President's Message: Joanne Alderman; March 2016

By Joanne Alderman, MSN,RN,BC,APRN, FNGNA

NGNA Members…

Last month, my letter spoke to our practice as Gerontological Nurses. I also asked that you send me your comments, suggestions, and ideas regarding your National Gerontological Nursing Association.
I received a very thought provoking email from a nurse in Texas and we discussed also by phone, the tremendous need for nursing, as a work force, to understand how to recognize, assess, determine interventions and to re-evaluate those, sometimes, evasive, Geriatric Syndromes. How many of you watched “Barbara’s Story” and the complete “Barbara…the Whole Story” on YouTube? We are all aware of the tremendous growth of individuals over age 65 and each subsequent decade through 100 y/o and older that will become increasingly apparent between now and 2050.
NGNA is an active participant in the Nursing Community, Promoting America’s Health Through Nursing Care. NGNA supports the Nursing Workforce development Program. Senator Jeff Merkly (D-OR) is circulating a letter in the Senate requesting support for $244 million for Title VIII, The Nursing Workforce Development program in FY 2017. The deadline for Senators to sign was COB Tuesday, March 15th.
As President of NGNA, I have consistently voted our support for the Nursing Workforce Development programs, Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act [42 U.S.C. 296 et seq.]. NGNA supports Senator Jeff Merkly (D)-OR) and his efforts supporting Title VIII These programs are directed toward all that the nursing workforce demands. This includes education, practice, recruitment and retention. Title VIII programs support nursing education at all levels. Registered Nurses (RN), as they collaborate with the interprofessional team, extend nursing care that is indispensable in a variety of settings and cultural diversity. As RNs pursue graduate degrees allowing them to provide healthcare services as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN), it is important for us to be aware that “their contributions are connected directly to availability, cost, and quality of healthcare services”. (Nursing Community 2016 Title VIII brochure).
The Nursing Community is comprised of 62 organizations and I invite you to review the website
On March 15, 2016, a Senate Nursing Caucus Briefing was held at The Capitol Visitors Center: “The Nursing Profession: What You Need to Know and Why It Matters”.  Four Nursing Representatives spoke on the following subjects: (1) “101” of the nursing profession, (2) Overview of Nursing Education, (3) Health IT as it relates to nursing, and (4) Nurses’ roles in a large system, including APRNs.
The Nursing Workforce will need to be equipped with knowledge and skills to care for not only the healthy and functional older adult but the fragile, non-functional older adult with exacerbating chronic illnesses. They will need to understand the dynamics of transitioning these individuals from hospitals to the ED, inpatient, OBS, and back to their home, CCRC, Nursing Home, etc. in a manner that is complete and not fragmented.
NGNA is the premier Gerontological Nursing Association and our mission is to equip the workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge to care for our older adults. Please join us in this effort, share our mission with your colleagues to join NGNA, and provide NGNA with the strength in numbers that we need to reach our Nursing Colleagues and subsequently, our older adults, their families, caregivers and their communities.

Yours in Nursing,
Joanne Alderman, MS-N, APRN-CNS, RN-BC, FNGNA
President, National Gerontological Nursing Association

President's Message: Joanne Alderman; February 2016

By Joanne Alderman, MSN,RN,BC,APRN, FNGNA

NGNA Members…

How do we, as members, renew, change direction a bit and recommit to the care and safety of our older adults, their caregivers and families through the National Gerontological Nursing Association and our membership? How do we see ourselves in 2016, 2017, 2018 and beyond? What is different in our practices than 5 and 10 years ago and what is the same?

Let’s take a look at an older adult: 
  • in a hospital bed (perhaps alone)
  • alone in their home
  • in a LTC residence
  • having to leave their home
  • having an unrecognized dementia or delirium
  • falling, fracturing a hip & being aware of probable consequences
  • polypharmacy and adverse drug events
  • being in pain, unable to swallow, and having forgotten who they are
These are but just a very few scenarios all of us can relate to as geriatric nurses.
It is so important to know the Why we exist and for whom. It is so important for us to have “an undying belief in a purpose or cause bigger than ourselves."(2009, Sinek, S) Why do we do what we do? We do this for our patients, nurses, nurses’ aides, families and our communities. How? We speak to all age groups and all cultures. We care for the nurses who care for the older adult.
We support health care professionals within the interprofessional team through education, empowerment (knowledge & skills sets), communication skills, and most importantly – listening skills. “Communication is not about speaking, it’s about listening” (2009, Sinek, S).
I invite you to look at two YouTube programs called “Barbara’s Story” and the complete one “Barbara…the whole story.

These stories were so very well done and the actress absolutely captured the essence of growing older and tugging at the heartstrings of a very seasoned geriatric nurse.
In closing, I want to ask all of you to please send me your comments, suggestions, and ideas to lend your Leaders a hand in our determination to bring new vigor and direction to NGNA. Some of the new directions include:
  1. Changing our Annual Convention to NGNA Conference on Gerontology
  2. Of the topics that are being considered, a few include: Transitions in Care, Innovations and Strategies in Gerontological Education, Chronic Disease Management and the Older Adult,  Technological Advances in the Care of Older Adults, and Pharmacological Advances and Challenges. 
Tell me what is important to each of you. I want to hear from you!
Joanne Alderman, MS-N, APRN-CNS, RN-BC, FNGNA
President, National Gerontological Nursing Association

President's Message: Joanne Alderman

By Joanne Alderman, MSN,RN,BC,APRN, FNGNA

Hello, NGNA Members…

We hope your Thanksgiving Holiday was filled with family, friends, and sharing of old and new memories. Christmas is just around the corner and will be here before we know it. Hopefully, many of our service men and women will be able to come home on leave and be with their families.

Your Board of Directors and Executive Director have been attending to the 2016 Strategic Plan and several additional items since our meeting in November. Our next meeting is on December 16th and the agenda is full. We are planning two meetings in January.

Our Mission and Vision Statements are guiding ideas discussed and decisions being made. I recently read a thought by T.D. Jakes, “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”

NGNA has a passion/purpose and that is to care for the older adult. Our Mission Statement, “To support best clinical practices that enable nurses to optimize outcomes for older adults and to provide resources that advance member interests” is dedicated to meet the needs of our present and new members as they care, protect and advocate for older adults designated to their care.


All the best,
Joanne Alderman, MSN,RN,BC,APRN, FNGNA


President's Message: "Celebrate the Cycle of Life"

By Mary Rita Hurley, MPA, RN, FNGNA

As summer segues into Fall I am reminded of the beauty that the changing of the seasons brings. It is the life cycle of birth (Spring/Summer) and dormancy/death (Fall/Winter). As Gero nurses, we experience these changes within our practices every day. Most people outside our world are scratching their heads at this statement. Believing that all we see is sadness and death. It seems like we have a secret that we need to share about the richness and wonder of the lives we are privileged to serve. Just today a dear friend of mine who is 75 years young called me with incredible excitement about her new iPhone 6. She spoke very rapidly about how she needed the new features, especially the Blue Tooth as her new sports car has the technology. I asked why the IPhone and she stated that she needed it to synch with her IPad. So, new technology is just for “young” people? I think not. This is just one of many stories we all have about living well, living long.

In our society and culture unfortunately, ageism is alive and well. As Gero health advocates, we are on the front line of dispelling the myths and educating the public. I truly believe it is our duty. With over 10,000 people turning 65 every day in the United States, we are creating a mass cohort of baby boomers who are an amazing, productive, innovative group. Enough already with the “old people” jokes, cards, slights, and innuendos. It is not funny. It is disrespectful and uneducated. As a baby boomer and aging woman I am offended by the platitudes, the ‘ma’am’s, ‘you are too old to go back to school’, ‘shouldn’t you be retiring’, and ‘I am only concerned about your welfare’ comments.

No, I am not retiring anytime soon, yes, I am looking into grad school, and thank you for your concern but I am in a great space professionally. We have an amazing opportunity to set the example of living long, living well. Our next generation of nurses as well as patients, residents, and clients are counting on us. So, as the Fall leads into Winter, please take time for self-care and self-renewal. We need our health - physically, mentally, and spiritually - to continue our quest as advocates and a voice for older adults.

All the best,
Mary Rita Hurley, RN, MPA, FNGNA