Core Competencies for Gerontological Nurse Educators

Competency 1:
Maintains knowledge and skills in the care of older adults.

The Gerontological Nurse Educator possesses the requisite knowledge and skills to prepare students to deliver high quality nursing care to diverse older adult populations. This includes gerontological, geriatric, and geropsychiatric knowledge and skills that can be obtained through post-baccalaureate formal education, or other professional development programs/activities. Experience in working with older adults is crucial.
Exemplars that may demonstrate competency include:

1.1. Incorporates comprehensive geriatric assessment and evidence-based interventions for older adults and families into his/her teaching.

1.2. Educates students about normal aging and the complex factors that influence the health, function, and independence of older adults such as socioeconomic and environmental issues, multiple chronic conditions, geriatric syndromes, atypical illness presentation, and geropharmacology.

1.3. Integrates theories and science of aging into didactic and clinical teaching.

1.4. Maintains national certification(s) in the care of older adults.

Competency 2:
Serves as an advocate and positive role model for quality care of older adults.

2.1. Applies principles of effective teaching, knowledge of the science of learning, national standards of nursing practice, and/or research evidence to inspire and motivate students in the care of older adults, their families, and caregivers within the context of varied health care settings.

2.2. Develops collegial working relationships with students, faculty, interprofessional team members, and community members/partners to promote positive learning environments and commitment in the care of older adults.

2.3. Serves as a consultant or resource for evidence-based practice, theoretical development, and/or teaching in gerontological nursing.

2.4. Provides leadership related to care of older adults at local/organizational, regional, national, and/or international levels.

2.5. Advocates for policies that promote the health and quality care of older adults.

Competency 3:
Implements innovative teaching strategies for engaging students in learning about healthy aging and care of older adults.

Exemplars that may demonstrate this competency include:
3.1. Incorporates conceptual frameworks about aging into teaching.

3.2. Uses evidence-based teaching and learning strategies that generate student value for and interest in the care of older adults.

3.3. Integrates effective learning activities associated with reflection on the aging process and individual experiences.

3.4. Engages students in activities that increase awareness of their own attitudes, values, and expectations about aging and how these influence the care of diverse older adults, families, and communities.

3.5. Develops innovative learning opportunities for students to interact with older adults and their families across the wellness-illness continuum and a variety of settings.

Competency 4:
Facilitates interprofessional learning opportunities for students related to healthy aging and care of older adults.

The Gerontological Nurse Educator builds strong collaborative relationships with other disciplines to develop meaningful interprofessional education (IPE) and practice opportunities for students in learning about healthy aging and care of older adults. IPE learning opportunities occur in diverse practice settings ranging from the hospital to post-acute environments and communities.
Exemplars that may demonstrate this competency include:

4.1. Uses nationally recognized competencies for interprofessional education in designing learning opportunities for building team skills and collaborative practice (e.g., Core Competencies for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice [IPEC]).

4.2. Implements learning opportunities that promote positive attitudes for collaborative practice in care of older adults and their families/caregivers and prepare students to deliver person and family-centered care in interprofessional teams.

4.3. Uses case studies, simulation scenarios, and other active learning activities to foster interprofessional practice.

4.4. Creates, implements, or actively participates in practice models that exemplify collaborative practice in diverse settings to foster healthy aging and quality care for older adults and their families/caregivers.

Competency 5:
Facilitates the integration of concepts of healthy aging and care of older adults in academic and/or professional curricula.

The Gerontological Nurse Educator serves as an expert in knowledge of healthy aging and care of older adults. Using this expertise, the Gerontological Nurse Educator periodically reviews academic and/or professional curricula to ensure that current knowledge and care competencies are integrated throughout courses and education programs.

Exemplars that may demonstrate this competency include:

5.1. Advocates for the integration of concepts of healthy aging and quality care of older adults in academic and/or professional curricula.

5.2. Ensures didactic and practice learning opportunities in the care of older adults and their families are incorporated into the academic and/or professional curricula.

5.3. Advocates for the periodic review of the academic and/or professional curricula to ensure that concepts of healthy aging and care of older adults are well-integrated.

5.4. Provides faculty with current, evidence-based resources to enhance teaching and learning about the care of older adults in a variety of settings.

Competency 6:
Collaborates in the evaluation of student learning about healthy aging and care of older adults in academic and/or professional curricula.

The Gerontological Nurse Educator clearly describes expected learning outcomes for students in prelicensure, graduate, and professional development programs based on nationally recognized gerontological/geriatric nursing and other related competencies (e.g., AACN Competencies to Improve Care for Older Adults; Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice; GAPNA Consensus Statement on Proficiencies for the APRN Gerontological Specialist; and AACN/HIGN Geropsychiatric Nursing Competency Enhancements). Learning outcomes are evaluated by the Gerontological Nurse Educator in online, classroom, laboratory, simulation, clinical, and community settings using specific criteria for evaluation related to care of older adults.
6.1. Describes learning outcomes specific to the curriculum expected of students that indicate integration of content and experiences in healthy aging and care of older adults.

6.2. Incorporates reliable, valid criteria, standards, and assessment methods into the evaluation of student learning related to healthy aging and care of older adults.

6.3. Provides faculty development opportunities related to the evaluation of competency-based learning in the care of older adults.

Competency 7:
Demonstrates scholarship and leadership that advances gerontological nursing education and practice, and fosters others’ professional development.

The Gerontological Nurse Educator demonstrates scholarly leadership in gerontological nursing by disseminating scholarly work in the following areas: teaching, mentorship, and learning related to the care of older adults in academic and professional development programs; discovery that advances new knowledge about healthy aging and care of older adults; integration of gerontology/geriatrics across disciplines and professions; application by engaging in evidence-based practice and policy advocacy and/or leadership related to care of older adults; or by application of new knowledge to improve care of older adults.

Exemplars that may demonstrate this competency include:
7.1. Presents on gerontological nursing research, education, practice, or policy at local, state, regional, national, or international conferences..

7.2. Provides testimony on aging issues to policy-makers..

7.3. Publishes information about research, education, and/or practice projects related to healthy aging and care of older adults.

7.4. Mentors students, faculty members, and/or clinicians interested in gerontological nursing or interprofessional geriatric practice.

7.5. Demonstrates leadership at the local, state, regional, national, and/or international level that influences the care of older adults.