Current opportunities to join our faculty. Learn more

holidng hands

Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence

The Tressa Nese and Helen Diskevich Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence (CGNE) Gero Scholars Program
Penn State Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing


Applications due: August 23, 2021

Program Description

The CGNE at Penn State seeks to improve the lives and health of older adults. This is accomplished through innovative education, rigorous scientific research, community and clinical partnerships, and various efforts to translate best practice evidence into the continuum of care for older adults. Critical to this mission is cultivating undergraduate and graduate student interest in aging science and gerontological nursing.

The Gero Scholars Program provides:

  1. Scholarship support to students who identify an interest in gerontological nursing or aging science
  2. Opportunities to develop knowledge of aging and gerontological nursing research through educational events/seminars and direct engagement with CGNE-affiliated faculty and students
  3. Networking with scholars engaged in aging and gerontological nursing research, policy, and practice
  4. Support to attend a gerontology-focused scientific conference
  5. Engagement with a cohort of students with shared interests
  6. Mentorship by nursing faculty with expertise in aging and gerontological nursing sciences

Scholarships are intended to support students in their pursuit of aging or gerontological nursing research and practice expertise (including potential future enrollment in Penn State’s PhD program in Nursing). Up to five Gero Scholars are selected each year and will receive awards in the amount of $2,400 ($1,200 per semester). In addition, each Scholar may apply for a Conference Travel Scholarship of up to $500 to attend a scientific conference (in person or virtual) relevant to the CGNE Mission during the year in which they participate in the program.

Program Requirements

The Gero Scholars program requires engagement in the following:

  • Gero Scholar Cohort meetings twice per semester
  • CGNE seminars/educational events three times per semester
  • Participation in at least one CGNE outreach event (e.g., assisting with health screenings in the community) during the academic year
  • Completion of at least 10 hours of research activities (e.g., attending research team meetings, shadowing study processes) per semester with a CGNE-affiliated faculty mentor
  • Completion of the Gero Scholars Program final evaluation at the conclusion of Spring semester
  • Serve as champions for the CGNE and gerontological nursing within student and professional groups

To be eligible for the Gero Scholars Program, students must:

  • Be enrolled in a Penn State Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing undergraduate, graduate, or graduate certificate program (full or part-time)
    • All campus locations are eligible
    • BSN students must be entering their junior or senior year
  • Demonstrate interests in aging or gerontological nursing science, including the possibility of pursuing a research doctorate (PhD in Nursing)
  • Identify 3-5 areas of research or practice interest that are relevant to the goals of the CGNE – see the following for more information:

How to Apply

APPLY ONLINE at the following link: Scholars Program Application

  • Only applications submitted by the deadline (August 23, 2021) will be considered
  • Please note that you will be asked to upload your resume or CV with your online application

Selection is based on the following criteria:

  • Alignment of interests with the CGNE Mission and Vision as well as CGNE-affiliated faculty expertise
  • Professional commitment to gerontology
  • Demonstrated academic excellence
  • In addition, preference will be given based on the following:
    • No previous support received from the Gero Scholars Program Scholarship
    • Not currently enrolled in a PhD program
    • Plan to graduate in the next 12 months

If you have any questions, please contact Nikki Hill, The Tressa Nese and Helen Diskevich Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence Associate Director of Educational Excellence, at