SIGN Vol 20, Issue 3 May/June 2013

President's Message: Unleash the Power of Age

Older Americans are nationally celebrated each May. The United States Administration on Aging has chosen “Unleash the Power of Age” as the theme for this year’s recognition. The Administration on Aging developed Older Americans Month in 1963 as a time to pay tribute to the contributions of past and current older Americans and to raise awareness of the needs of this population to live a healthy, enriching life.  Through this theme, NGNA members recognize that older Americans are productive, active, and influential members of society, sharing essential talents, wisdom, and life experience with their families, friends, and neighbors. 
Imagine for a moment if every older adult admitted to the hospital asked what steps were being taken to ensure their safety and how could they help?  How would the health care landscape change if every older adult was engaged in shared decision making for treatment decisions?  These kinds of actions could change the world of health care delivery.  I encourage each of you to identify one way you could “Unleash the Power of Age” in your area of influence.     
NGNA’s board of directors, committee and special interest group leaders and members as well as our Fellows are working hard to take action to improve the health care older adults are receiving.  As the October 3 – 5, 2013 NGNA Annual Convention fast approaches,  I hope you will consider joining your peers in Clearwater, Florida from across the nation to advance your nursing knowledge and improve the nursing care you deliver.     
On behalf of your board of directors, I thank each of you for the work you do to honor the lives of older Americans and ensure quality nursing is delivered to those who need it. 
Warm regards,

 Convention Planning Committee Update

Submitted by Inez Wendel, MS, CRNP
Greetings from the 2013 Convention Planning Committee!
Please join us in sunny Clearwater, Florida, October 3-5, 2013 for our NGNA National Convention: A Clear Vision of Care for the Older Adult. This will be the place for learning about cutting edge care of older adults, and networking with those in the know about nursing care of elders.
Pre-conference sessions include a geriatric review course for certification, and the latest strategies to prevent falls. Keynote and general sessions feature national leaders in nursing care of older adults, including information on the hot topic of transitional care.  Learn also how to keep your patients out of the hospital and reduce readmissions.
Dr. Ruth Tappen will lead the opening session with an update on the INTERACT Program.  INTERACT is a comprehensive program of interventions to reduce unnecessary hospitalization of nursing home residents.  It is a quality improvement program that includes  a number of useful tools: an electronic hospitalization tracker in an EXCEL workbook;  a “Stop and Watch” early warning tool for use by CNAs and others to report a change in condition;  the SBAR for reporting condition changes to PCPs; transfer forms;  a QI tool for review of acute care transfers; and educational resources related to these tools. Apilot study to assess the effectiveness of the program is  complete, and  Dr. Tappen is now to conducting a nationwide test of its effectiveness with funding from the National Institute of Nursing Research.  Dr. Mary Lou Brunell, Janine Overcash, Carol Scott and Lauren Josephs will be featured in general sessions, and we will close out the program with a panel discussion, featuring Jean Sherman, Mary Donovan and Regina Marranzini.
Concurrent sessions will include topics of interest across the spectrum and settings of care. Tracks include acute care, long term care, community, academic and general sessions.  Speakers will be sharing their knowledge about pain management, dementia, falls, and heart failure, just to name a few selecttopics.
There will be a research and evidence-based practice poster session. Come and network with your colleagues. There will be plenty of sponsorship opportunities as well – details available online!

Online registration will be available at the end of May. Watch your e-mail and mail box for updates.

Hotel reservations are available now at the Hilton Clearwater Beach, with views overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
See you in Clearwater!

