Posted by: Date: September 1, 2008 In:

Partnership addresses nursing shortage

PLU’s School of Nursing has partnered with three Washington state foundations to address the regional nursing crisis and give nursing students new competencies in geriatric care. The Dimmer Family Foundation , along with the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation and the Bruce W. Gilpin Memorial Foundation, was selected as one of 18 foundations nationwide to receive funding in the third year of Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future. The national initiative works to help close the shortage gap in the nursing workforce across the country. The three foundations will match $125,000 from the national initiative to provide a total of up to $250,00 to launch the Comprehensive Gerontologic Education Partnership in Thurston, Pierce, Mason and Kitsap counties. The partnership is formed by PLU and six supporting organizations.

According to Terry Miller, dean of the School of Nursing and project director, the partnership is an original approach to enhancing nursing education. The goal is to produce more qualified nurses committed to the older adult.

“Not near enough nurses have adequate preparation and training in the principles of geriatric nursing,” Miller said. “This funding will enable us to educate better and more qualified nurses who are professionally developed to offer consistent and ongoing support to older adults, regardless of the institutional care setting, home situation, or the diagnoses.”

The partnership will:

• Admit a cohort of nursing students with a gerontologic focus each year

• Recruit three nursing faculty members with expertise in gerotonologic nursing

• Provide faculty development to improve instruction and clinical work

• Expand clinical placements and experiences in gero-nursing throughout pre-licensure curriculum

• Implement and/or strengthen the American Association of Colleges of Nursing gero-competencies throughout the region

Led by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Northwest Health Foundation , Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future supports local foundations to invest in nursing workforce solutions. It seeks to help local and regional philanthropies develop strategies for creating and sustaining a viable nursing workforce.

This marks the third year of a five-year, $10 million commitment by Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future, a partnership of the Northwest Health Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. During the program’s first two years, 21 foundations in 19 states established more than 215 local partnerships between nursing organizations, funders and workforce development boards.