News In Brief: Nursing Professor Selected for Education Program on Geriatrics

JANUARY 17, 2014 - Margaret Harvey Granitto (NHS’82), MSN, RN, CRNP, an instructor of nursing at the School of Nursing & Health Studies, was selected as a scholar to participate in the Faculty Development Collaborative Program in Geriatrics.

The program, which receives support from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, “is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of health professions faculty in interprofessional teaching, leadership, project development, and program implementation in geriatrics,” according to program literature.

“I am unbelievably excited,” Granitto says.  “This is a place where nursing can have a huge impact.”

Aging Population

Granitto, who is currently a doctoral candidate at the Catholic University of America, says incorporating gerontological material into nursing education is important given the increasing older population in the United States.

“We need to prepare our students to care for this population using nationally recognized, evidence-based best practices to ensure positive health outcomes and decreased costs,” she says.

According to the Administration on Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, people who are 65 and older represented 12.4 percent of the population in 2000.  By 2030, that is expected to grow to 19 percent.

“The program is going to help me get more experience and provide expert advice on developing a course on gerontological nursing using nationally recognized standards and best-practice interventions,” she says.  

Experiential Learning

As part of the program, Granitto must develop a capstone program, and she has chosen to focus on end-of-life decision-making and care.

She plans to implement an interdisciplinary simulation module for nursing and medical students to role-play end-of-life discussions among health care providers, patients, and families.

In addition to developing the capstone, Granitto must complete 160 hours of training through self-study, online courses, and peer-to-peer mentoring.

By Bill Cessato