In an effort to train caregivers to meet the needs of a rapidly aging population, The University of Texas at Arlington prepares nurses for advanced practice, management and research in the field of gerontology
For their contributions in this area and their efforts to train the next generation of gerontology professionals, Kathryn Daniel, associate professor of nursing, and Patti Parker, assistant clinical professor of nursing, each will be honored by The National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence (NHCGNE) with the Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing award.
The award, to be presented at NHCGNE’s Leadership Conference in November, recognizes the leadership of nurse educators working with students, faculty, providers and older people in diverse settings.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in less than two decades and for the first time in U.S. history, older adults are projected to outnumber children.
“Since we have a rapidly growing older adult population, it is vital to prepare the future nurse workforce to care for them,” said Daniel, who also serves as director of the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program in UTA’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation (CoNHI). “Older adults are such a rich source of knowledge and experience. They are valued members of society and deserve the best care that we can give them.”
Daniel has been involved in the care of older adults for more than 35 years, practicing in geriatric primary care, long-term care and assisted living facilities. Her body of research in gerontology includes emerging technologies to enhance safety, cardiac rehabilitation, palliative care and an analysis of the present and future needs for nurses. Earlier this year, she was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing’s 2019 Class of Fellows.
Parker has taught gerontology at UTA since 1991 and has also practiced in geriatric outpatient and long-term care, and assistive living facilities. Her research areas include diabetes education in older adults and medical dermatology. In 2018, she was recognized as a Rising Star in Gerontology by the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nursing Association.
“As the population ages and we have more advances in medical technology, training the future generation of geriatric workers is very important,” Parker said. “There is a need to understand and address the health needs of older populations. It’s inspiring see our efforts paying off through the wonderful, intelligent and caring nurses and nurse practitioners who have come through our college.”
CoNHI is the No. 1 producer of baccalaureate-degreed nurses in Texas and is the largest nursing program of any public institution in the country. CoNHI is ranked No. 56 among nursing master’s degree programs in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. UTA’s doctor of nursing practice program is ranked No. 84.
“This is a wonderful acknowledgement of Dr. Daniel’s and Dr. Parker’s contributions to gerontology.” said Elizabeth Merwin, dean of CoNHI. “This recognition further establishes UTA’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation as a leading authority in geriatric nursing.”