Deborah E. Trautman Named Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2014 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) today named Deborah E. Trautman, PhD, RN, as its new chief executive officer, effective June 16. Dr. Trautman currently serves as executive director of the Center for Health Policy and Healthcare Transformation at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Appointed by the AACN Board of Directors, Dr. Trautman will replace Geraldine Polly Bednash, PhD, RN, FAAN, who has served with distinction as AACN’s CEO for 28 years. Dr. Bednash announced her retirement last October.

“I’m honored and excited to take the helm of this important and respected organization,” Dr. Trautman said. “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 health care. 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,” Dr. Trautman added.

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

“Dr. Trautman’s strong background in health policy, inter-professional engagement, and nursing leadership make her an excellent choice as CEO,” Dr. Bednash said. “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 current role at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Dr. 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 policy makers, 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, Dr. Trautman served as the Vice President of Patient Care Services for Howard County General Hospital, which is part of the Johns Hopkins Health System, and as 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.

Dr. Trautman has authored and coauthored publications on health policy, intimate partner violence, pain management, clinical competency, change management, cardiopulmonary bypass, the use of music in the emergency department, 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.

Dr. Trautman also serves as an advisory board member and chair for Academy Health’s Interdisciplinary Research Interest Group on Nursing Issues. She has served as a Magnet Appraiser Fellow for the American Nurses Association Credentialing Center Commission on Accreditation and as an advisory committee member for the navigator and enrollment committee of the Maryland Health Insurance Exchange.

She was a 2007-2008 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow and worked for the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, then-Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Dr. Trautman has been a strong ally of AACN’s advocacy work since her stint on Capitol Hill. She has been a regular presenter at AACN’s annual conferences, Student Policy Summit, and Faculty Policy Intensive program and presented last October as part of the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Conference coordinated by AACN on behalf of the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare.

Dr. 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’s Department of Public Policy.



The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing 750 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.