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Dean Frantz to Serve as AACN Committee Chair for DNP Summit

Rita Frantz

WASHINGTON – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) will be convening stakeholders from education, practice, and research for a national summit on the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree in spring 2013.

The AACN board of directors agreed to host the National Dialogue on Quality and Excellence in DNP Education as a follow-up to a meeting held in August 2012 by the nursing deans affiliated with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). Dr. Rita Frantz, dean from the University of Iowa College of Nursing, is serving as chair of the planning committee for the summit, which also will include representatives from national health care organizations, certifying and accrediting bodies, practice leaders, nurse educators, and other key constituents.

“The rapid transition to the Doctor of Nursing Practice is transforming how nurses are being prepared to serve in advanced practice roles as well as nurse administrators, faculty, and leaders,” said AACN President Jane Kirschling. “A change of this magnitude presents many challenges and has raised questions about the need to maintain academic rigor and clinical scholarship in DNP programs. AACN welcomes the opportunity to bring stakeholders together to address emerging issues and build consensus around the future of DNP education and practice.”

In October 2004, AACN member schools voted to endorse the Position Statement on the Practice Doctorate in Nursing, which called for moving the level of preparation for advanced nursing practice from the master’s to the doctoral degree by the target date of 2015. In the eight years since this position was taken, nursing schools have made great strides toward realizing this vision with 184 DNP programs now enrolling students in 42 states. In addition to the programs currently available, another 101 programs are in planning stages. Last year, enrollment in these programs grew by 28.9 percent, with 9,094 students now enrolled in DNP programs.

As a precursor to the national summit next spring, AACN will feature a forum on the DNP as part of the annual Doctoral Education Conference planned for January 23-26, 2013 in San Diego, CA. With programming reflecting the theme “Creating the Future of Doctoral Education,” the conference will feature robust sessions on both research- and practice-focused doctoral programs, including a half-day session on challenges, opportunities, and trends related to the transition to the DNP. Registration for the Doctoral Education Conference is now underway at

More information about the national DNP summit and the forum offered at AACN’s doctoral conference in January will be available in mid-November. For more information on the Doctor of Nursing Practice and AACN’s work to facilitate the advancement of this degree, go to

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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

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Nov 8th, 2012