Special Thanks to NGNA’s Newest Donors!
We would like to thank the NGNA members who have most recently donated to our Mission Advancement Fund, Research Fund, and Scholarship Fund. Without your help, NGNA would not be able to provide benefits to our members and support the industry of gerontological nursing. We appreciate your generosity!
Mission Advancement Fund
Joanne Alderman, MSN, RN- BC, APRN-CNS, FNGNA
Jane Carmody, DNP, RN, CENP
Karen Cooper,   MS, BSN, RN, CNS
Bronwynne Evans, PhD, RN, FNGNA, ANEF, FAAN
Jean Gaines, Ph.D., RN, FNGNA
Janellyn  Herin, MSHS, BSN, PHN, RN,BC, CDE, CHES, FNGNA
Mary Rita Hurley, RN, MPA
Caryl Mayo, MS, RN, FNGNA
Susan O'Malley, RN, FNGNA
Research Fund
Monica Aurilio  
Jane Carmody, DNP, RN, CENP
Karen Cooper, MS, BSN, RN, CNS
Priscilla Smith, RN, BSN, CCM
Scholarship Fund
Jane Carmody, DNP, RN, CENP
Karen Cooper, MS, BSN,  RN, CNS
Ekaterini Fokianou, RN
Martha Laguna, RN
Nanci McLeskey, MCG, MDiv, RN-BC, FNGNA
Jill McLoud, RNC
Patricia Mezinskis, MSN, RN, FNGNA
Priscilla Smith, RN, BSN, CCM
Cindy Shemansky, MEd, RN-BC, LNHA, FNGNA
NGNA Fellows Donations
Judith Braun, Ph.D., RN, FNGNA
Virginia Burggraf, DNS, RN, C, FNGNA, FAAN
Rita Chow, EdD, RN, AHN-BC, FNGNA
Nancy Chu, PhD, RN, GCNS-BC, FNGNA
Jacqueline Close, PhD, RN, GCNS-BC, FNGNA
Janice Crist, PhD, RN, FNGNA, FAAN
Bronwynne Evans, PhD, RN, FNGNA, ANEF, FAAN
Jean Gaines, Ph.D., RN, FNGNA
Melodee Harris,  Ph.D., APN, GNP-BC, FNGNA
Beth Mastel-Smith, Ph.D., BSN, MS, FNGNA
Marilyn Newton, RN, BC, CRRN, FNGNA
Susan O'Malley, RN, FNGNA
Barbara Resnick, Ph.D., CRNP, FAAN, FNGNA
Tamika  Sanchez-Jones, PhD, RN, FNGNA
Cindy Shemansky, MEd, RN-BC, LNHA, FNGNA
Martha Sparks, Ph.D., GCNS-BC, FNGNA
Ann Marie Spellbring, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNGNA
Jeanne St. Pierre, MN, RN, GCNS-BC, FNGNA
Elizabeth Tanner, Ph.D., RN, FNGNA

NGNA Members Recently Published in Geriatric Nursing

Please congratulate the following NGNA members on the publication of an article in Geriatric Nursing magazine!
NGNA Member Authors: Carol Enderlin, Nanci McLeskey, Janet Rooker, Colleen Steinhauser, Kathleen Ennen, Deborah D’Avolio
Title:  Review of current conceptual models and frameworks to guide transitions of care in older adults
Older adults are at high risk for gaps in care as they move between health care providers and settings during the course of illness, such as following hospital discharge. These gaps in care may result in unnecessary re-hospitalization and even death. Nurses can assist older adults to achieve successful transitions of care by taking a systematic approach and individualizing care to meet patient and family health literacy, cognitive, and sensory needs. This article reviews trends in transitions of care, models, partnerships, and health literacy. Models described include the Transitional Care Model, Care Transitions Program, Project BOOST (Better Outcomes for Older adults through Safe Transitions), Project RED (Re-engineered Discharge), Chronic Care Model, and INTERACTII (Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers). Approaches to transitions of care are discussed, and resources for geriatric nurses are provided.
Click here to access the references used for this article, as well as further information.

Recently Published: Gerontological Nursing: Competencies for Care, 3rd Edition

Congratulations to the following NGNA members who were recently included in the third edition of this esteemed publication!
Kristen L. Mauk (Lead Contributor and Author)
Deborah Conley
Carol Enderlin
Neva Crogan
Linda Hassler
Melodee Harris
Jeanne St. Pierre
Thank you for your contributions to gerontological nursing!
Click here for more information on this valuable learning tool.

Credentials, Where and How to List Them
When and How to List Authors in a Paper or Chapter submitted for Publication

