132 Annual Meeting Logo - Go to APHA Meeting Page  
APHA Logo - Go to APHA Home Page

Enhancing Geriatric Competence of Specialty Nurses: Ensuring Capacity in the Environment of Care

Rita Munley Gallagher, PhD, RNC, Department of Nursing Practice and Policy, American Nurses Association, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 100 west, Washington, DC 20024-2571, 202-651-7062, RGallagher@ANA.org

In the USA, every day 6,000 people reach their 65th birthday. With the exception of those nurses who work in obstetrics and pediatrics, older adults make up the predominant caseload of patients cared for by practicing nurses. Virtually all nurses in the course of their careers care for older adults: providing preventive and wellness care; helping patients manage multiple chronic conditions and deal with increased mental and physical frailty; and facilitating a peaceful death. The need for a workforce prepared to deliver quality health care to the nationís older adults has never been more critical. The evidence is overwhelming that health care professionals with geriatric preparation significantly improve care to older adults. Yet, despite proven outcomes and considerable federal and foundation support, there is a critical shortage of geriatric nurses.

In September, 2002, Atlantic Philanthropies awarded to the American Nurses Association (ANA), through the American Nurses Foundation (ANF), a $5 million, five-year grant to improve the quality of health care by enhancing the competence of nurses to care for aging adults. The grant has three goals: 1) to create permanent structures for geriatric activities in specialty nursing associations; 2) to promote gerontological certification of specialty nurses; and 3) to develop a web-based comprehensive geriatric nursing resource center. This session will focus on the implications of the project for increasing healthy lifestyles in aging adults by enhancing the geriatric competence of specialty nurses and thus ensuring capacity in the environment of care.

Learning Objectives:

  • As a result of attending this session, participants will have the ability to

    Keywords: Nurses, Caregivers

    Related Web page: www.nursingworld.org/nca

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: American Nurses Association; American Nurses Credentialing Center; The John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing
    I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
    Relationship: I am a full-time employee of the American Nurses Association

    Work and the Laborforce in an Aging Society

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA