Resources for New Deans

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New Dean Mentoring Program

Marlaine Smith, PhD
Dean, Florida Atlantic University,
Chair of the New Dean
Mentoring Program

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 yearlong period of mutual development. 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 mutually-established goals.

Deans are matched according to information completed on the new My AACN system. To participate in the New Dean Mentoring program, please log in to My AACN and go to "Update My Profile" from your personal dashboard. At the bottom of the page, you will see two sections: "Interest in Serving as a Mentor" and "Interest in Being Mentored.” Simply fill out and save the correct profile, and we will contact you with a match within four weeks. Program type, size, and location are 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.

Leadership Development for New Deans

Spring Executive Development Series (EDS): Designed for academic officers who want to polish their executive-level skills. Explore mutual challenges and share winning solutions in a collegial, interactive environment.

Fall Executive Leadership Development Series: AACN's Executive Development Series increases the knowledge and skills needed for successful leadership in a school of nursing at a time of complex and accelerating change in health care and higher education.

AACN-Wharton Executive Leadership Program: This program is open to deans/directors and associate deans/directors from AACN member schools who currently serve as the chief or associate chief nursing academic officer. Registration is limited to 40 participants via this competitive application process. Applications from members aspiring to the above roles or currently in other key leadership positions will be considered as space allows.

Leadership for Academic Nursing Program (LANP): AACN sponsors an executive leadership fellowship tailored specifically for aspiring and new deans. Designed to prepare a more diverse pool of leaders for nursing programs, this professional development experience encompasses an assessment and evaluation of leadership skills, opportunities for strategic networking and case study development, consultation to achieve long-term goals, and identification of key partnerships.

Additional Leadership Development Opportunities

View all AACN Conferences.

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

AACN Webinars

AACN members have access to over 150 archived webinars free of charge. A sampling of topics is listed below. AACN is an accredited provider of continuing education units by ANCC. 

  • Academic-Practice Partnerships
  • CCNE Accreditation
  • Executive Leadership Development in Nursing Academia
  • Government Affairs and Advocacy
  • Incivility
  • Interprofessional Education
  • Quality and Safety Education in Nursing
  • Sustainability in Nursing Education

The Essential Series

The AACN Essentials outline the necessary curriculum content and expected competencies of graduates from baccalaureate, master’s, and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs, as well as the clinical support needed for the full spectrum of academic nursing. 

Orientation Session for New Deans

During the Spring Annual Meeting and Fall Semiannual Meeting there is an Orientation for New Deans and New Members and we encourage those new to their role to attend this very informative session where an overview will be provided regarding membership benefits and opportunities to engage with AACN. On Tuesday morning of the Spring Annual And Fall Semiannual Meetings, the chair of the New Dean Mentoring Program will facilitate a breakfast discussion on Nursing Deans Who are New to their Role.

Books on Leadership

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink
Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Other’s Don’t by Simon Sinek
Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions by John Kotter
The Power of Habit: Why We do What We do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
Rising Strong: The Reckoning, the Rumble, the Revolution by Brené Brown
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek