Media Relations

AACN & CDC Partner to Advance the Public Health Nursing Workforce

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Press Release
For Immediate Release

AACN Partners with the CDC to Strengthen the Nation’s
Public Health Nursing Workforce
New five-year initiative focuses on nurse faculty development and
experiential learning for nursing students

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 11, 2012 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is pleased to announce the establishment of a new five-year cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help build capacity in the public health nursing workforce. With the agreement commencing August 15, 2012, the CDC’s Scientific Education and Professional Development Program Office has awarded AACN funding to support faculty development in the area of population health and connect nursing students with hands-on experiences at the community level to enhance their preparation for professional practice.

“AACN believes that educating all nurses with significant content in public health and providing diverse experiential learning experiences to reinforce these concepts are essential to improving the quality of nursing care and the overall health of the nation,” said AACN President Jane Kirschling. “AACN welcomes the opportunity to work with the CDC and academic partner organizations to offer faculty development programming and student enrichment opportunities that will fortify our public health workforce.”

This landmark agreement marks the first time that a national nursing organization has been invited to partner with the CDC in a manner consistent with arrangements in place for associations representing physicians and public health professionals. For more than 10 years, the CDC has maintained cooperative agreements with the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association of Prevention Teaching and Research, and the Association of Schools of Public Health to support public health workforce development.  AACN is proud to be included among these organizations and looks forward to working with colleague organizations focused on advancing public health, including the Quad Council for Public Health Nursing Organizations.

The new AACN-CDC cooperative agreement drives improvement of health outcomes by strengthening academia’s linkages to public health practice through:

  • improved integration of public health concepts into nursing education programs
  • increased hands-on experience for students working with communities and public health partners
  • an expanded fellowship model that opens the door for field placements in health agencies and communities
  • fostering inter-professional collaboration and learning in health professional education
  • providing options for other workforce improvement projects

As the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, AACN is acutely aware of the need to enhance the preparation of public health professionals and build workforce capacity in this area. Through this new initiative, the association will leverage its expertise and affiliations to measurably increase the population of faculty with the knowledge and skills needed to teach public health; provide tools and resources for integrating public health concepts into nursing curriculum; promote best practices related to the use of public health settings as clinical learning sites; incentivize nursing schools to increase the number of graduates from public health nursing programs; and provide learning opportunities, career guidance, and resources that lead nursing students into public health careers. Additionally, AACN will serve as the national coordinator for CDC-identified Workforce Improvement Projects as well as for fellowship and internship programs related to public health nursing.
“AACN welcomes this unique opportunity to engage academic nursing leaders, faculty, and students in efforts that promote and magnify the CDC’s efforts to strengthen the nation’s public health infrastructure,” added Dr. Kirschling.

More information about AACN’s work with the CDC will be available in the coming weeks. AACN is also developing new Web resources to support the goals of this cooperative agreement that will be posted online at


The American Association of Colleges of Nursing is the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate 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. For more information, visit


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