Geriatric-Nursing-News-Release

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					NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release

Contact:       Christine Mueller, School of Nursing, cmueller@umn.edu, 612-626-4922
               Angela Harrison, School of Nursing, aharriso@umn.edu, 612-624-4644
               Aneisha Tucker, School of Nursing, tucke127@umn.edu , 612-626-1817


            Schools of Nursing in Central/West Minnesota Collaborate to
                   Strengthen Commitment to Geriatric Nursing

   Conference focuses on nursing care of older adults and prepares futures nurses to
                  address the needs of a rapidly growing population


MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (May 4, 2011) – On April 8, 2011, 37 nursing students from eight
schools in west central Minnesota participated in a one-of –a- kind event focusing on a career in
geriatric nursing. Held in Alexandria, Minnesota, Students Investing in Nursing’s Future-
Geriatrics (SIN-G), was supported through a grant from the West Central Initiative with funding
from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. WCI is a regional community foundation that works
to strengthen west central Minnesota by encouraging business and employment opportunities,
providing training and support to workers and their families, working with communities and the
region to help them thrive, and promoting philanthropy.

Addressing an urgent need
Nursing students were selected to participate in the SIN-G project through a competitive
application process and an expressed interest to learn more about, and potentially specialize in
nursing care of older adults. According to Laurissa Stigen, MS, co-director of the project and
executive director of the Central Minnesota Area Health Education Center (AHEC), the number
of persons over 65 is expected to increase more than 60 percent by the year 2025, in west central
Minnesota. University of Minnesota School of Nursing Long Term Care Professor Christine
Mueller, PhD, RN, FAAN, underscored that this significant demographic change requires that all
nurses are competent in geriatric nursing. Mueller is co-director of the project and of the U of M
School of Nursing Minnesota Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence. She further noted
there is an urgent need for a well prepared nursing workforce that can develop and provide
effective interventions that maintain or improve the health of this population.

Learning from the experts
During the conference, students had the opportunity to hear from an expert panel of nurses that
specialize in geriatric nursing. The panel shared their insight and experiences about career
options and opportunities. The panel also highlighted the rewarding aspects of a career focused
on caring for older adults such as coordinating the care and services to prevent complications
from multiple chronic conditions and focusing on health promotion interventions to keep older
adults healthy and maintaining independent lifestyles. Nursing students also had the chance to
take part in a dialogue with U of M School of Nursing Professor Emeriti Mariah Snyder, PhD,
RN, FAAN, and Muriel Ryden, PhD, RN, FAAN, both of whom were instrumental in building
the school’s national reputation in geriatric nursing education and research.

                                             -more-
“This event generated an overwhelming enthusiasm for a career in geriatric nursing,” said
Mueller. “SIN-G just ignited the spark that already existed within these students.” In an
evaluation of the event, a student shared, ‘After attending today, I have decided I am following
my heart and passion for geriatrics.’

To jump start their professional geriatric nursing career, students were given a year membership
in the National Gerontological Nursing Association, an association dedicated to the clinical care
of older adults across diverse care settings.

SIN-G was hosted by the University of Minnesota, School of Nursing /Minnesota Hartford
Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, Central Minnesota Area Health Education Center
(AHEC), and the West Central Initiative; participation from colleges of nursing include:

Concordia College, Moorhead, MN
Minnesota State University, Moorhead, MN
Central Lakes College, Brainerd, MN
College of St. Benedict/St. John University, St. Joseph, MN
Alexandria Technical College, Alexandria, MN
St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN
Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Wadena, MN
Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Detroit Lakes, MN

Photos from the event can be found on the U of M School of Nursing Flickr website at
www.nursing.umn.edu/photos


About the School of Nursing: Ranked among the nation's top nursing schools, the University of Minnesota School
of Nursing is a leader in improving health care through research, education, and service. The oldest continuing
university-based school of nursing in the nation, it has a combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment of
approximately 850 students. The school educates 55 percent of the faculty in Minnesota's public and private nursing
schools, advanced practice nurses, and nurses who can assume leadership positions. The School of Nursing is part
of the Academic Health Center, one of the most comprehensive facilities for health professionals in the nation,
fostering interdisciplinary study, research and education. For additional information, go to www.nursing.umn.edu.


Students Investing in Nursing’s Future-Geriatrics (SIN-G), is supported through a grant from the Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN) program. This grant was awarded to
West Central Initiative.



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