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Category: Health Magazine, Winter 2023

Title:New nursing scholarships support care for D.C.’s older adults

Author: By Karen Teber
Date Published: December 1, 2022

The deficit of nurses specializing in geriatric care is one of the most pressing issues facing today’s health care system. In July, The Washington Home, a charitable foundation, announced a $300,000 gift to the Georgetown University School of Nursing to help address this shortage in the Washington, D.C., area.

The gift is providing $25,000 in tuition assistance in the 2022–2023 academic year for 12 graduate students in the school’s Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program who demonstrate an interest in working with aging and underserved communities in the District. Recipients were selected in September.

“As a Georgetown nursing alumna, faculty member, and a part of The Washington Home through its advisory board, I am so pleased to see these two critical organizations connect to pursue the common goal of supporting our older adult population in Washington, D.C.,” says Teresa McEnroe Clare (NHS’87, MS’87).

“We are most grateful to The Washington Home’s forward-looking mission,” says School of Nursing Dean Roberta Waite, Ed.D., PMHCNS, R.N., MSN, ANEF, FAAN. “Likewise, we are committed to bringing health practitioners into the workforce to serve in areas that have been historically underserved by the health system—including our aging population.”

The CNL program attracts students with non-nursing undergraduate degrees who are pivoting their careers to become clinical nurse leaders. The 24-month course of study requires 900 clinical hours in addition to classroom work.

Students graduate with a Master of Science in Nursing and meet both the baccalaureate and master’s level “Essentials” set forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), enabling them to sit for the NCLEX exam for registered nurses.

Among the program’s curricular requirements is Contemporary Nursing Care of the Older Adult, a course that provides an overview of nursing care for this population through evidence-based best practices.

CNL program director Diane Davis, DNP, R.N., PMHCNS-BC, CNL points out that older adults require specialized care, as they can face multiple chronic diseases and may often be prescribed multiple medications that challenge their capacity for positive functioning and well-being.

“Too often, health care is fragmented, particularly for older adults who may have multiple touch points in the health care system,” explains Davis. “The CNL role of care coordination, interprofessional communication, and implementation of best practices within a frame of quality improvement is designed to address these complex situations.

“We are so grateful for this needed support of our students,” Davis adds. “The Washington Home Scholarships are a wonderful opportunity to engage our CNL students in developing their unique skill set to improve the health and health care of underserved populations.”

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