Journal of Gerontological Nursing

Feature Article 

The Geriatric Training Academy: Innovative Education for Certified Nurse Aides and Charge Nurses

Barbara Cherry, RN, DNSc, MBA; Paula Marshall-Gray, MA; Ann Laurence, MS; Alexia Green, PhD, RN, FAAN; Ana Valadez, EdD, RN, CNAA, FAAN; Donna Scott-Tilley, PhD, RN, CNE; Pearl Merritt, EdD, MSN, MS, RN

Abstract

Quality care for the rapidly growing number of older Americans is a major challenge facing the health care industry today. With the baby-boom generation “coming of age”—older age—the need for quality long-term care workers is on the rise. It is estimated that the number of persons needing assisted or alternative living arrangements will increase from 15 million in 2000 to 27 million in 2050 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS], 2003). In response to the rising demand for quality long-term care workers, the Geriatric Education and Training Academy (the Academy) was created at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) to provide advanced geriatric education and training for certified nurse aides (CNA), licensed vocational nurses (LVN) and registered nurses (RN) who work in long-term care facilities. This article describes how the Academy is addressing the need for the recruitment, education, and retention of long-term care workers for the expanding geriatric population in West Texas.

Abstract

Quality care for the rapidly growing number of older Americans is a major challenge facing the health care industry today. With the baby-boom generation “coming of age”—older age—the need for quality long-term care workers is on the rise. It is estimated that the number of persons needing assisted or alternative living arrangements will increase from 15 million in 2000 to 27 million in 2050 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS], 2003). In response to the rising demand for quality long-term care workers, the Geriatric Education and Training Academy (the Academy) was created at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) to provide advanced geriatric education and training for certified nurse aides (CNA), licensed vocational nurses (LVN) and registered nurses (RN) who work in long-term care facilities. This article describes how the Academy is addressing the need for the recruitment, education, and retention of long-term care workers for the expanding geriatric population in West Texas.

Authors

Ms. Laurence is Senior Director of Education and, at the time this article was written, Ms. Marshall-Gray was an Ethnographer, Garrison Institute on Aging, Dr. Cherry is Assistant Professor and Department Chair, Leadership Studies, School of Nursing, Dr. Valadez is Professor in the Roberts Practiceship, and Dr. Green is Dean and Professor, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas. Dr. Scott-Tilley is Associate Professor, Texas Christian University, Harris School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Merritt is President, Buckner Retirement Services, Inc., Dallas, Texas.

Address correspondence to Ann Laurence, TTUHSC, Garrison Institute on Aging, 6630 S. Quaker Avenue, Suite E, Lubbock, TX 79413; e-mail: ann.laurence@ttuhsc.edu.

10.3928/00989134-20070301-07

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