New Dean Mentoring Program

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Rosemary Smith, PhD
Dean, University of
Chair of the New Dean
Mentoring Program

 As you find yourself in a new role:  "Dean, Chairperson or Director".....meaning the highest nurse leader in your organization, it is natural to long for support in a new job.  The New Dean Mentoring program fills that need by pairing an experienced nurse leader with you for support and networking.  Mentors and mentees alike report growing professionally and enjoying the mutual problem-solving associated with leading a nursing program or school in the twenty-first century.  

The New Dean Mentoring Program, formerly known as the Leadership Network, is an outgrowth of the Executive Development Series, AACN's semiannual workshops to develop the knowledge base and skills that are necessary to lead a nursing program in today's complex and changing environment.

AACN's New Dean Mentoring Program matches an experienced AACN-member dean with a member who is new to the dean's role for a period of mutual development. AACN members volunteer to participate in the program. New deans determine the areas of concern to them and establish the method and frequency of communication with their mentors. Mentors counsel and advise their new dean colleagues on the role of the dean and familiarize them with AACN member services and activities, in addition to accomplishing the goals set by the new dean.

Deans are matched according to their responses to a questionnaire located in the new My AACN system. To submit your responses for the New Dean Mentoring program please login to My AACN and go to "Update My Profile" from your personal dashboard. The questionnaire is titled "Interest in Serving as a Mentor" and "Interest in Being Mentored". Program type, size, and location are also taken into account when matching mentors and new deans. Following confirmation of mentoring matches, participants will receive materials to assist them in developing a successful mentoring relationship. The materials can also be found at the bottom of this page.


Dean 101 webinar series

Part I: Secrets for Success - Qualities and Skills for an Effective Dean

Part II: Legal Aspects of Academic Nursing

Part III: Cultivating Student Relations

Part IV: Developing Effective Faculty Relations

Part V: Strategic Effectiveness in a Challenging Economic Environment

Part VI: External Affairs Fund-raising and Friend-raising for your Nursing Program

Leadership for Academic Nursing Program

The Leadership for Academic Nursing Program, supported by the Helene Fuld Health Trust, is to enhance the leadership capabilities of:

  • Individuals aspiring to lead academic nursing organizations and,
  • Individuals, new to the role, serve as the chief academic administrator of baccalaureate or graduate nursing programs.

The year long program provides the participant with a focused assessment experience, a range of content and case studies related to successful leadership, and the opportunity to establish networks of mentors or peers for development of long term partnerships for shared growth and development. The participants are classified as "Fellows."

The mentoring component of the program is a process in which a request for mentors is disseminated to AACN members. In order to qualify as a mentor for the program, the dean must have four or more years of experience in the decanal role. All qualified mentors with biographical information are listed on a password protected website and the leadership Fellows select mentors in priority of preference. Matching of mentors and Fellows is done based on preference. Generally this program has a ratio of 1:3 mentors to fellows; consequently, mentors will have 1-3 fellows assigned.

The mentoring relationship, initiated by a written contract, officially lasts for ten months or until the end of the one year program. However, the relationship may be extended informally for a period of time determined by the mentor and the Fellow.

Click here for a link to the Leadership for Academic Nursing Program.

General Mentoring Information

During the Spring Annual Meeting and Fall Semiannual Meeting there is a mentoring session and we encourage those interested in the mentoring programs to attend, even if you have not been paired with a mentor or mentee.