April 8, 2016

U.K. Nurse Visits UAMS to Draw on Expertise

Claudia Beverly and Juliana ThompsonApril 8, 2016 | A United Kingdom educator in adult nursing visited UAMS recently to draw on the gerontological nursing expertise of the Hartford Center for Gerontological Nursing.

The U.K.’s Juliana Thompson, Ph.D., R.N., and UAMS’ Claudia Beverly, Ph.D., R.N. are confident their recent meeting will establish a vibrant interchange on the care of older adults that will benefit both scholars, colleagues and students for years to come.

Thompson, a lecturer in adult nursing at Northumbria University Newcastle, met extensively with Beverly during a week-long visit to UAMS in March to learn more about older adult care in the U.S.

Thompson is one of three nurses in the UK to receive the Florence Nightingale Foundation Travel Award this year. Her research focuses on nursing home care and her visit was prompted by recent UK government policies which aim to integrate health and social care services. Thompson said it has led health care providers to look to leaders in older adult care, like the United States, to gain more knowledge and a better understanding of how to successfully integrate services.

“There is a lot of enthusiasm and compassion that the faculty and staff at UAMS have for aging adults and the care they receive,” said Thompson. “There’s also an incredible amount of innovation and research being done here that is quite inspiring.”

As universities in the UK review curricula for nursing education programs to reflect the move towards integrated care, Thompson said she was happy to learn about the curriculum for UAMS’ gerontological nursing programs, both undergraduate and graduate, as well as distance education opportunities.

“Addressing our long-term preparation of nurses is a vital step to improving care, so the advice and insight from Dr. Beverly and others at UAMS on how the curriculum works was helpful,” she said.

Thompson was also able to tour multiple nursing homes to learn the inner workings of a typical U.S. facility.

“In the U.K., there are differences in organization, funding and care, which create many barriers to a smooth integration of the health and social services,” said Thompson. “It was crucial to see how nursing homes in the U.S. are structured and operated.”

Beverly said she hopes Thompson’s visit was the just beginning of a long-term relationship that would foster idea sharing and improved care.

“This kind of relationship stimulates innovation and creativity,” said Beverly. “Care for older adults is the same, regardless of the setting. Our vision is for older adults to have the best quality of life they can have and interchanges like this help us attain that goal