Media Relations

Dr. Jane Kirschling from the University of Kentucky Assumes Presidency

Share |

Press Release
For Immediate Release

Dr. Jane Kirschling from the University of Kentucky Assumes Presidency
of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing

Newly Elected Executive Committee Members include President-Elect Eileen Breslin, Treasurer Margaret Callahan, and Secretary Juliann Sebastian; Drs. Ann Cary, Eleanor Howell, and Joanne Warner Join the Board as Members-at-Large

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 26, 2012 – Jane Kirschling, DNS, RN, FAAN, dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Kentucky, was elected to serve a two-year term as president of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).  Dr. Kirschling assumed the presidency at AACN’s 2012 Spring Business Meeting held in Washington, D.C. earlier today.

“The Institute of Medicine, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and other authorities are all calling for transformation in how registered nurses are prepared to practice and lead across care settings,” said Dr. Kirschling. “As AACN’s President, I am looking forward to answering this call for decisive action by working closely with member schools and all stakeholders to shape future AACN initiatives that advance innovation and leadership in nursing education, research, and practice."

An alumnus of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program, Dr. Jane Kirschling has served as Dean and Professor of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing since 2006. Previously she held administrative and faculty positions at the University of Southern Maine (Dean and Professor, College of Nursing and Health Professions), University of Rochester (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor, School of Nursing), and Oregon Health & Science University (Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Professor). She received her BSN from Viterbo College in LaCrosse, Wisconsin and her MSN and DNS from Indiana University School of Nursing.

Dr. Kirschling’s clinical expertise is in mental health nursing with a focus on end-of-life care. Earlier in her career her scholarship focused on family caregivers for persons with a terminal illness and grief following the loss of a family member. For over a decade Dr. Kirschling’s scholarship has focused on workforce development with a special emphasis on rural states. She founded the Kentucky Nursing Capacity Consortium and co-convenes Kentucky’s Action Coalition, which is working to implement the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 recommendations on the Future of Nursing.

At the University of Kentucky, Dr. Kirschling serves on the Center for Interprofessional HealthCare Education, Research and Practice Board of Directors. Along with AACN past President Dr. Kathleen Long from the University of Florida, she represented AACN on the Expert Panel that developed the Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice, sponsored by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative. In addition to serving on the AACN Board of Directors since 2003, Dr. Kirschling has been active in the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, serving as President of the Board of Directors in 2002 and 2003. She also has been an active member of Sigma Theta Tau International – The Honor Society of Nursing. Most recently she co-chaired the International Advisory Council of Chief Nursing Officers and Deans (2007-2009).

Newly elected members of AACN’s Executive Committee include:

  • Eileen Breslin, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean of the School of Nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, assumed the role of AACN President-Elect and will serve as President from 2014-2016.  Prior to her current academic appointment, Dr. Breslin was Dean of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst School of Nursing (1998-2008) and Professor and Chair of the Department of Nursing at Northern Arizona University where she held several faculty appointments from 1983-1998. Her longtime service on the AACN Board includes the role of Treasurer (2005-2009), Member-at-Large (2001-2005), and member of the Government Affairs Committee (1994-1998; 2011-2012). Dr. Breslin also represented AACN at the American Nurses Association Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics and as a member of the AACN/Department of Veterans Affairs Liaison Committee. Dr. Breslin’s most recent honors include the National President’s Award from the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and the Sigma Theta Tau Image Maker Award. She is a fellow of both the American Academy of Nursing and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, as well as a Distinguished Practitioner in Nursing of the National Academies of Practice.
  • Margaret Faut Callahan, PhD, CRNA, FNAP, FAAN, Dean of the College of Nursing at Marquette University, was elected to serve as Treasurer through 2014, filling the unexpired term of retiring Board Member Janet Allan from the University of Maryland. She will begin her service as Treasurer on July 1. An active member of AACN’s Finance Committee, Dr. Callahan also serves on the Clinical Review Panel for the National Institute of Nursing Research, as a Trustee for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Foundation, and as a Senior On-Site Visitor for the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs/Schools.
  • Juliann Sebastian, PhD, RN, CNS-BC, FAAN, dean of the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing, was re-elected to the AACN Board as Secretary.  Prior to her current appointment in Nebraska, she served as Dean of the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Nursing (2006-2011) and in several capacities at the University of Kentucky, including Assistant Dean for advanced practice nursing and Co-director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program. Her dedicated service to AACN includes chairing the Task Force on the Master’s Essential Tool Kit, serving as the Board’s liaison to the Task Force on the Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing, and serving as a member of the Task Force on the Essentials of Nursing Education for the Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Three Members-at-Large were elected to the AACN Board this year, including:

  • Ann Cary, PhD, MPH, RN, A-CCC, Director of the School of Nursing at Loyola University New Orleans, was elected to serve a two-year term on the Board.  A member of AACN’s Finance Committee, she has actively served the association as Chair and Vice Chair of the Organizational Leadership Network, as a State Grassroots Liaison, and a Like-Schools Discussion Group Facilitator. An alumnus of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program, Dr. Cary currently serves as Chair of the Jesuit Conference of Nursing Programs for the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and Initiator of the DNP Consortium-Jesuit Consortium Initiative.
  • Joanne Warner, PhD, RN, Dean of the University of Portland School of Nursing, was also elected to serve a two-year Board term.  She recently chaired the AACN Task Force on the Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing and is active in the AACN’s State Grassroots Liaison program.  Dr. Warner currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Oregon Center for Nursing and on the boards for the Northwest Organization of Nurse Executives and the Northwest Parish Nursing Ministries.
  • Re-elected this year to a second two-year term on the AACN Board of Directors was Eleanor Howell, PhD, RN, dean of the Creighton University School of Nursing. Former chair of the Nebraska Assembly of Nursing Deans and Directors, Dr. Howell has served as dean at Creighton University for the last nine years and has been active in AACN on the Program Committee, Executive Development Series Subcommittee, and State Grassroots Liaison program. Dr Howell will continue in her role as chair of AACN’s Membership Committee. She also serves as an on-site evaluator and team leader with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Two newly elected members to AACN’s Nominating Committee also were announced at the Spring Annual Meeting. Elected to serve two-year terms were:

  • Carole Kenner, PhD, RNC-NIC, NNP, FAAN, Dean of the School of Nursing at Northeastern University, who is an active member of AACN’s State Grassroots Liaison program and frequent presenter for the association’s leadership development programs. Dr. Kenner also serves as President and Founder of the Council of International Neonatal Nurses. 
  • Kristen Swanson, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor of the School of Nursing at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, recently served as a member of AACN’s Doctoral Conference Planning Committee. An alumnus of the RWJF Nurse Executive Fellows program, Dr. Swanson serves as president of the North Carolina Council of Deans/Directors for Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs.           

EDITORS NOTE: Photos of all new AACN Board members are available upon request.  Please contact

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 690 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.



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