- The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) represents academic nursing on a national level. AACN promotes public support for professional nursing education, research, and practice by working to establish quality standards for nursing education, assisting schools in implementing those standards, influencing the nursing profession to improve health care, and influencing the nursing profession to improve health care.
AACN now represents over 850 member nursing schools at public and private universities across the country, up from 121 member institutions in 1969. These institutions provide baccalaureate, graduate, and post-graduate programs. Though the association represents the entire academic enterprise, including faculty, administrative personnel, and students, the dean or chief nurse administrator acts as the representation to AACN. For nursing school professors and staff interested in instructional development, research, organizational leadership, faculty practice, business operations, graduate student recruitment, and communications/development, the AACN maintains seven Leadership Networks. Each network organizes an annual gathering for its members.
Curriculum Standards for AACN Programs:
- The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has directed the development of a series of Essentials documents that establish competency requirements for graduates of baccalaureate, master’s, and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs using a nationwide consensus-based process.
- Schools of nursing can use these documents to guarantee that their educational programs adhere to the highest standards and that they comply with accreditation rules. Quality indicators for research-focused doctoral programs, a white paper on the Clinical Nurse Leader, and recommendations defining the key clinical resources for nursing education, research, and faculty practice have all been published by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Health Policy Advocacy:
- AACN seeks to influence public policy on nursing education, research, and practice through government relations and other campaignings.
- The American Association of Colleges of Nursing is a leader in obtaining long-term government funding for nursing education and research, changing legislative and regulatory policy that affects nursing schools, and ensuring that nursing students have access to financial aid.
Research and Data Services
- Each year, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) conducts a survey of all baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs as part of its efforts to maintain the Institutional Data System, a comprehensive databank that includes current statistics on student enrollments and graduations, faculty salaries and demographics, budgets, institutional resources, and other trends in baccalaureate and graduate nursing education.
- Several annual reports help member schools evaluate their work and make policy decisions.
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