Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




DNP Completion

First Advisor

Mary Bittner, DNP, PHA, CNE, RN

Second Advisor

Wanda J. Borges, PhD, RN, ANP-BC

Third Advisor

Helen J. Nguyen, DNP, RN, ANP-BC


The United States is facing a critical shortage of health care professionals who are trained in geriatrics. Among the health care professions, nursing, with more than 3 million members, comprises the largest segment of the nation’s health care workforce. New nurses entering this workforce find themselves caring for an extraordinarily large number of older patients with complex health care needs, regardless of the care setting. Currently, 36 million Americans are aged 65 or older. By 2030, that number will double. Accordingly, the need is significantly greater for more gerontologically trained registered nurses to address the complex health care needs of the older population. Current content in nursing school curricula on the care of older adults is neither sufficient nor fully incorporated into the didactic and clinical education of nursing students. Nursing education must change to meet the health care demands of the aging population and the complexities of the current health care environment.

Included in

Nursing Commons