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WSC participates in innovative Geriatric Nursing Faculty Development Program sponsored by U of M School of Nursing

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
Posted by Bo Saeton

August 20, 2012
For Immediate release
For more information, contact Linda Tharp at 774-4290 

WSC participates in innovative Geriatric Nursing Faculty Development Program sponsored by U of M School of Nursing  

WILLISTON, N.D.  - Dr. Becky Brodell a nursing instructor at the WSC-Minot site, attended the Faculty Learning About Geriatrics (FLAG) summer institute, Aug. 6-9, 2012, at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus, joining representatives from 24 schools, universities and tribal colleges from across the country.  The year-long FLAG program offered by the MN Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence (MnHCGNE) enhances the geriatric nursing knowledge and resources of nursing faculty in order to better prepare the future nursing workforce to care for the rapidly growing elderly population. 

Adults aged 65 years and older are expected to almost double, from 37 million to over 70 million between 2005 and 2020 accounting for an increase from 12 percent of the U.S. population to almost 20 percent.  According to a 2008 report from the Institute of Medicine, the number of older patients with complex health needs will outpace the number of health care providers with the knowledge and skill to care for them.   The FLAG program at the University of Minnesota is designed to help ease the projected health care worker shortage that will care for aging baby boomers by helping faculty prepare skilled geriatric nurses. 

Faculty members from associate and higher degree nursing programs are eligible to apply to become a FLAG Fellow.  Each year Fellows attend a one-week summer institute at the University of Minnesota, followed by a yearlong mentorship around a specific geriatric nursing educational project.  The program directed by nationally recognized leaders in geriatric nursing education, Merrie Kaas, DNSc, RN, CS, and Kathleen Krichbaum, PhD, RN, ANEF, provides learning experiences and resources related to teaching and evaluation including use of technology enhanced learning strategies, geriatric nursing, academic leadership, and informatics. 

 "This program serves as a model for how to strengthen geriatric nursing education in schools throughout the country," said Jean Wyman, PhD, RN, FAAN, director of the MnHCGNE at the University of Minnesota. "It will have significant impact on the care of older adults through the large numbers of students reached by the courses taught by the FLAG Fellows."   

This FLAG program is sponsored by the John A. Hartford Foundation, through its support of the MN Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing, and the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. 

The University of Minnesota School of Nursing is ranked among the nation's top nursing schools. It is a leader in nursing research and has a combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment of approximately 850 students. The school produces 55 percent of the faculty in Minnesota's public and private nursing schools, advanced practice nurses and nurses who can assume leadership positions. It is the oldest continuously-operated, university-based school of nursing. The School of Nursing is one of six schools and colleges in the Academic Health Center, one of the most comprehensive facilities for health professionals in the nation, fostering interdisciplinary study, research and education. For more information, visit www.nursing.umn.edu 

The MnHCGNE seeks to advance the care of older adults by preparing nursing faculty from diverse backgrounds who can provide leadership in geriatric nursing at all levels of academic nursing programs and at tribal colleges in the Upper Midwest. The center at the University of Minnesota's School of Nursing is a part of the Hartford Geriatric Nursing Initiative (HGNI) that has prepared professional nurses to play leadership roles in improving the health and health care of older adults. 

Founded in 1929, the John A. Hartford Foundation is a committed champion of training, research and service system innovations that promote the health and independence of America's older adults.  Through its grant making, the Foundation seeks to strengthen the nation's capacity to provide effective, affordable care to this rapidly increasing older population by educating "aging-prepared" health professionals (physicians, nurses, social workers), and developing innovations that improve and better integrate health and supportive services.  The Foundation was established by John A. Hartford.  Mr. Hartford and his brother, George L. Hartford, both former chief executives of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, left the bulk of their estates to the Foundation upon their deaths in the 1950s.  Additional information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.jhartfound.org.