Established in 2007, the Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence at Penn State represents a thoughtful response to the national nursing faculty shortage – one targeted to preparing faculty members who possess broad expertise in the care of our country’s rapidly growing population of older adults and who are committed to teaching the next generation of nurses, especially in underserved rural areas.
Our center is strategically positioned to succeed in this targeted response for several reasons. Pennsylvania has one of the largest populations of adults over the age of 65 in the nation, many of whom live in rural areas. Penn State’s College of Nursing, centrally located on the University Park campus in State College, has ten other campuses across the state that serve highly motivated learners who live and work in rural areas. Our College of Nursing also has an impressive and growing portfolio of geriatric nursing research led by nationally known faculty with expertise both in gerontology and education.
The Geriatric Center has developed a broad palette of enrichment opportunities available not just to College of Nursing students, but to students and faculty members across the University as well as teachers and practitioners in the community. These programs include:
- Semi-annual colloquia with national and international researchers and policy-makers whose work is shaping the health and welfare of older adults
- Monthly scholars seminars on a variety of topics relevant to the needs of older adults
- Videoconferenced journal club meetings for nurses across central Pennsylvania and as far away as Virginia, providing continuing education credit at no charge
- Online continuing education courses in gerontological nursing, offered at no charge
- Semi-annual joint scholars seminars with faculty members and graduate students in gerontological nursing at the University of Pennsylvania
- Teaching certification through the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence and Penn State’s Graduate School Teaching Certificate program.
The center provides funding to graduate students who attend conferences and who present their own research at regional and national scientific meetings. In this way, we not only prepare geriatric nurse educators, we help to build and disseminate the unique body of nursing knowledge that will improve the health care of older adults.