Dr. Eileen Breslin, the current University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSC) School of Nursing dean and professor, has been selected as the new president of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Elected to serve a two-year term, the president commented at the ceremony that she is looking forward to taking on the new role by working closely with member schools, staff, and all stakeholders.
The goal is to shape future AACN initiatives that advance leadership in nursing education, research, and practice. “Preparing the next generation of nurses to be thought leaders is critical to ushering in meaningful change at the highest levels of health care and higher education,” she said.
Dr. Breslin’s career started as an assistant professor at the Northern Arizona University, where she also served as a tenured professor and chair of the Department of Nursing from 1989 through 1998. Afterward, she moved to the School of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst, where she served as a dean for ten years. There, she was able to lead major initiatives that included women’s health and public health issues, such as a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, a Clinical Nurse Leader program, and a dual Master of Science and Master of Public Health program.
At the School of Public Health & Health Sciences, also in Massachusetts-Amherst, she served as an interim dean for three years. Later, in 2008, Dr. Breslin joined the School of Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center and holds an appointment as Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston.
In 1977, Dr. Breslin received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Northern Arizona University. One year later, she earned her women’s health care practitioner certification from the University of New Mexico, and in 1983, she finished her master’s degree in maternal-newborn nursing, from the University of Arizona. In 1992, she earned her PhD in nursing at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
Dr. Breslin’s has been serving AACN since 1994, and has been recognized as a Distinguished Practitioner in Nursing by the National Academies of Practice in 2000. Besides that, she was also honored with the National President’s Award from the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and the Sigma Theta Tau Image Maker Award, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
The new AACN president had already represented the association at the American Nurses Association Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics, as a member of the AACN/Department of Veterans Affairs Liaison Committee.