from Julie Heflin, University of Louisville
The University of Louisville School of Nursing is teaming up with long-term care providers to improve the health of the aging population through the training of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) who will be prepared to practice as nurse practitioners with the geriatric population.
Trilogy Health Services, Elmcroft Senior Living and Signature HealthCARE have committed a combined $180,000 over the next three years to fund a professorship at the UofL School of Nursing to be filled by a person with an emphasis on geriatrics. Trilogy is providing $30,000 a year, while Elmcroft Senior Living and Signature HealthCARE will each provide $15,000 a year.
In addition to conducting geriatric research and serving as an educator, the faculty member appointed to the professorship will direct the integration of gerontology content into the adult nurse practitioner program curriculum – a necessary program change to meet new APRN regulations.
Also, Trilogy and Elmcroft each will provide $10,000 for each of the next three years for student scholarships. In order to receive the money toward tuition and other expenses, student recipients must agree to work for these employers following graduation.
“This collaboration builds on the university’s vision to provide intellectual capital and economic opportunities surrounding the aging care industry. I thank Trilogy and the other partners for their commitment, and I commend the School of Nursing for their responsiveness to our community needs,” said James Ramsey, PhD, UofL President.
“We are pleased to be a part of the strategic direction of the university, the city and other health care entities,” said Marcia Hern, EdD, CNS, RN, dean, UofL School of Nursing. “Our adult gerontology nurse practitioners will help shape and transform health care for the growing number of older adults as they extend their quality of life in assisted living facilities.”
Trilogy Health Services President and CEO Randy Bufford identified a need for APRNs in his facilities and wanted to work with a nursing school to train more adult geriatric nurse practitioners. He encouraged other long-term care entities to join him in a financial commitment to the UofL School of Nursing.
“The aging of America is a fact and it takes a special clinician to understand the elderly population,” Bufford said. “We are looking for leaders in the field who can enhance health services, provide greater levels of patient evaluation and treatment, respond promptly to identified problems, provide greater levels of decision making and reduce hospitalization of our residents.”
“We know that in skilled and rehabilitation communities, as well as other senior housing settings, professional care delivered by skilled nurse practitioners is often the key to returning people home or keeping them in a residential setting for as long as possible,” said Pat Mulloy, president and CEO of Elmcroft. “Because Elmcroft, Trilogy and Signature are headquartered in Louisville, it affords us this unique opportunity to collaborate, improve academic training and create meaningful jobs for nurse practitioners who want to work in a geriatric setting.”
“The UofL School of Nursing is stepping up the level of clinical expertise available to our aging population at a time when it is sorely needed, given limited access to medical professionals in certain areas,” said Joe Steier, Signature president and CEO. “It will require a deep commitment from health care providers, educators and others to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our elders in the coming decades. We’re proud to continue on this path of exploration and improved care with a top-notch research university and our valued peers in the industry.”
“This is a positive example of how partnerships between UofL and private industry can advance Louisville’s initiative to make the city a national and international hub for the aging care industry,” said Greg Fischer, Louisville Metro Mayor.
Bufford and Hern hope the success of the collaboration will lead to future funding for the creation of an endowed chair position to grow and sustain the school’s gerontology focus.
Julie Heflin works for the University of Louisville.
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