Carmel A. McComiskey, DNP, CRNP, University of Maryland Medical Center
Nurses have many letters behind their names. This is often confusing for them, the public, and members of other professions to understand. The purpose of this article is to offer suggestions for how to list credentials when submitting a paper for publication.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) suggests the following guidelines. There are six sets of credentials that may be used after your name. These are: degree, license, state designation, national certification(s), awards or honors, and other certification(s). All that is required is the state licensure. For example: Nancy Smith, CRNP or Nancy Smith, RN. However, in publication, authors often list their entire credential.
The ANCC recommends the following format: academic credentials should be listed first, immediately after the name. If there are degrees from more than one specialty (e. g., MSN, MBA), these should be listed separately in the order they were received, with the most recent listed first. If all degrees are in one specialty (DNP, MSN, BSN), only the highest degree in the specialty should be listed. If one has a BS in Nursing and a MBA, then each of those degrees should be listed, with the highest degree earned listed first;  if there are degrees from two specialties at the same level, the non-nursing degree should be listed first (MBA, MSN).1 Finally, attention should be paid to the degree: MSN versus MS. The actual degree that is conferred depends on the school from which the nurse graduated. For example, a Master of Science (MS) is the degree conferred from the University of Maryland.
Licensure follows the academic credential. If you are a registered nurse, this is fairly straightforward (RN). If you are an advanced practice nurse (APN), the licensure varies from state to state. For example, in NY APNs are licensed as RN followed by their APN specialty (RN, PNP). In Maryland, the license is CRNP, so listing RN, CRNP would be duplicative.
After the license, the nurse should list the certification. For advanced practice nurses, it becomes a bit complicated, as it depends on what agency certifies your specialty. Most American Pediatric Surgical Nurses  Associatioan (APSNA) members have pediatric specialties. Fitzgerald (2007)2 gives the following examples: 
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC): PNP-BC
  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PCNB): CPNP-AC or CPNP-PC
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP): NP-C
  • National Certification Corporation (NCC): RNC
 Finally, any honors should be listed. These include Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN), Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP), or Fellow of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (FCCM).1
Listing of Authors
The basic rule of thumb about listing authors is that the primary author should be listed first. The most important principle is to discuss the order of the contributions ahead of time. If more than two authors work together, the group should decide ahead of time who does what and why, and ensure that the order reflects the amount of work. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)has published The Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals which offers guidelines to direct the use of these principles.3 To be listed as an author, one has to have made a considerable contribution to the work, whether a study or the writing of the work; should be able to identify the contribution of every other author, and be able to vouch for the integrity of the entire collaboration. Some editorial bodies now ask for each author to list their contribution. The ICMJE has recommended the following: authorship should include all three of the following criteria: “1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.”3
All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an acknowledgments section. Examples include those who might have provided only technical support, writing assistance, or data collection. Financial support should also be acknowledged.
1 Credentials. (2011). In How to display your credentials: common questions and answers about displaying your credentials in the proper order. Link accessed 10/12/11.
2 Fitzgerald, M.A. (2007). Listing Credentials. Advance for Nurse Practitioners, reprinted online Fitzgerald Healthcare Associates, Inc. accessed 9/17/11.
3 The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (2009). The Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. accessed 9/17/11.

Geropalliative Care: Managing Dyspnea

Submitted by Debra Sanders, PhD, RN, GCNS-BC, CNE
Dyspnea, that subjective feeling or sensation of breathlessness, of being unable to catch one’s breath is a common yet frightening symptom reported by  close to 70% of patients in the last few weeks of life.1, 2  A vast array of illness conditions can predispose one to experiencing dyspnea such as end-stage respiratory disease, cancer, end-stage heart disease or heart failure, neurologic disorders, infections or pneumonia, liver disease, anxiety and depression, and many others.  The goal of dyspnea intervention in palliative care should be to manage the breathlessness in a way that causes the least distress for patients and caregivers. Although management of dyspnea can be quite challenging, nurses across diverse areas of practice are in a unique position to assess, evaluate, and intervene with care measures that may offer some relief from dyspnea.
Assessment of dyspnea should begin by calmly reassuring the dyspneic  patient that the nurse recognizes the dyspnea and is there to help. Asking the patient to describe the dyspnea is an important first step: When did the dyspnea begin? What makes it better or worse? What does it feel like? (choking? Suffocating?  etc.). Are there any associated symptoms? (chest pain? Feeling of going to ‘pass out’? etc.). How disruptive is the dyspnea to activities of daily living? Furthermore, using a rating scale such as a visual analogue scale (VAS) or a 1-10 scale ( 0=no dyspnea to 10= most severe dyspnea ever) may help to quantify what the patient is feeling.3
Interventions for dyspnea can be both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic. The pharmacologic approach will depend upon the underlying cause of the dyspnea, although the following  guiding principle should apply to all medications used with the older adult: “start low and go slow”.4  Opioids (morphine, hydromorphone, fentanyl,  methadone)  may be helpful in altering the perception of breathlessness and decreasing the work of breathing. Anxiolytics (lorazepam, buspirone) may help to lessen anxiety associated with dyspnea. Bronchodilators (Aalbuterol, ipratropium bromide)may have a role in patients with end-stage lung disease. Oxygen, although with a clear role in hypoxic patients, has a less clear role in palliation of non-hypoxic patients, but may offer symptomatic relief. Adjunctive medication such as steroids (dexamethasone, prednisone) , diuretics (furosemide), and pain medication may additionally be warranted depending upon concomitant factors.
Nonpharmacologic interventions are essential adjuncts to palliation in the patient whose dyspnea is progressive and terminal.5  Positioning the patient in a position of comfort that facilitates ease of breathing is fundamental. Moreover, deep breathing and relaxation techniques may allow the patient to focus and be “in control” of breathing. A cool, quiet environment and use of a circulating fan or air may also aid in ease of breathing. Adequate rest periods alternating with activity may help to conserve energy and minimize dyspneic episodes. Establishing a “breathlessness plan” with the patient and available caregivers can help all involved maintain empowerment and control in dealing with dyspnea.6  Small, frequent, nutrient-dense meals may help to avoid dyspnea associated with eating. Promoting a calm, quiet, low stress environment may lessen dyspnea caused by anxiety. Complementary therapies such as massage, music, or aromatherapy may be valuable additive measures. Lastly, addressing spiritual needs may affect both emotional and cognitive factors which can contribute to dyspnea.
Nurses can be instrumental  in advocating for interventions in  older adults experiencing dyspnea. By approaching dyspnea management utilizing Paolini’s “Four C’s”: Common Sense, Communication, Collaboration, and Caring - nurses can positively impact the quality of life for the dyspneic patient.7  Furthermore, by lessening the distress felt by both the dyspneic patient and the caregiver, the nurse provides caring practice to breathless patients at the most difficult time of their lives.
1 World Health Organization (2005) in Palliative Care – Dyspnea in Palliative Care. Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing “Want To Know”. Retrieved online at
2 Gatto, M. & Zwicker, D. (2012). Palliative Care. In Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing “Want To Know”. Retrieved online at
3 Hallenback, J (2012).The Pathophysiology and Treatment of Dyspnea. Chest. Retrieved online at
4 McKee, N. (2012). The Management of Dyspnea in a Palliative Care Setting: A Symptom-based
Approach. Retrieved online at
5 Kornusky, J. ( 2012). Nursing Practice and Skill. Dyspnea, Cancer-related: Management. CINAHL Database.
6 MacCallum, A. (2009). Breathlessness in end-stage heart failure. British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, 4 (11), p.517.
7 Paolini, CA (2001). Symptoms Management at the End of Life. JAOA, 101(10), p.615.

