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Trautman named AACN’s CEO; Bednash steps down after 28 years

Sunday April 27, 2014
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The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has named Deborah E. Trautman, RN, PhD, as its new CEO, effective June 16.

Appointed by the AACN Board of Directors, Trautman, the executive director of the Center for Health Policy and Healthcare Transformation at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, will replace Geraldine “Polly” Bednash, RN, PhD, FAAN. Bednash announced her retirement last October, ending a 28-year tenure as the association’s CEO.

“I’m honored and excited to take the helm of this important and respected organization,” Trautman said, according to a news release. “My goal is to bolster AACN’s longtime mission of finding new ways to improve the quality of nursing care by re-envisioning traditional nursing roles, strengthening nursing education programs and striving to create a more highly educated nursing workforce.

“As CEO, I will place a high priority on continuing to increase nursing’s visibility, participation and leadership in national efforts to improve health and healthcare. I look forward to working closely with foundations and federal legislators on both sides of the aisle to advocate for programs that support advanced education and leadership development for all nurses, particularly those from under-represented groups.”

AACN President Eileen T. Breslin, RN, PhD, FAAN, who served on the national search committee to identify AACN’s next CEO, said Trautman will be an “outstanding leader.”

“Her impressive achievements, leadership style and vision for the future are an ideal match for advancing AACN’s mission and the priorities of professional nursing education, research and practice,” Breslin said in the news release.

“Dr. Trautman’s strong background in health policy, interprofessional engagement and nursing leadership make her an excellent choice as CEO,” Bednash said in the news release. “I am proud of the progress we’ve made over the past three decades, and I know that my very capable successor will continue this important work on behalf of nurses and the patients we serve.”

In her role at Johns Hopkins, Trautman works with industry leaders across the health professions to increase public and congressional understanding of complex health issues. The Center for Health Policy and Healthcare Transformation was created through a partnership between the university’s schools of medicine, public health and nursing to foster strategic collaborations with policymakers, health practitioners and the general public to advance solutions to improving healthcare nationally and internationally.

Prior to her work at the Center for Health Policy and Healthcare Transformation, Trautman was vice president of Patient Care Services for Howard County General Hospital, which is part of the Johns Hopkins Health System, and director of nursing for Emergency Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. She also holds a joint appointment at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

Trautman has authored and coauthored publications on health policy, intimate partner violence, pain management, clinical competency, change management, cardiopulmonary bypass, use of music in the ED and consolidating emergency services. As a member of the senior leadership at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, she represents the hospital on the Baltimore City Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team.

Trautman received her BSN from West Virginia Wesleyan College, an MSN from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD in health policy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


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