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AACN Awarded New Funding to Enhance Faculty Development and Geriatric Content in Graduate Nursing Programs

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Press Release  
For Immediate Release

AACN Awarded New Funding to Enhance Faculty Development and
Geriatric Content in Graduate Nursing Programs


With a Focus on Improving the Care of Older Adults, New Grant
Supports Faculty Development and Curriculum Redesign Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 14, 2009 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is pleased to announce that the John A. Hartford Foundation has awarded AACN a generous grant in the amount of $647,336 to support a two-year initiative focused on assisting nurse faculty in their work to prepare Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to care for older adults. Funding will be used to enhance gerontology content and support curriculum redesign in programs graduating Nursing Practitioners (NPs) and Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs). AACN will augment this important work by creating new teaching resources and offering faculty development workshops to APRN educators.

“AACN is committed to preparing professional nurses with the skills needed to provide excellent care to older adults and their families,” said AACN President Fay Raines. “We applaud the Hartford Foundation for sharing this commitment and for recognizing the importance of supporting nursing education as an effective mechanism for improving the quality of care available to older adults.”

AACN’s new grant will support Phase II of the Ensuring the APRN Workforce is Prepared to Care for Older Adults initiative that was launched last year. During Phase I (which is still ongoing), AACN is working to advance the recommendations related to APRN education contained in the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification & Education, which was developed through a five-year, collaborative process involving multiple nursing organizations. Endorsed by the AACN Board of Directors in July 2008, this model is now endorsed by 46 national nursing groups, including all major organizations that set standards for APRN education. The Model stipulates that by 2015, all NPs and CNSs, currently educated in either adult or gerontology programs, must be educated broadly across the entire scope of adult and gerontology practice. Further, graduates of the newly re-conceptualized adult-gerontology program for NPs and CNSs must be nationally certified through comprehensive assessment mechanisms to ensure competence across the entire adult-gerontology scope of practice.

The transition to the new model of APRN education across the adult life span will require the redesign, and in some instances, the combination of adult and gerontology focused NP and CNS education programs. In addition to the curriculum work, the existing adult certification exams will need significant revision to ensure that NPs and CNSs are educated for this combined population focus and have significant exposure to gerontology content.

In Phase I of this project, AACN is leading the development of consensus-based competencies for Adult-Gerontology NPs and Adult-Gerontology CNSs using a national validation process that encompasses a wide array of stakeholders from APRN education, practice, certification, accreditation, and licensure. AACN is also working with the John A. Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at the New York University College of Nursing to identify what resources and development opportunities are needed to support curriculum redesign efforts.

Phase II of this project will provide resources and activities to ensure that the faculty have the knowledge, skills, and teaching tools needed to modify existing adult NP and CNS programs to include a strong focus on gerontology. To accomplish the above goals, AACN, in collaboration with the Hartford Institute, will develop clinical modules, web-based resources, and case studies specifically to assist faculty through the transition period. AACN will also host four faculty development workshops to better prepare faculty from over half (160) of the adult NP and CNS programs (316) with the knowledge, teaching resources, and curriculum redesign recommendations to implement the newly required Adult-Gerontology curriculum.

“As the recognized leader in faculty development for professional nursing programs, this new initiative is consistent with our efforts to provide meaningful opportunities for educators to develop new skills and expand the scope of their expertise,” added Dr. Raines.

For more information about AACN’s many initiatives in the areas of geriatric nursing education and faculty development, see

Founded in 1929, the John A. Hartford Foundation is a committed champion of training, research and service system innovations that promote the health and independence of America's older adults. Through its grantmaking, the Foundation seeks to strengthen the nation's capacity to provide effective, affordable care to this rapidly increasing older population by educating "aging-prepared" health professionals (physicians, nurses, social workers), and developing innovations that improve and better integrate health and supportive services. The Foundation was established by John A. Hartford. Mr. Hartford and his brother, George L. Hartford, both former chief executives of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, left the bulk of their estates to the Foundation upon their deaths in the 1950s. Additional information about the Foundation and its programs is available at

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 640 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN's educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. Website:

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Robert Rosseter, (202) 463-6930, ext. 231