Call for Award & Scholarship Nominations – Deadline: May 15!

The National Gerontological Nursing Association (NGNA) is proud to once again offer award and scholarship opportunities for the coming year. Awards will be presented at the 2013 NGNA Annual Convention in Clearwater, Florida.
We are pleased to announce a new award – the first recipient will be honored at the 2013 Convention. The Distinguished Nurse Educator Award, newly established by the National Gerontological Nursing Association (NGNA) Board of Directors, is presented to a member of NGNA in recognition of outstanding leadership in nursing education in an educational or clinical setting, and participation and contributions toward achieving the goals of NGNA.
We are also accepting nominations for the following awards:
Chapter Award
The Chapter Award honors the local chapter that best promotes the goals of NGNA through their member relationships, community activities and promotion of community health issues.  All chapters are encouraged to submit an application for this award.
Cindy Shemansky Travel Scholarship
The Cindy Shemansky Travel Scholarship was established to provide assistance to NGNA members who wish to attend the annual convention but who need financial assistance with travel expenses.
Distinguished Service Award
The Distinguished Service Award is presented to a member of NGNA in recognition of outstanding leadership, participation, and contributions toward achieving the goals of NGNA.
Excellence in Gerontological Nursing Award
The Excellence in Gerontological Nursing Awards has been established to recognize excellence in individuals who provide care to older adults. These awards are intended to honor an advanced practice registered nurse, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, and/or a certified nursing assistant who has consistently provided outstanding care to older adults and have been inspirational role models and mentors to other healthcare workers.
Gerontological Nursing Student Leadership Awards
This award is sponsored by the NGNA Fellows. Three nursing students will be awarded a scholarship to attend the annual convention. This is an exciting opportunity for students who will be our next generation of gerontological nurses.
Mary Opal Wolanin Scholarship
The Mary Opal Wolanin Graduate and Undergraduate Scholarships were established to provide financial assistance to students intending to work with older adults. Applicants must intend to work in a gerontology/geriatric setting after graduation.  A $500.00 scholarship may be awarded to the winner of both the graduate and undergraduate category.
If you know a fellow NGNA member who is deserving of one or more of these awards, please nominate him or her for recognition!
Click here to access the application forms and criteria for each category. Please contact NGNA Headquarters with any questions.
We look forward to receiving your nominations!

