Headshot of Dr. Jean Giddens with a blurred background.
Jean Giddens, Ph.D., dean of the VCU School of Nursing.

School of Nursing dean named chair-elect of AACN board of directors

The board serves as the governing body of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, which comprises over 840 public and private universities nationwide.

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Jean Giddens, Ph.D., dean and professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing, has been elected to serve a two-year term as chair-elect of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing board of directors. She will assume the role of board chair from 2024-26.

The 14-member board of directors serves as the governing body for AACN. The national voice for academic nursing, AACN comprises over 840 public and private universities nationwide that offer a mix of baccalaureate, graduate and postgraduate nursing programs. AACN works to establish quality standards for nursing education, assists schools in implementing those standards, influences the nursing profession to improve health care and promotes public support for professional nursing education, research and practice.

“I am deeply honored to serve in this leadership role at such a pivotal time in nursing education,” Giddens said. “I’m looking forward to working with board colleagues to continue advancing and transforming academic nursing.”

Prior to her appointment at VCU in 2013, Giddens held several leadership positions at the University of New Mexico College of Nursing, including executive dean from 2010-13, as well as teaching roles at Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University), University of Texas at El Paso and Eastern New Mexico University.

Known for significantly influencing nursing education nationally and for developing innovative teaching and learning strategies, Giddens currently serves on the editorial boards of Nurse Educator and the Journal of Nursing Education and has served as a guest editor for the Journal of Professional Nursing. For AACN, she has served on the board of directors (2019-present), the Vision for Nursing Education Task Force, the finance and nominating committees, and on the program planning committees for the Master’s Education Conference, Executive Development Series and Faculty Development Conference. She most recently served as co-chair of the AACN Essentials Task Force, which completed its charge in April 2021 to delineate competency expectations for graduates of baccalaureate, master’s and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.