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Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence

Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence

WE ARE an interdisciplinary community of clinicians, nurse educators, researchers, scientists, and learners whose leadership involves actively improving health care and quality of life for older adults in America. The Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence (CGNE) establishes and maintains affiliations and collaborative partnerships with various community members, strategic partners, and organizations on a local and regional basis, throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and in countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

CGNE was established in 2007 with a mission to prepare a growing number of nurse educators who possess both the passion and the expertise to create the future of gerontological nursing education and practice.

CGNE collaborates with and provides programming for all Penn State campuses, including six satellite sites, other colleges and departments, and World Campus online education.

CGNE Annual Report

The 2019 CGNE Annual Report provides a comprehensive view of the center’s priorities and accomplishments over the last year.

2020 CGNE Student Champion Award Winners

Congratulations to Jyostsana Parajuli and Mary Elizabeth Davis! We look forward to your future accomplishments!


The Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence strives to improve the lives of older adults in positive and person-centered ways. We accomplish this through the promotion of cognitive, emotional/behavioral, and physical health. Faculty, staff, and students have been actively engaged in our vision for many years, with the initiation and development of our center providing a focused and rich opportunity to enhance expertise in gerontology.

Our academic center of excellence:

  • develops innovative and integrated programs of education
  • conducts rigorous clinical and translational research
  • engages in various community outreach activities

Our work:

  • prepares nursing and other leaders with the necessary expertise and commitment in the care of older adults
  • provides cutting-edge research findings to address problems and identify best practice approaches
  • shares knowledge and strategies to promote well-being for older adults and their families

To improve gerontology and meet the demands of this growing industry, our team forges collaborative relationships with:

  • other faculty
  • clinical practice and research partners
  • colleges and universities
  • health-care providers
  • community members

Four Pillars of the CGNE Strategic Plan

  1. Educational Excellence — developing and implementing innovative nursing and inter-professional education in gerontology to better prepare nurses and improve interdisciplinary approaches to care.
  2. Scientific Research — supporting and conducting studies to advance science in the health and care of older adults with an emphasis on an age-friendly and person-centered care model.
  3. Translation of Best Practice — applying and disseminating evidence-based clinical practices into the continuum of care for older adults to improve health and quality-of-life outcomes.
  4. Strategic Partnerships and Sustainability — establishing community and clinical partnerships to better implement and sustain our vision and mission.

What motivates and guides our mission

  • By 2050, the number of Americans age 60 and older is projected to double from 11 percent (in 2007) to 22 percent, reaching 88.5 million. (report from Age-Friendly Health Systems 2.0)
  • By 2030, the United States will need an estimated 36,000 (????) and 3.5 million health care providers with expertise in gerontology to care for older adults in a variety of settings. (Retooling for an Aging America, The Institute of Medicine, 2008)
  • Older adults face multiple chronic diseases and are on multiple medications that challenge their capacity for positive functioning and well-being.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Our continuum-of-care system for older adults and caregivers (both formal and informal) lacks the resources necessary to meet many of these challenges.

Financial Support

Operations for the CGNE’s first eight years were supported with a grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation. More recently, the CGNE has received leadership support from:

  • Abramson Center for Jewish Life
  • Dr. Donald Ford (former dean, Penn State College of Health and Human Development)
  • Grane Healthcare
  • Anonymous donor

The center receives additional financial support for its many mission initiatives from individuals and organizations in the form of support endowments, annual donations, and sponsorship. This support is needed to sustain our education, research, research translation, and outreach programs; graduate students; and early-career faculty members.


Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence
304 Nursing Sciences Building