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The development of a strategic vision and educational framework for Gerontological nursing

Authors:Deirdre Lang , Carmel Hoey

Abstract Background: Population ageing is causing important and fundamental changes for health and social care services nationally and internationally. Many people remain well, engaged and active into later life and continue to make a major contribution to local communities and society. However increasing age also brings an increasing chance of long-term medical conditions, frailty, dementia, disability, dependence or social isolation. Life expectancy at age 75 increased by 29% (female) and 39% (males) between 1993 and 2013 (Eurostat 2014) and the number of people over 80 in Ireland will doubled in the next ten years (CSO 2011). People aged 65 and over now constitute 11.7% of the population and use 61%% of acute hospital inpatient bed days (HIPE 2014).The growing older population has consequences for the nursing profession and for nurse education. An increasing demand for nurses to work with older people over a wide range of services including hospitals, residential care, health and community services is inevitable. If nurses are to gain a holistic perspective and expertise in this specialist area of care, their preparation and ongoing professional development will need to focus on the competencies required for working with older people.Therefore, nurse education and curricula need to be responsive to the diverse and holistic needs of older people and changing care environments. It is imperative that the future of gerontological nurse education is designed to equip nurses with the knowledge skills and competencies necessary to meet those needs.Project: While the Clinical Strategy & Programmes Division seek to implement models of care (HSE 2012), a parallel vision for the future of gerontological nursing is necessary to ensure we provide age attuned services into the future.The National Clinical Programme for Older People (NCPOP) in collaboration with the Office Nursing Midwifery Services Directorate (ONMSD) are developing a strategic vision and educational framework for nurses working with older people across the spectrum of healthcare. The aim of this work is to develop a nursing service that has the knowledge, skills and competencies to meet the needs of the older population into the future. The proposed framework will incorporate a vision for gerontological nursing to include career pathways and the competencies and educational requirements required to effectively fulfil these roles.The methodology applied by the National Cancer Control Programme has been replicated to inform and direct this body of work. In 2016 a systematic literature review was undertaken by the McAuley School of Nursing & Midwifery, University College Cork, to inform the development of an educational framework to enable nurses to acquire and maintain the necessary knowledge, skills and competence, at the appropriate level to deliver quality person centred care to older people, throughout the Irish health service.The second part of the methodology was the completion of a number (n=5) national focus groups with relevant stakeholders which will included older people, healthcare professionals, educators, policy makers, carers and other interested parties (n=280).The overall research question to be answered is “What knowledge, skill and competence are required to produce a nursing workforce that can provide quality person centred care to older people wherever they access healthcare?The final framework document will be completed in November 2017


gerontological nursing, older people, education, skills, knowledge, age atuned

How to Cite:

Lang D, Hoey C. The development of a strategic vision and educational framework for Gerontological nursing. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2017;17(5):A601.

DOI: on 17th October 2017