Leading Initiatives

AACN Launches New Graduate Nursing Student Academy

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Press Release
For Immediate Release

AACN Launches New Graduate Nursing Student Academy to
Enhance Services and Programs for Future Nursing Leaders

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 1, 2012 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is pleased to announce the formation of the new Graduate Nursing Student Academy (GNSA) created to provide high value programs, services, and resources to nursing students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs. Through the GNSA, AACN will focus on meeting the professional development needs of graduate nursing students who are poised to assume leadership roles within the profession, including service as future faculty members and researchers.

“Preparing the next generation of nurses to lead change and foster innovation in academic, research, and practice settings is a priority for the association,” said AACN President Jane Kirschling. “AACN stands ready to leverage its resources and work collaboratively with stakeholders to move more nursing students into graduate programs and to offer enrichment opportunities for this important student population.”

AACN has a long history of providing services and guidance for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in schools of nursing. This support manifests in the form of scholarships, Webinars, conference discounts, an online collaboration community, information sharing, advocacy engagement, internships, and most recently, the annual Student Policy Summit and NursingCAS. Within the larger nursing student population, AACN has a strong interest in serving the unique needs of the more than 110,000 students pursuing master’s, PhD, and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees. Since future faculty and researchers will be drawn from this group, AACN is looking to expand efforts to provide information and resources to encourage graduate students to complete their formal study and consider careers in academia.

National Graduate Nursing Student Survey Underway

Approved by the AACN Board of Directors in March 2012, the GNSA will build on the association’s existing student services by offering new programming based on the expressed needs of graduate students. AACN’s initial assessment efforts, which included numerous one-on-one interviews, found that graduate students are interested in Webinars and programming focused on leadership development, career pathways, advance practice role exploration, securing research funding, grant writing, and succeeding in teaching positions.

To further determine the needs of graduate nursing students and the unique role that AACN can play in meeting those needs, AACN is launching an online survey to capture input directly from student constituents. This brief survey, which may be accessed at http://www.aacn.nche.edu/students/gnsa/services-survey, will ask students to identify how the GNSA can advance their professional development. Questions focus on programming priorities, potential Webinar topics, volunteer opportunities within the GNSA, and social media preferences. To encourage a robust survey response, students completing the survey will be placed in a drawing to win a free Kindle Fire. Survey responses need to be submitted by September 30.

Though the official rollout of the GNSA will occur at AACN’s Fall Semiannual Meeting in October 2012, AACN has created a new section on our Web site with information tailored to graduate nursing students. These online resources include:

  • AACN’s new Guide to Graduate Nursing Programs
  • Scholarship information for graduate nursing study
  • Links to student membership opportunities at colleague nursing organizations
  • Career resources for new nursing school graduates

For more information on the Graduate Nursing Student Academy, resources for graduate students, and the online survey, see http://www.aacn.nche.edu/students/gnsa.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 700 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN's educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. www.aacn.nche.edu



Robert Rosseter, 202-463-6930, ext. 231