Dear Friends,

I am writing this month to highlight the long-term care workforce shortage, which is just one of the issues impacting the delivery of care in that segment of the health care system. Long-term care and support services include home care, assisted living, PACE programs, and skilled nursing facilities. These segments of the health care system support people who have compromised ability to perform activities of daily living. As our population ages more people will require these long-term care and support services. This year is the peak of the baby boomer years with more people turning 65 than in any other year of this era. We just don't have an adequate workforce to care for these people as there are not enough nurses choosing to work with this population, nor are those that do work in this area prepared adequately to provide age-sensitive care to people with complex health needs who often have dementia as well. Inability to recruit and retain staff is a problem made more acute as COVID-19 influenced many nurses and nursing assistants to leave healthcare delivery completely or take jobs that did not require direct patient contact. This has resulted in a staffing crisis in many parts of the country. 

We need to increase the pipeline of nurses choosing to work in long-term care. This will require schools of nursing to provide more clinical time for students to experience these settings. However, instead of placing students in nursing homes in the first semester of the program, they should work with older people who are in good health and in the community or senior centers and then, over the course of the curriculum, help the students to understand the increasing complexity of caring for this population with a culminating experience in nursing homes. To do this, faculty and staff in organizations providing long-term care must work together to plan the most meaningful and positive experiences for students. HIGN has resources in its eLearning platform, ConsultGeri, including the Nursing Home Series which helps prepare faculty and staff to provide students meaningful experiences. 

Nurses working in long-term care need access to educational resources to help them provide age-sensitive care using evidence-based practice to guide their care and increase their confidence in providing person-centered care for people with very complex medical histories, medication regimens, issues with mobility, and cognitive changes. The 4Ms, "What matters?, medication, mobility, and mentation as described by IHI's Age-Friendly Healthcare System framework provide the elements to care for older people. 

The exposure of students to older adults in settings ranging from home and community-based services to complex care in skilled nursing facilities will increase the pipeline to long-term care. Providing ongoing education to staff in long-term settings will increase nurses' self-confidence, improve their satisfaction and increase retention. The care of people in LTC is complex and so different than it was decades ago when it was perceived as "custodial." It is time to raise the bar for the education of nurses to work with older adults in long-term care settings. 

Tara A. Cortes, PhD, RN, FAAN
HIGN's 25th Anniversary Campaign
Thank you to our recent donors for your contributions!

Diamond Star Donors
Jay R. Paul Charitable Foundation
Sherry & Brian Greenberg
Mathy & Andy Mezey

Gold Star Donors
Kathleen C. Buckwater
Beth Latimar

Silver Star Donors
Joan Marie Campell
Eloise Cathart
Chenjuan Ma
Oluwaseyi Mokuolu

Your support matters!

Click here to make a donation to HIGN's 25th Anniversary Campaign.
Nursing Home Series: Continuing Education
Celebrating Black History Month

February is a time to celebrate the contribution of Black culture has had throughout history to today. We at HIGN want to celebrate some of the Black leaders who have had a profound impact on geriatrics, gerontology and nursing.

Jacquelyne Johnson-Jackson was a pioneer in linking the relationship between aging and the experiences Black older adults face. She strongly advocated for providing resources to meet the unique needs of older adults in the Black community. She is a founder of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging that continues to advocate for this community.

Vernice Ferguson was a successful and influential Black woman in the nursing field. She served as the head of several top organizations, including the nursing department head at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center and as nurse executive at the US Department of Veteran Affairs. 

Estelle Osborne was a fierce leader and educator that fought against racism and discrimination in the nursing field. She was the first Black woman to receive a master’s in nursing and the first Black faculty member at NYU Meyers. Not only did she accomplish many other “firsts,” her doing so opened the door for the Black nursing leaders that followed.   
HIGN Executive Director Appointed to Serve on the Board of AALNA

HIGN Executive Director, Tara Cortes has been appointed to serve on board of the American Assisted Living Nurses Association (AALNA). AALNA's mission is to promote nursing practice by enhancing the competencies of nurses working within the unique Assisted Living environment.
Webinar: Strengthening the Capacity of Nurse Researchers to Influence Health Policy

Wednesday, February 23rd
1-2:15 EST

ENRS is hosting a webinar featuring Dean Eileen Sullivan-Marx of NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and Dr. Tara Cortes, Professor at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and Executive Director of HIGN.

Panelists will discuss how to:

  • Create a link between research and policy
  • Develop skills in communication
  • Engage with the community, key stakeholders, and relevant boards to move a policy agenda forward.

Click here to register.
HIGN Highlights

Prof. Ab Brody has been named to the Gerontological Society of America Health Sciences Section Fellows Selection Committee and the Board of Directors of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation. Prof. Brody also served as a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Essentials Implementation Task force, Compassion Care sub-group.

Prof. Fidel Lim published an article in the American Nurse Journal titled Nurses, Please Don't Drop the Ball

Xiang Qi, PhD student at NYU Meyers published an article Social isolation, loneliness and accelerated tooth loss among Chinese older adults: A longitudinal study in the journal of Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology. This study has received coverage in
Health and Aging Policy Fellows: Call for Applications
Submission Deadline: April 15th, 2022

The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program aims to create a cadre of leaders who will serve as change agents in health and aging policy to ultimately improve the health care of older adults. The year-long fellowship offers a rich and unique training and enrichment program that is focused on current policy issues, communication skills development, and professional networking opportunities to provide Fellows with the experience and skills necessary to help affect policy. The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program awards fellowships annually for individuals to advance their careers in gerontology. Residential & non-residential tracks are available for individual placement.

Click here to learn more and apply.