2013 NGNA Elections - Vote before May 31st

Who is running for NGNA office this year?  Please look for the 2013 NGNA Ballot to arrive via e-mail soon.  Take a few minutes to read the candidates’ experience, credentials, and statement on why they are seeking office.  Choose the candidate whom you believe will best represent your organization.  This year’s Nominating Committee encourages EACH member to cast their vote and make voter turn-out the best ever! 
Submitted by Nominating Committee members:  Susan Carlson, Janice Crist, Pat Mezinskis, Jeanne St. Pierre, Tamika Sanchez-Jones
2013 – 2014 BALLOT
Vice-President (Select One)
Joanne Alderman, MSN, RN, BC, APRN, FNGNA
Current Professional Role:
I am actively seeking a position that will allow me to continue my work with Patients, Families, Staff, the community and the facility. Prior to discontinuation of the NICHE Program and my position as Coordinator at OSU Medical Center on March 13, 2013, my responsibilities included:
  • Coordinator of the NICHE Program, 2006-2013
  • Provision of clinical & didactic education programs for Nurses and Nurse Aides/Techs – Geriatric Resource Nurse (GRN) and Patient Care Associate (PCA), 2006-2012
  • Provision of annual ANCC Certification Course, 2004-2012
  • Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist – Duties and Responsibilities 2006-2013
  • Clinical
  • Consultant
  • Research
  • Educator
  • Administration
  • Credentialed as member of the Internal Medicine Department Staff, 2003-2013
  • Rounded on NICHE Patients daily, 2006-2013
Educational Background and Certifications:
APRN-CNS, Prescriptive Authority - 1998
MSN – Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist Tract – 1993
Board Certified - Gerontology – 1992-2017
BSN – 1991
ADN – 1975

NGNA Involvement:
  • Chair – Advancing Excellence Committee
  • Co-Chair – Geriatric APN (GAPN) Special Interest Group (SIG), 2008-2009
  • Current member of committee
  • Board of Directors – Director at Large, 2nd term – Oct 2013
  • Board Liaison – Long Term Care (SIG)
  • Board Liaison-Education/Evidence-Based Practice Committee
  • Appointed as a Fellow, 2008 – FNGNA
  • Oklahoma Gerontological Nurses Association, 1998-present
  • Actively working to strengthen our Chapter
Candidate’s Statement:
NGNA is and has been the platform for my practice. The experience gained while serving on our committees and the Board of Directors has given me constant opportunities to grow professionally. Service on the Advancing Excellence Committee prompted a more in-depth understanding of the Long Term Care community and exposure to the working group of a vast array of educated and skilled professionals and CMS promoting change in this sector of healthcare. Working on the Evidence-Based Practice Committee and being involved in the joining with the Education Committee was a venture that has allowed both committees to become increasingly effective as one committee. The pre-conference and conference committee presentations and podium presentations have been awesome experiences of camaraderie. My election to the Board of Directors has been, coupled with appointment as a Fellow, an honor as an APRN-CNS, a former caregiver as a member of the community and the healthcare community, and as a member of the Oklahoma Gerontological Nurses Association. Our association has ventured into professional sharing of ideas and policy change.  We have many items in our strategic plan that require our diligence.  This opportunity will afford me a chance to continue learning the art of leadership and be involved in working with a group of professionals who strive to continue the work that will move NGNA to the next level of growth.

Current Professional Role:
I conduct health assessment, problem identification, case management, counseling, referral and follow up for adults at five senior centers. I facilitate health education programs at senior centers and apartments. I facilitate diabetes education and support groups at three senior centers and co-teach Living Healthy with an Ongoing Condition 6 week series at several locations throughout the county for Adult Public Health Nursing Services since 1980. 

I am a registered nurse consultant for the City of Irvine performing health assessments, & case management, facilitating health education series and monthly diabetes education and support group since 2001.
I am a diabetes health educator for Kaiser Permanente - Orange County facilitating their 4 week diabetes series and also a monthly diabetes support group since 2008.

