Founded in 1929, the John A. Hartford Foundation is a champion of health care, education, research and service innovations that will ensure the vitality and well-being of older adults. The Foundation’s overall goal is to increase the nation’s capacity to provide effective and affordable care to a rapidly increasing older population. A crucial cornerstone of this goal is a nation-wide initiative to build strength and capacity within geriatric nursing education and practice. With the coordination of the American Academy of Nursing and under the direction of Dr. Claire M. Fagin, former Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, the Foundation selected five Centers of Geriatric Nursing Excellence. The original schools of nursing to receive these competitive awards were the College of Nursing at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the School of Nursing at Oregon Health & Science University, the School of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Iowa College of Nursing, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing has built a 25-year history of geriatric nursing excellence and interdisciplinary collaborative education, clinical practice, and research. The mission of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence (HCGNE) is to prepare a cadre of highly educated nurses to care for aging baby boomers and promote their functional independence. To accomplish this mission the HCGNE is designing, implementing, and evaluating the outcomes of innovative interdisciplinary programs in education, practice, and research and disseminating our findings.
Examples of our innovations follow:
- Educational strategies to increase the number of geriatric nurses including on-line courses to prepare nursing faculty to teach geriatric nursing content, a BSN Honors program, a BSN to PhD track, and increased emphasis on recruitment of students with a focus on geriatric nursing into our doctoral program
- Practice initiatives to increase functional independence in elders including translational research on falls best practice guidelines and partnering with other agencies to implement and evaluate an integrated model for geriatric care delivery
- Research education and mentoring to prepare nurses to conduct research that will increase functional independence, quality of life, and quality of care for elders including a Summer Grantwriting Workshop, 50% salary support for a Faculty Research Scholar, a pilot grant program, summer salary support for a Summer Faculty Scholar, and post-doctoral fellows
- Disseminating our products to both lay and professional audiences through our web site, a Speakers Bureau, Interdisciplinary Grand Rounds, publications, and presentations at the Gerontological Society of America and Southern Nursing Research Society meetings
As America ages, nurses will play a crucial role in meeting their diverse and unique needs. By the year 2030, our health care system will be caring for a record 70 million older adults and geriatric nursing expertise will be more in demand than ever. Meet 18 leaders in academic geriatric nursing who are featured in the 2010 Annual Report of the John A. Hartford Foundation, and discover how they are promoting wellness; enhancing community services; improving nursing home care; conducting research on elder abuse, hoarding, and dementia; and preparing the next generation of nurses to provide quality care to our aging society. Read more about the John A. Hartford Foundation.