Health Professions dean completes AACN-Wharton Executive Leadership Program

For immediate release…
Wednesday – July 3, 2013

- The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recently honored Dr. Denise Robinson, dean of the Northern Kentucky University College of Health Professions, as a member of its second class of nursing deans who have successfully completed the AACN-Wharton Executive Leadership Program.

Launched in 2012 in collaboration with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, this world-class enrichment experience is designed exclusively for top academic leaders in schools of nursing. This ground-breaking program, which includes 57 graduates from schools nationwide, is generously sponsored in part by the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence.

“Given the calls to re-envision how nurses are educated and how they practice, today’s nursing leaders must possess the skills associated with building strategic relationships, mobilizing stakeholders, negotiating for resources and ushering in meaningful change,” said Geraldine “Polly” Bednash, AACN chief executive officer. “AACN applauds the latest graduates of the AACN-Wharton program for their commitment to developing the expertise needed to help amplify nursing’s voice in discussions shaping healthcare delivery at the local, state and national levels.”

Using a competitive process, Dr. Robinson was among 21 academic nursing leaders selected this year to participate in the AACN-Wharton program, which convened in Philadelphia June 14-17. These applicants were chosen from a pool of more than 40 individuals with a strong interest in completing this rigorous program. Dr. Robinson was joined by nursing deans from institutions such as the University of South Carolina, Baylor University, La Salle University, Texas Tech University, the University of Maryland and Brigham Young University.

“This wonderful program provided an opportunity to interact and collaborate with academic nursing leaders from across the US as we learned to leverage critical leadership skills in the areas of entrepreneurship, negotiation, strategic planning and leading change,” Dr. Robinson said. “These skills will enable me to lead the College of Health Professions as we strive to accomplish our strategic plan for excellence and in securing the support and funding for our Health Innovation Center.”

The curriculum for the AACN-Wharton program is designed to provide the concepts and tools needed to enhance leadership capacity and hone the skills that are essential to thrive and move forward strategically. The content addresses issues around managing and leading change, influencing and galvanizing a diverse set of stakeholders, and building enterprising relationships in highly volatile environments. Participants leave the program equipped with an advanced set of negotiation, leadership and influencing skills, as well as the confidence and ability to serve on or lead high-powered boards.

For more information on this program, visit

About the American Association of Colleges of Nursing

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 720 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.

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