Educational Background and Certifications:
  • 2006 Certified Health Education Specialist
  • 2005 Masters of Science in Health Services- concentration in Wellness Promotion, California College for Health Sciences
  • 2002 RN Continuing Education Provider
  • 2001 Trauma Response Specialist Certificate
  • 2000 Nurse Management Certificate
  • 2000 Certificate in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Diseases
  • 1997 Certified Diabetes Educator
  • 1996 Designated Subjects Adult Education Teaching Credential: Nursing,
  • Health, Health Occupations
  • 1991 Certificate Award in Gerontology
  • 1989 Nurse Educator Certificate
  • 1971 Bachelor of Science in Nursing, California State University Sacramento
NGNA Involvement:
  • 2011-2012 Convention Planning Committee Co-Chair
  • 2009 to present Convention Planning Committee
  • 2008-2012 Nominating Committee in general and for fellow selection
  • 2003 to present Fellow
  • 2011 to present Liaison from Fellows to planning committee
  • 2002-2006 Board of directors
  • 2002-2006 Liaison to evidence based practice committee
I have presented at several NGNA conventions in concurrent sessions, poster sessions and as an expert in diabetes for the pre certification class. I have been the lead master of ceremonies at 2 conventions 2011 & 2012 and have been a moderator for many speakers at conventions.
Candidate’s Statement:
I have the education, experience and passion to be the next vice president of NGNA . Besides my experience with NGNA, I have been a board member, secretary, web master, and vice president in my local community with membership and involvement in Council on Aging, Senior Meals and Services, American Diabetes Association, Westminster Senior Foundation and Orange Association of Diabetes Educators. I have been a presenter and article author at the national level for American Association of Diabetes Educators, American Diabetes Association and American Society on Aging.
Secretary (Select One)
Debra Sanders, PhD, RN, GCNS-BC, CNE
Current Professional Role:
  • Assistant Professor & course coordinator senior-level, advanced med-surg nursing course, both didactic and clinical supervision.
  • Also developed & have taught undergraduate Values course, Contemporary Health Care Issues of Aging.
  • Chairperson- Nursing dept Curriculum Committee ( on sabbatical spr 2013)
  • Granted  sabbatical this Spr’2013 semester conducting research re: Resilience and Self-Transendence in older women.
Educational Background and Certifications:
  • College Misericordia, Dallas, Pa. – BSN
  • Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, Pa. – MSN with Clinical Nurse Specialist focus
  • Marywood University, Dunmore, Pa. – PhD in Human Development with focus in Health Promotion
  • ANCC board-certified as a Gerontologic CNS, 2000-present
  • NLN certified as a CNE (Certified Nurse Educator), 2012-present
NGNA Involvement:
  • Speaker at Oct 2012 National NGNA Conference, pre-conference on Palliative Care, “Dyspnea at End-Life”
  • SIG group member
Candidate’s Statement:
As a Gero CNS and a Nurse Educator, I am passionate and dedicated to making a difference in the lives of older adults. In my role as a Nurse Educator, I strive to prepare graduate nurses who are knowledgeable, savvy, and compassionate in caring for older adults. Furthermore, I am eager to become increasingly involved in the work of NGNA and its leadership. My past experiences in the hospital, university, and community settings in various secretarial roles are good prerequisites for the office of NGNA secretary. I am detailed-oriented, efficient, and organized as well as a good team player. Additionally, working on two different editorial boards calls for commitment and attention to process, procedure, and detail. As secretary, I would work diligently to communicate (verbally and in written form) and collaborate with the Board, officers, and members on the business of the organization as well as to strive to uphold the goals and initiatives of the organization.

Elizabeth (Ibby) Tanner, Ph.D., RN, FNGNA
Current Professional Role:
  • Assistant Professor & course coordinator senior-level, advanced  med-surg nursing course, both didactic and clinical supervision. Also developed & have taught undergraduate Values course, Contemporary Health Care Issues of Aging.
  • Chairperson- Nursing dept Curriculum Committee ( on sabbatical spr 2013)
  • Granted  sabbatical this Spr’2013 semester conducting research re: Resilience and Self-Transendence in older women.
Educational Background and Certifications:
  • College Misericordia, Dallas, Pa. – BSN
  • Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, Pa. – MSN with Clinical Nurse Specialist focus
  • Marywood University, Dunmore, Pa. – PhD in Human Development with focus in Health Promotion
  • ANCC board-certified as a Gerontologic CNS, 2000-present
  • NLN certified as a CNE (Certified Nurse Educator), 2012-present
NGNA Involvement:
Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University Schools of Nursing and Medicine, Division of Gerontology; Core faculty member in the Center on Aging and Health, and Center for Innovative care in Aging
Candidate’s Statement:
Fellow; Research Committee; Co-coordinator of Nursing Student recruitment (national convention)

Directors-at-Large (Select Two)
Jacqueline Close, PhD, RN, GCNS-BC, FNGNA
Current Professional Role:
I am responsible for clinical outcomes, core measures, fall prevention and follow up, RN/Physician collaboration, and onboarding of all staff. Classes I teach are telemetry, End-of-Life, Palliative Care, Dementia, Delirium, Depression, Fall Prevention, NICHE, Geriatric Resource Nurse and whatever other educational needs arise.  I sit on the Palliative Care, Biomedical Ethics, IRC, Patient Safety, Medication Safety and Medication Management Committee.
Educational Background and Certifications:
  • LPN: New York (1979)
  • ADN: Coastal Carolina Community College, Jacksonville, NC (1985)
  • BSN: Corpus Christi State University, (Now Texas A & M), Corpus Christi, TX (1989)
  • MSN: Point Loma Nazarene University, Point Loma, CA (2005)
  • PhD: University of San Diego, San Diego, CA (2012) 
NGNA Involvement:
  • Conference planning committee, Palm Springs
  • Co-Chair APN SIG: 2009-2011
  • Award selection committee
  • Abstract selection 
Candidate’s Statement:
If chosen for the Director at Large position, I pledge to give 100% to the position and the leadership to move the organization forward. As an organization we must continue to live our values of inclusiveness, respect, innovation and responsiveness to our colleagues, peers and the older adult. If given the opportunity to serve NGNA I will do my best to assist in anyway asked.
Monica Diehl, RN-BC, CHPN
Current Professional Role:
Responsible for the education and employee health requirements for 510 employees in a 518-bed LTC facility that encompasses all aspects of older adult care-Assisted Living, Independent Living, Short-term Rehab, LTC, Alzheimer’s care Unit, and Hospice. Serve on the following committees: Safety, Safe Patient Handling, Employee suggestions, QA, Workplace Violence, and others as needed.
Educational Background and Certifications:
Registered Nurse since 1995. Worked my way through nursing school as a CNA-then worked in LTC as a nurse for 10 years. Also worked in Homecare, Hospice, and Acute care settings. Director of an inpatient hospice unit for 1.5 years, and worked as DON in Assisted Living facility for 2.5 years.
NGNA Involvement:
Member of NGNA since 2006. Vice-President of the local Central Jersey Chapter for the past 6 years, also filled in for vacant Secretary position. Responsible for assisting with programming, fundraising and charitable projects for the chapter and assisting the President with other duties as needed. Attend national conferences.
Candidate’s Statement:
Hi! My name is Monica Diehl and I am excited to be applying for nomination for a Director-at-Large position at the National level. Working at the local level is a positive experience, especially when we are able to give away memberships (we give away 2-3 annually during our seminar) and scholarships (we have 3 - including a continuing education scholarship for those who want to become certified or are in school, a nursing school scholarship for a high school student who is pursuing a nursing career, and our Francine Cathcart travel scholarships to the National Convention) to those who could not afford it, or provide items through our charitable donations drive to older adults. I have assisted with seminars, speakers, nominating committees, and needs assessments as well as nominating others for awards at NGNA. My love for older adults and the issues facing them are very personal to me. At our facility we strive to provide excellent care while at the same time make this truly their “Home”.

I look forward to supporting the Executive Board of the NGNA with their mission and goals for older adults and hope to make a difference at a national level. Helping our members and chapters become more successful will help our organization grow. As our population is growing older, more nurses are “geriatric” nurses and they need information that will help them care for this special group of people.
Thank you.
Mary Patricia Howard, MS, RN-BC
Current Professional Role:
Director of Nursing for 337 bed LTC and Assisted Living Facility- all clinical, financial, and staff responsibility
Educational Background and Certifications:
  • Univ of MD- BS- Nursing
  • Univ of MD- MS- Nursing/Health Policy
  • Univ of MD- Advanced Certificate- Public Policy
  • AANC- Certified in Gerontology
  • NADONA/NCCDP- Certified Dementia Practitioner 
NGNA Involvement:
  • Immediate Past President- MD/DC Chapter NGNA
  • Vice President-MD/DC Chapter NGNA
Candidate’s Statement:
I strongly feel that nursing- especially nursing of our elderly- is a growing and distinct field of practice- that will only grow in the coming years.  Nurses need to be more informed, more visionary, and more curious, than ever before if our growing population of elderly are to flourish, and enjoy the maximum quality of life possible.  I look forward to being a part of this generation of nurses who have a role in making this happen.

Denise L Lyons, MSN, RN, GCNS-BC, ACNS-BC
Current Professional Role:

I am a certified Clinical Specialist in Gerontological & Medical-Surgical Nursing at Christiana Hospital in Delaware.  I am also the NICHE/WISH (We Improve Senior Health) Program coordinator for Christiana Care Health System.  My role at Christiana Care is to improve clinical outcomes for patients age 65 or older, by facilitating the implementation of the WISH program.  My other responsibilities include coordinating and teaching geriatric educational programs and providing clinical consultation.  I am involved in many hospital projects that require geriatric expertise such as Senior Steer, Fall Workgroup, Constipation, & the Delirium Team.  I am also utilized as a preceptor for undergraduate & graduate nursing students.
Educational Background and Certifications:
  • Post-Master’s Certificate - University of Delaware, Department of Nursing, College of Health and Nursing Science, Newark, DE, Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist Track (January 2003).
  • Master of Science in Nursing - University of Delaware, Department of Nursing, College of Health and Nursing Science, Newark, DE, Cardio-Pulmonary Clinical Nurse Specialist Track (December 1997).
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing - University of Delaware, Department of Nursing, College of Health and Nursing Science, Newark, DE (June 1992).  
NGNA Involvement:
  • Gerontological APN Special Interest Group
    2010 – Present
  • Web Site Co-Editor
    2011 – Present
  • Awards Committee
    2012 – Present
  • Convention Planning Committee
    2013 – Present 
Candidate’s Statement:
My service in the capacity of the Director at Large of the organization will work to forward the mission to improve nursing care for older adults.

