Current opportunities to join our faculty. Learn more

holidng hands

Tressa Nese and Helen Diskevich
Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence

Areas of Expertise

The Tressa Nese and Helen Diskevich Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence (CGNE), Penn State Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing has an impressive and growing portfolio of geriatric nursing research led by faculty known throughout PA, nationally and internationally with expertise in both gerontology and education. Our faculty have geriatric expertise, including three faculty members that are board-certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as gerontological advance practice nurses – Boltz, Fick, and Sillner.

Diane Berish, Aging and health care policy; health care quality; Long-term services/supports

Marie Boltz, Caregiving efficacy and coping with dementia; Interventions to promote cognitive and functional health; Complex aging care issues; Health services and translational research

Donna Fick, Detection and management of delirium and delirium superimposed on dementia; Non-pharmacological approaches for persons with delirium and dementia; Inappropriate medication use and avoidance of unnecessary drugs; Healthy cognitive aging

Nikki Hill, Subjective and objective cognition; Preclinical dementia assessment; Person-centered interventions for older adults with cognitive impairment; Community-engaged research

Judy Hupcey, Palliative care interventions for persons with heart failure and their family caregivers

Ying-Ling Jao, Nonpharmacological interventions for dementia care; Care environments for dementia; Assessment and management of apathy in dementia; Measurement of activity

Ann Kolanowski, Nonpharmacological interventions for the behavioral and cognitive symptoms of dementia and delirium; Implementation strategies for improving care in LTC settings

Susan J. Loeb, Enhancing health, facilitating chronic disease management, and promoting a dignified death for those aging and dying in prison

Nicole PetersonAdvance care planning, Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POLST), Iowa Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (IPOST) 

Andrea Sillner, Person-centered, preference-based interventions to improve communication among healthcare providers, patients, and family members; Technology-based communication strategies; Communication and care transitions for persons with delirium or dementia

Kimberly VanHaitsma, Behavioral interventions for older adult mental health needs; Preferences for care and observed emotion in dementia; Approaches to the study of care of frail older adults


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