For Immediate Release
AACN Appoints the Leadership Council of the New
Graduate Nursing Student Academy
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 14, 2013 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is pleased to announce that 10 nursing students have been appointed to serve on the newly formed Leadership Council of the Graduate Nursing Student Academy (GNSA). Following a national call for nominations, the following individuals will formally begin their terms on the Council beginning March 1, 2013:
  • Kristen A. Altdoerffer, University of Maryland
  • Kim Crosby, University of St. Francis
  • Evangeline Dowling, Arizona State University
  • Emily Emma, The George Washington University
  • Shantel M. Gallegos, Colorado State University-Pueblo
  • Teresa L. Hagan, University of Pittsburgh
  • Sarah J. Hoffman, University of Minnesota 
  • J. Michael Leger, University of Texas Medical Branch
  • Michaela Lewis,  Medical University of South Carolina
  • Tonya L. Smith, Indiana Wesleyan University
(Pictured from left to right)

“AACN congratulates this outstanding group for emerging leaders for the courage and commitment they have shown on behalf of their fellow nursing students nationwide,” said AACN President Jane Kirschling. “We look forward to working with the Leadership Council to develop programs and resources that serve the expressed needs of the more than 110,000 nursing students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs in the U.S.”
The GNSA Leadership Council will help set priorities for this new student group and provide advice regarding future services and programming. The newly appointed Council includes seven doctoral students – four PhD and three Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students – and three students enrolled in master’s programs. Council members represent all regions of the country with six enrolled in public institutions and 4 enrolled in private schools.  
Last fall, AACN launched the Graduate Nursing Student Academy to provide high value programs, services, and resources to nursing students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs. The GNSA will help serve the professional development needs of graduate nursing students as they prepare for future careers as faculty members, researchers, advanced practice registered nurses, policy experts, healthcare administrators, and other roles in nursing leadership. 
Open to all graduate students enrolled in AACN-affiliated schools, membership in the GNSA brings many benefits.  Members have access to a free Webinar series on topics of particular interest to graduate students, including career horizons in nursing, leadership development, grant-writing, getting published, and securing research funding. Participating students will receive monthly updates on funding announcements, leadership opportunities, career advancement resources, graduate study success strategies, opportunities for public policy engagement, and related items. GNSA members will connect with fellow students nationwide through an online collaboration community and a variety of social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. 
Last week, the GNSA announced its first webinar featuring HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield titled Pathways to Leadership for the Graduate-Prepared Nurse. More details about this webcast scheduled for February 25, 2013 at 4pm EST are available online at  Only graduate nursing students who are members of the GNSA may register for this special event.
Membership in the GNSA is free to all graduate nursing students enrolled in AACN member schools. To find out more about the GNSA and to meet the new Leadership Council, see
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.
Robert Rosseter, 202-463-6930, ext. 231
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036