Rounds with Leadership: Reimagining Nursing Education

Welcome to Rounds with Leadership, a forum for AACN’s Board Chair and President/CEO to offer commentary on issues and trends impacting academic nursing.

May 25, 2022 - Reimagining Nursing Education

“The imperative to evolve [nursing education] is driven by the needs of students, employers, and consumers of care. Nurse educators must be nimble enough to embrace new technology and explore fresh approaches to teaching designed to satisfy the diverse learning needs of contemporary nursing students (p.3).”

                                              From AACN’s Vision for Academic Nursing (2019)

Too often, calls for transformation and change do not come with a roadmap or a clear idea about where we are headed. Not true in nursing education! The new Essentials, endorsed by the AACN membership in April 2021, provide a blueprint for evolving how to prepare nurses in baccalaureate, master’s, and Doctor of Nursing programs. Built on a strong foundation of nursing as a discipline, the benefits of a liberal education, and the principles of competency-based education, the re-envisioned Essentials present an innovative framework for preparing nurses for contemporary and future practice.

Moving to implement the new Essentials requires intentional action and active engagement among all stakeholders, including faculty, deans, and practice partners. AACN is working on several fronts to identify resources, offer training, and share exemplars to help facilitate the work underway at member schools to adapt learning and assessment strategies.

To this end, AACN is pleased to announce that it has received $1.5 million from the American Nurses Foundation’s Reimagining Nursing Initiative to launch a three-year pilot program titled Competency-Based Education for Practice-Ready Nurse Graduates. Through this program, AACN will provide funding and technical assistance to 10 nursing schools looking to pilot curriculum related to population health, social determinants of health, and other key content areas using the new model for nursing education outlined in the Essentials. The curriculum, learning experiences, assessment strategies, and evidence-based tools identified through the pilot will be shared with all schools of nursing through broad dissemination of findings and lessons learned.  Read the press announcement here.

The American Nurses Foundation launched the Reimagining Nursing (RN) Initiative to support opportunities for transformative change in nursing that occur at the intersection of education, regulation, and practice. With nearly 350 applications submitted, AACN was one of only 10 grantees to receive funding from the RN Initiative, which is focused on preparing practice-ready nurse graduates, advancing technology-enabled nursing practice, and piloting direct-reimbursement nursing models.

AACN was pleased to see that seven of our member schools also were included among the RN Initiative grantees for their leading-edge projects, including:

  • Boston College: Reducing Barriers to NP Value-Based Care
  • Chamberlain University: Practice-Ready, Specialty-Focused™ Nurse Education
  • Columbia University: CONCERN Implementation Toolkit
  • Emory University: Integrated Memory Care in Community
  • Ohio State University: Disrupting Nursing Education with XR, AI and ML
  • Oregon Health & Science University: Making Nursing Visible for Healthy Communities
  • University of Minnesota: Big 10 Practice-Ready Nursing Initiative

To learn more about these nurse-led initiatives and other funded programs from ChristianaCare and Navi Nurses, visit the Reimagining Nursing Initiative website.