John A. Hartford Foundation Selects Penn State School of Nursing as Site for Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence

September 25, 2007

University Park—The Penn State School of Nursing has been selected to receive a John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence Award. The prestigious award includes a five-year, $1-million grant that will establish a site at the University for a Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence.

The center will address a nationwide shortage of nursing faculty by supporting the preparation of high-quality geriatric nursing faculty who can teach in areas of greatest need.

“That the School of Nursing was chosen as one of four national sites for a Center of Excellence is a testimony to the outstanding nursing faculty, resources, and administrative support at Penn State,” said Paula Milone-Nuzzo, director of the School of Nursing and associate dean for international programs in the College of Health and Human Development. “The foundation was excited about our plan to reach out across our nursing programs at ten Penn State campuses to deliver high-quality graduate education using innovative technological methods.”

Ann Kolanowski, the Elouise Ross Eberly Professor of Nursing, will direct the Center of Excellence and oversee its initiatives.

A number of partnerships were forged in preparation for the center. The Johnson & Johnson Foundation will support a national recruitment campaign for graduate programs that prepare geriatric nurse educators. Penn State Public Broadcasting's production unit will assist in the development of that campaign. Scholarship funds will be available to support master's and doctoral students who elect an educational focus to their geriatric nursing program.

In addition, with support from a private donor, the center at Penn State will partner with the University of Pennsylvania's Hartford Center of Excellence in an exchange program that will allow graduate students in geriatric nursing to benefit from the resources of both institutions.

An innovative combination of distance technology and a partnership with the Area Health Education Center will facilitate the delivery of the geriatric nursing master's degree program to the ten Penn State campuses that offer nursing programs. Dissemination of best practices in the preparation of geriatric nursing faculty will be ongoing at the John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence website that will be unveiled at the School of Nursing in the coming months.

Ann C. Crouter, Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Professor and dean of the College of Health and Human Development, said, “The center will become a national model for addressing the nursing faculty shortage by extending outstanding geriatric nursing programs throughout Pennsylvania. We are pleased that our Center of Excellence will be housed in the College of Health and Human Development, where it will become part of the fabric of this world-class University.”

Founded in 1929, the John A. Hartford Foundation is a committed champion of health care training, research, and service-system innovations that will ensure the well-being and vitality of older adults. Its overall goal is to increase the nation's capacity to provide effective, affordable care to its rapidly increasing older population. Today, the foundation is America's leading philanthropy with a sustained interest in aging and health.

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Editors: For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at (814) 865-3831 or healthhd@psu.edu.