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Tressa Nese and Helen Diskevich
Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence

The Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence

We are an interdisciplinary community of clinicians, educators, scientists, and learners whose leadership involves actively improving health care and quality of life for older adults. Our center’s vision and strategic plan is dynamic and meets the ever-changing needs and direction of health care for older adults and their families in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the world. The Tressa Nese and Helen Diskevich Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence (CGNE) implements innovative strategies to enhance the expertise of our next generation of gerontological nurses, educators, and scientists. In addition, our center is highly involved with initiatives and collaborative partnerships that focus on age- and dementia-friendly care, culture change promotion, person-centered care, and many other best practice approaches in the care of older adults and their families. 

CGNE collaborates with and provides programming for all Penn State nursing campuses, other colleges and departments, and World Campus online education. The 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 Annual Report

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


Every older adult receives the highest quality of evidence-based care that respects their individual goals and preferences 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.

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 Senior Center
  • Dr. Donald Ford (former dean, Penn State College of Health and Human Development)
  • 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.


The Tressa Nese and Helen Diskevich Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence (CGNE)
304 Nursing Sciences Building


Nese College of Nursing named a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence