Mass. Nursing School, Skilled Nursing Center Partner to Teach Geriatric Care Skills

"A nursing school and a Catholic skilled nursing center have teamed up in Massachusetts on an educational model providing nursing students one-on-one training in geriatric care skills. The collaboration gives students hands-on experience, links them to nurses in the workplace who can share their real-world experience, and leads some students to consider employment in a care setting working with the elderly when they hadn't previously."

An additional benefit of the program: "Some of the...nurses working with the students have returned to school to pursue higher-level degrees, motivated to pursue more education because of their time with the students and the program."

In this partnership, junior-year nursing students (at UMass Lowell) are paired up with a nurse at D'Youville's Center for Advanced Therapy during a seven-week rotation in gerontological rehabilitation nursing. They work directly with select nurses who applied to take part in the program.

Click here for the full story, published in Catholic Health World and on the Catholic Health Association's website. 

by Mary Ann Hill | February 25, 2014

Tags: capacity-building, education, practice, massachusetts

Danielle Werdann

This clinical rotation sounds like an excellent opportunity for the students in this program. As a nursing student myself, I have noticed the lack of gerontological care in the hospital setting and the fact that this program is focused on an in-depth rotation in a short-term rehabilitation center which includes patients with dementia and residential hospice patients, is what is needed in nursing schools everywhere. The baby boomers are aging and the need for their care is also increasing. If students (future nurses) do know the opportunities that this may present to them, they will not know to look for the jobs. Even if they do, working with the older population is very different than what is taught on a general med-surge floor. It is reassuring to see that this clinical rotation offers students ways to learn how to reminisce and incorporate the body, mind, and spirit for the care of the older adult. Often times gerontological patients presents with different signs and symptoms than the general population and it is important to know the difference if you are working with them. Knowing that there are current nurses that are willing to spend their time teaching these students in a one-on-one set-up even once the grant funding has run out is encouraging. Unfortunately, one would not find this everywhere he/she went. I hope clinicals like this being to trend quickly so others can have such a knowledgeable opportunity.
Posted on: March 30, 2014, 2:21 pm

Adrienne Barnave

Adrienne Barnave How interesting it is to see a reciprocal relationship develop between the students and their nurse mentors. The students get that amazing experience of one to one hands on teaching in a way that is not unique to normal clinical experiences. Meanwhile the nurse educators taking on students with no additional pay of their own free will is amazing within a profession that is know to "eat their own". How awesome it is see nurses be inspired by student nurses to go back to school and get a higher education. What a revitalizing system for students and nurses working together to inspire each other to progress and even go into Geriatric nursing. As a nursing student I could have only dreamed there would be more clinical rotations such as this that would give me in depth one-to-one learning with an experienced nurse in each rotation. I hope that is system catches on with the baby boomers retiring we need more light and knowledgeable nurses in this area.
Posted on: April 1, 2014, 10:34 am

Sophia Jozil

I think this clinical site is a great idea. The baby boomer population is growing rapidly and many research articles published have emphasized on the increase demand for nurses to care for this population. There’s been a push for governmental agencies, schools, and other entities to develop a solution on the shortage of geriatric nurses. By providing this grant, the Department of Higher Education is giving schools an opportunity to start geriatric clinical sites and a way forces them to form partnerships within their local communities. I’m glad they are all working on a solution now. This clinical rotation will be able to provide future nurses for the geriatric field by exposing student nurses to this specialty. Students who are not sure in which area of nursing they would like to work once they graduate can now see geriatric as a career option. Students were able to have hands-on experience caring for elderly patients which have very specific needs. One thing I like about this clinical rotation was the one-one experience with the nurse and students had the same nurse every time they went to the site. As a nursing student, I would love to have a clinical site where I can work one-one with my instructor because I would have more time to ask specific questions and I better learner in a one-one environment.
Posted on: April 2, 2014, 8:41 am


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