Faculty Member Inducted into American Academy of Nursing

November 9, 2009

Dr. Donna Fick, GCNS-BC, FGSA, associate professor in Penn State’s School of Nursing, was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing (AAN), as one of its 2009 fellows. She was nominated for this honor by two current AAN fellows and was selected by the AAN’s fifteen-member Fellow Selection Committee for her outstanding achievements in the nursing profession. Fick was inducted along with ninety-seven other nurse leaders at AAN’s annual awards ceremony and induction banquet in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 7, 2009.

Fick’s research focuses on two major geriatric issues: potentially inappropriate medications in older adults, and delirium superimposed on dementia (DSD). She is the lead researcher of an interdisciplinary panel to update the Beers Criteria for inappropriate medication use in older adults—a project that has been cited over 300 times since 2004. Her other research efforts focus on lack of knowledge of DSD, the outcomes, costs, and health care utilization associated with DSD, and examination of nonpharmacological strategies to manage delirium. She has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and other major organizations.

Fick’s work has far-reaching policy and practice implications.  The Beers Criteria have been adopted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and are part of the 2006 Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) quality measure.  They are also used by medical centers and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) in their electronic medical records.

Fick is a leader in the gerontology community and co-director of the Penn State Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence. She widely disseminates her work through over fifty publications, through national media coverage (including CNN, the Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle) and through the John A. Hartford Foundation. Publications and videos are widely used by nurse educators in clinical settings and schools of nursing.

Fick received her B.S.N. from Berea College (Berea, Kentucky), her M.S.N. from the University of Cincinnati, and her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Francisco. She is board certified as a Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist.

The American Academy of Nursing is constituted to anticipate national and international trends in health care and address resulting issues of health care knowledge and policy. The invitation to fellowship is not only recognition of one's accomplishments within the nursing profession, but it also affords an opportunity to work with other leaders in health care in addressing the issues of the day. AAN’s mission is to serve the public and nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge.

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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.