Dr. Penrod is Associate Professor of Nursing, and Dr. Loeb is Assistant Professor of Nursing, The Pennsylvania State University, School of Nursing, University Park, Pennsylvania.
The authors disclose that they have no significant financial interests in any product or class of products discussed directly or indirectly in this activity, including research support.
Address correspondence to Janice Penrod, PhD, RN, Associate Professor of Nursing, The Pennsylvania State University, School of Nursing, 307 Health and Human Development East, University Park, PA 16802; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Hall Gueldner, DSN, RN, FAANPhoto Courtesy of Case Western Reserve University
Easily recognized by her soft Southern drawl, gentle affirmations, and silver-white hair streaking through the prominent venues in gerontological nursing, Sarah Hall Gueldner is a champion of gerontological nursing. She is the Arline H. and Curtis F. Garvin Professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and a Professor at the Decker School of Nursing at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York. Attesting to her accomplishments, she is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, the Gerontological Society of America, Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, and the National Academies of Practice.
She has authored more than 100 publications, including seven edited books and monographs. Her work is rooted solidly in personal values and insights that are illuminated in her many editorials and perspective pieces. Most recently, she called for a shift in the prevalent worldview from elder friendly to elder essential, noting that:
We must not presume, as we have in the past, that we would know how to make the world elder essential. Rather, we must ask elders individually, and in consensus groups, to tell us what we must do as a society to let them know that they are essential.
Sarah has given voice to older adults, while working tirelessly to advance the state of nursing science and higher education to close the distance between “us” (as learned health care providers) and “them” (as vulnerable, weak members of society) to reinstate the personhood of older adults as essential members of our society.
Sarah Hall Gueldner grew up in the “best of circumstances” for her emergent career in gerontology. Her extended family of three or four generations lived in close proximity and regularly shared meals and time together. Her family home was nestled in a rural community in eastern Tennessee, where neighbors looked after one another and each others’ children. Older people were deeply ingrained in the fabric of Sarah’s early years; they were always around, having fun, and sharing life stories. “Old and young taking care of each other” has stamped an indelible mark on Sarah’s character, and ultimately, on her career in gerontological nursing.
During her formative years, when she was a Senior Service Scout, Sarah attended a career talk given by a local nurse named Margarette Idol. When Ms. Idol asked if any of the scouts were going to be nurses, Sarah responded, “I am!” And the die was cast. Ms. Idol responded, “Well then, honey, you’ve got to go to Memphis… ’cause they’ve got the only NLN-approved baccalaureate program in the state.” The thought that Sarah would travel more than 450 miles from home to attend college to become a nurse took some time for her parents to digest, but they did.
Pictured (left to Right) are: Sarah Hall Gueldner, Susan Loeb, and Janice Penrod in Academic Regalia.Photo Credit: Rob Loeb
From that fateful day in her junior high school years, Sarah’s career path was shaped by Ms. Idol, a highly respected community member, who helped garner Sarah’s family’s support…