Jean Sherman, Ed.D., RN
Current Professional Role:

Faculty member, UM Ctr. on Aging; coordinate development & presentation of MAGEC’s educational workshops and seminars for multidisciplinary geriatric health care professionals; CE nursing provider for MAGEC; coordinator of AGE Scholars Program; preparation & submission of all grant progress reports; presentations at local, state and national conferences.. Also Faculty member, UM Mailman Ctr. UCEDD; Chair, Family Care Council Florida; and, board member, Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc.
Educational Background and Certifications:
  • RN – 1964
  • BS – 1976
  • MS – 1993
  • Cert. in Gerontology – 1996, Ed D – 1997 
NGNA Involvement:
  • Founder & charter President, SF NGNA
    2010 to 2012
  • Member, Chapter Resource Committee
    2011- to present
  • Member, Convention Planning Committee
Candidate’s Statement:
My motivation for seeking election to the Director-at-Large position is the opportunity to contribute and to learn from the commitment, enthusiasm and creativity of nurse leaders seeking excellence in the care of older adults, and to assist in promoting wider recognition of, and  professionalism within, NGNA.

Wanda Spurlock, DNS, RN-BC, CNE, FNGNA
Current Professional Role:
As an Associate Professor of Nursing, I teach across the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. My responsibilities include teaching courses such as Nursing Process, Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice, and Issues in Advanced Practice Nursing. I also provide guest lectures in gerontological nursing and psychiatric/mental health nursing content.  Other responsibilities include community service and research activities. I supervise graduate student research including clinical research projects, theses, and doctoral dissertations.
Educational Background and Certifications:
Diploma in Nursing: 1976;  Bachelor's of Science Degree in Nursing: 1984; Masters's Degree in Nursing in 1987 (specialty in psychiatric and mental health nursing-functional role in education); Doctor of Nursing Science: 2002. I’m certified through the National League for Nursing as a Certified Nurse Educator and hold board certifications through the American Nurses Credentialing Center in Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing and Gerontological Nursing Practice.
NGNA Involvement:
In addition to serving as Chair of the Advancing Excellence Committee for three years, I have served on the Awards Task Force and the Marketing Committee.  I have also been a concurrent session presenter at several NGNA conventions.  I have published in SIGN and in Counseling Points, the Official Publication of the National Conference of Gerontological Nurse Practitioners and NGNA. 
Candidate’s Statement:
I’m extremely proud to be an active member of NGNA since 2004.  If given the opportunity to serve as Director-at- Large, I pledge my full commitment to the actualization of NGNA’s mission and core purpose; to improve the quality of nursing care provided to older adults.  I have dedicated by nursing career to improving the quality of life for older adults, mainly those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and will continue to be a strong advocate for those impacted by this devastating disease. I pledge to work tirelessly with NGNA’s leadership to expand the organization’s sphere of outreach through a more diverse membership growth.  Imagine the growth in membership and outreach if each member would pledge to recruit “one” new member in conjunction with an annual membership drive!  I pledge to also support the membership in growth and expansion of NGNA chapters.  NGNA is in an excellent position to expand its sphere of influence through an active mentorship program designed to support nurses who have a desire and willingness to “grow” in the roles of gerontological nurse leaders, clinicians and researchers.  I’m excited about the opportunities available to NGNA members and would like to work to increase awareness of the many benefits of being a member of this great nursing organization.  I elicit the support of NGNA members to allow me the opportunity to share this excitement with the nursing community.

Nominating Committee (Two Positions Available) 
Pam Seale
Current Professional Role:
I am mentoring college students and providing phone consults to numerous members of my organization who are caring for elderly parents.
Educational Background and Certifications:
  • George Mason University, Certificate in Nursing Education, 2007. MSN (Clinical Nurse Specialist track), 2006.
  • Sewickley Hospital School of Nursing, 1995. 
NGNA Involvement:
LTC-SIG, 2012-present. Presented in break out session at the 2011 Annual Convention. Co-authored an article for the SIGN Newsletter.
Candidate’s Statement:
I believe that I have something to offer the Nominating Committee. Though working full time in a volunteer position in a Christian campus setting, I have made NGNA my home for being connected with the nursing world. I joined NGNA in 2011, and am committed to attending the annual conference. I am active in the Long Term Care Special Interest Group and am impressed with the diversity of the attendees and the commitment I see to improve the quality of care for older adults. I am sure my encouragement and perception of the needs in the organization will be of use on the nominating committee. Thanks to Melodee Harris for nominating me.