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AACN Creates New Award with Leaders in Geriatric Nursing Care

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Press Release  
For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 6, 2011 – Today, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) announced a collaboration with the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University College of Nursing and the Pioneer Network to create a new honor recognizing creative student learning experiences offered in a nursing home setting. This unique award will spotlight the innovative ways schools are using nursing homes to provide meaningful, real world learning opportunities for students enrolled in Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs.

“In keeping with AACN’s long-term commitment to enhancing geriatric nursing education, AACN is pleased to join with the Hartford Institute and the Pioneer Network to celebrate the enterprising work underway to prepare new nurses to care for our aging population,” said AACN President Kathleen Potempa. “Nurse educators must offer clinical learning experiences in practice settings that cater to older adults, including nursing homes, to give students opportunities to utilize and sharpen their skills in providing quality geriatric nursing care.”

Titled the BSN Award for Innovative Clinical Rotation in a Nursing Home, this award will be given to a school of nursing that demonstrates excellence in the three areas:

  • Collaboration with a nursing home to foster an exemplary clinical training site (e.g., structure/process, standards, research opportunities, interdisciplinary care)
  • Incorporation of the principles of culture change and person-centered care
  • Use of nursing home clinical experience to integrate content related to management of older adults with complex, chronic illnesses (e.g., cancer, heart disease, dementia/delirium, geriatric syndromes)

The 2011 recipient school will receive an award of $500 and be recognized at AACN’s Fall Semiannual Meeting in Washington, DC in October and at AACN’s Baccalaureate Education Conference in St. Louis, MO in November. Applications must be received by Monday, September 12, 2011. For complete details and to download the application, click here.

“Nursing home clinical placements provide a unique opportunity for students to care for older adults with complex and overlapping illnesses over a period of time and to promote quality of life. With competition for clinical training slots growing more fierce among all the health professions, AACN encourages nursing schools to consider partnering with local nursing homes to enrich the learning opportunities for their students,” added Dr. Potempa.

This award is part of a larger project, Nursing Homes as Clinical Placement Sites, funded by the Commonwealth Fund and Picker Institute. For more details, see

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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 670 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:

Since its start in 1996, the singular mission of the Hartford Institute of Geriatric Nursing (HIGN) has been to shape the quality of nursing care to older adults by assuring geriatric competency of America's nurses. The commitment to this mission exhibited by the dedicated Hartford Institute leadership, staff and affiliate organizations has made HIGN today a globally recognized geriatric nursing resource. Website:

The Pioneer Network was formed in 1997 by a small group of prominent professionals in long-term care to advocate for person-directed care. This group called for a radical change in the culture of aging so that when our grandparents, parents — and ultimately ourselves — go to a nursing home or other community-based setting it is to thrive, not to decline. This movement, away from institutional provider-driven models to more humane consumer-driven models that embrace flexibility and self-determination, has come to be known as the long-term care culture change movement. Our partners and audience are primarily engaged in some aspect of long-term care including long-term care CEOs and administrators, consumers and family caregivers, doctors and nurses, direct care providers, and others who care about, and care for, the aging. Website:



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