The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to more than 98 million by 2060. With a majority of its 150 faculty members focused on building healthier futures for older adults, the University of Arizona College Of Nursing proudly joined the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence (NHCGNE). The NHCGNE is a collaboration of national and international schools and institutions committed to a mission of enhancing the capacity and competency of nurses to provide quality care for older adults. The mission is accomplished through advancing gerontological nursing science, providing faculty development, facilitating adoption of best practices, fostering leadership and designing and shaping policy.
“The growth of the older adult population is bringing with it the growth of complex health needs,” said UA College of Nursing Clinical Professor Cheryl Lacasse, PhD, RN, OCN, co-chair of the College’s Gerontological Interest Group (GIG). “We want to ensure that the nursing workforce is expert at promoting the best possible quality of life as people age.”
With a strong base of clinical research around diverse and often underserved populations, and with a special focus on older adults, UA College of Nursing faculty study healthy aging and coordination of complex care needs of older adults across the care continuum, ranging from complex chronic conditions to palliative care. Additional plans for the future include partnerships with local assisted living facilities and collaborations with the Arizona Center on Aging, the Arizona Gerontological Nursing Association and the Arizona Geriatrics Society.
“Membership in the National Hartford Center supports research which broadens the potential to improve the care of aging adults,” said Associate Professor Janice D. Crist, PhD, RN, FNGNA, FAAN, co-chair of the GIG. “Additionally, we will increase students’ leadership skills in translating knowledge into actual improved care.”
By becoming a part of the NHCGNE, the UA College of Nursing is bolstering access to sources developed by NHCGNE experts, opportunities to ability to compete for innovation awards and research planning grants and faculty development and career consultations, to name just a few benefits. It will enhance recognition of the UA College of Nursing as one of the nation’s leaders in the growing body of practice and policy changing knowledge for improving gerontological nursing and health.