The Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence in the University of Iowa College of Nursing, and two other Hartford centers in the nation, have been funded for a four-year $1.2 million grant to ensure that nurses have the most recent evidence-based guidelines for caring for elders with mental health issues.
The three Hartford Centers of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, which will form the Geropsychiatric Nursing Collaborative, are in the UI College of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences School of Nursing.
Researchers in the collaborative will focus on two areas that will affect the preparation of nurses for gerontologic mental health practice nationally, according to Kathleen Buckwalter, the Sally Mathis Hartwig Professor of Gerontological Nursing Excellence and director of the Hartford Center at the UI College of Nursing.
“In this four-year project, we will scan the existing geropsychiatric nursing curricula nationwide,” Buckwalter said. “We will then work to include core geropsychiatric nursing competencies in nursing education programs and offer new geropsychiatric nursing curricula to nursing schools across the U.S. at no cost.
“Our aim is to ensure that nurses are exposed to the latest practices found to be effective through the most recent research concerning mental health care for older persons,” Buckwalter added.
The grant is made possible by the John A. Hartford Foundation. The American Academy of Nursing will act as project manager, overseeing the use of the funds at each of the three Hartford centers.
“This collaborative has the potential for greatly improving the mental health care of America’s older population,” Buckwalter said.
Each of the centers has ongoing initiatives in geriatric mental health education and practice that can fuel the work of the proposed collaborative center.