The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has been awarded $1 million in funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to launch a new initiative titled Building COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Among Nurses and in Communities. Although COVID-19 vaccines have been widely available for more than a year, only 64% of the US population is fully vaccinated. As part of this project, AACN will award funding to 10 schools of nursing nationwide to launch targeted campaigns to build confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines and dispel health misinformation.
“Throughout the pandemic, nurses have played a leading role in confronting this public health crisis and keeping communities safe,” said Dr. Deborah Trautman, AACN President and Chief Executive Officer. “Through our new cooperative agreement with the CDC, AACN will provide guidance and support to amplify the efforts underway at nursing schools to overcome vaccine hesitancy, strengthen community partnerships, and share the latest evidence to help individuals make the smart choice when it comes to protecting their health.”
This initiative was developed to help nursing school faculty and students have effective conversations about COVID-19 vaccinations to boost consumer confidence. Participating schools of nursing will undertake a variety of education and outreach activities to reach individuals and populations at risk. These activities include engaging with faculty and staff on how best to share credible COVID-19 vaccine information and respond to misinformation (including on social media); developing learning resources and nursing curricula to improve vaccine confidence; and connecting with health departments and community organizations to reach target populations.
Following a call for letters of intent issued last fall, AACN has identified 10 schools to participate in this important work:
- Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (GA)
- Fayetteville State University School of Nursing (NC)
- Florida State University College of Nursing (FL)
- Loma Linda University School of Nursing (CA)
- McKendree University Division of Nursing (IL)
- Tennessee Tech University Whitson-Hester School of Nursing (TN)
- The University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing (AL)
- University of Houston College of Nursing (TX)
- University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing (MO)
- University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (PA)
To support the work underway at the local level, AACN will provide technical assistance, including strategic guidance and communication support in the form of training, message development, social media outreach, and video production in collaboration with our partners at AACN-TV. This work includes gathering vaccine confidence “success stories” and disseminating these broadly to all nursing schools and healthcare institutions. AACN will create a central online clearinghouse to highlight the work of participating schools, post videos from the funded sites, and share learnings and best practices with the higher education and healthcare communities.