August 2, 2016

CON Seniors Explore Geriatric Options Through Skelly Externship

Aug. 2, 2016 | A select group of soon-to-be College of Nursing seniors spent part of their summer learning the career opportunities available in geriatric nursing, thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Gertrude E. Skelly Charitable Foundation.

The four BSN students, Jeanette Denham Turner, Jennifer Andrade Alvarez, Jonqiuia Barbee and Nicole Cross, are taking part in the Skelly Geriatric Student Nurse Externship Program. The annual program began in 2004 as the John A. Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence Summer Externship in Geriatric Nursing.

During the eight-week program, students explored options in research, education, practice and leadership through working with advanced practice nurses in the UAMS Medical Center, UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging’s Thomas and Lyon Longevity Clinic and the House Calls program.

Each student received $4,000, plus travel to visit UAMS Centers on Aging and multiple conferences over the summer, including the 2016 Governor’s Quality Award Healthcare Seminar.

“With the largest generation of Americans ever entering the latter stages of life and people living longer than ever before, there is a greater demand for nurses interested in geriatrics and gerontology,” said Claudia Beverly, PhD, RN, director of the Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence at UAMS. “We are grateful to the Skelly Foundation has allowed us this opportunity to seek outstanding nursing students interested in a geriatric nursing career.”

Since the program began, 31 students have completed the externship and five are currently, or have been, on faculty in the College of Nursing. Six have completed, or are in the process, of completing a PhD or DNP program and are teaching.

(From left) Jeanette Denham Turner, Nicole Cross, Jennifer Andrade Alvarez and Jonqiuia Barbee, all BSN students in the College of Nursing, took part in the Skelly Geriatric Nurse Externship Program this summer.

(From left) Jeanette Denham Turner, Nicole Cross, Jennifer Andrade Alvarez and Jonqiuia Barbee, all BSN students in the College of Nursing, took part in the Skelly Geriatric Nurse Externship Program this summer.