientist at the University of California San Diego.
  • George Mason University’s School of Nursing, in the College of Public Health, and MedStar Washington Hospital Center have established the Future Nurse Program to prepare nurses for clinical practice and to address critical nursing workforce shortages in the region. MedStar Health will cover in-state tuition for Accelerated Second Degree BSN students accepted into the program for students who agree to work for three years as a full-time licensed registered nurse at MedStar Washington Hospital Center after graduation.
  • The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) School of Nursing is partnering with Mississippi State University (MSU) to give students an additional nursing degree pathway with dual degrees. The program allows completion of an MSU degree in interdisciplinary studies alongside a UMMC nursing degree.
  • The University of Rhode Island (URI) has appointed Dr. Barbara E. Wolfe as its new provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. Dr. Wolfe, an internationally recognized expert on psychiatric and mental health nursing and eating disorders, has served as dean of the URI College of Nursing since 2016.
  • The Lauder Foundation has presented a gift of $10 million to the Hunter College School of Nursing. The gift creates the Evelyn H. Lauder Nursing Fund, which will fund salaries and research to attract faculty, provide scholarships for students, and purchase and maintain rapidly changing nursing technology.
  • The National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention has elected Dr. Bernadette Melnyk as its new vice-chair of the Board of Directors for the 2022-2023. Dr. Melnyk, who serves as vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer, and College of Nursing dean at The Ohio State University, will become chair of the Board during the 2023-2024 term.
  • Dr. Lisa O’Connor, dean of the Quinnipiac University School of Nursing, will step down from her position on June 30, 2023. She joined the Quinnipiac faculty as an assistant professor in 2003, and she succeeded founding dean Dr. Jean Lange in 2018. Dr. O’Connor will continue as a faculty member at Quinnipiac.
  • Dr. Thomas Kippenbrock, professor in the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing at the University of Arkansas, recently received the American Association of Men in Nursing's Luther Christman Award for his service to the organization and distinguished career in nursing.
  • The University of Central Florida (UCF) has announced a $10 million donation from The Dr. Phillips Charities to support the College of Nursing’s new building, which will help UCF graduate more nurses and combat the nation’s nursing shortage while fostering more innovation and collaboration.

November 2022

  • A University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences partnership involving the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Centers on Aging, College of Nursing, and the Arkansas Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence has received $550,000 in awards for programs that address food insecurity and suicide among older adults. The Arkansas Nurse-Led Academic Community Partnership has a goal of identifying high rates of risk for food insecurity, suicide, and social isolation in the state, particularly among marginalized older adults.
  • Texas Christian University (TCU) has received a $1 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to prioritize research topics to advance racial health equity. Dr. Dru Riddle, associate professor of Professional Practice in Nurse Anesthesia and director of TCU’s Center for Translational Research, will lead a collaboration of investigators and institutions in a comprehensive effort to listen to stakeholders and communities, perform landscape analyses of existing resources, and prioritize next steps for systematic reviews with the goal of reducing health disparities.
  • The state government of Hawai’i has released $1.75 million for 39 new instructor positions to help address that state’s severe nursing faculty shortage and to suppor University of Hawai'i (UH) nursing programs statewide. The initiative will help UH graduate more nurses to meet the workforce demands of the state.
  • On October 13, the University of Maryland School of Nursing welcomed representatives from the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) and from the West Baltimore community to celebrate the awarding of a $2.4 million Pathways for Health Equity Grant from CHRC for the West Baltimore RICH (Reducing Isolation and Inequities in Cardiovascular Health) Collaborative.
  • Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Professor Nancy Reynolds has been elected vice chair of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. The organization sup