Jean Giddens, PhD, RN

Jean Giddens

Dr. Jean Giddens is an internationally known nurse scholar and academic leader who has helped shape the future of nursing education and practice. Since 2013, she has served as dean and professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing and will begin her tenure as dean of the University of Kansas School of Nursing on April 15, 2024. Her distinguished career in nurse education encompasses leadership roles at the University of New Mexico, Mesa State College, University of Texas-El Paso, and Eastern New Mexico University. Her extensive track record of scholarship includes numerous publications, peer-reviewed articles, and presentations on conceptual learning, innovative teaching, academic progression, and academic leadership.

An active leader and advocate for nursing, Dr. Giddens has served in a variety of volunteer leadership roles to advance the profession. She has served as Secretary, Vice President, and President of the Virginia Association of Colleges of Nursing and on the Leadership Advisory Board for the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium. She currently sits on the editorial boards of Nurse Educator and the Journal of Nursing Education. She previously served on the editorial board of AACN’s Journal of Professional Nursing, including as guest editor for a special issue on Leading in Academic Nursing.

For more than 15 years, Dr. Giddens has been a highly engaged member of AACN who has contributed to a number of leading initiatives, including the development of the latest competency expectations for nursing program graduates and the transition to competency-based nursing education. She has served as Board Chair-Elect and Board Member at Large; as a member of the Finance, Program, and Nominating Committees; and as a Chair and member of several Conference Subcommittees. She was invited to serve on AACN’s Vision for Nursing Education Task Force, which developed a white paper detailing overarching goals for academic nursing and preferred educational pathways. Dr. Giddens co-chaired AACN’s Essentials Task Force, which developed The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education. This landmark document outlines a bold, forward-thinking roadmap for nursing education, which has sparked a new era of innovation, including competency-based approaches to teaching, new ways to assess learning, and closer engagement with practice partners. Dr. Giddens has worked to advance the competency expectations for professional nursing program graduates as the Board Liaison to the Essentials Implementation Steering Committee.

Rounds with Leadership

Read the monthly forum from AACN’s Board Chair and President/CEO that offers commentary on issues and trends impacting academic nursing.

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