Author(s): Harden JT, Watman RA
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Abstract The mission of the John A. Hartford Foundation is to improve the health of older Americans. This mission has been realized throughout the evolution of the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence-an international collaboration between Schools of Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing-whose goal is to support research, education, and practice to provide better nursing care for our aging society. The National Hartford Center is the focus of this supplement and an example of the Foundation's grant-making to prepare the nursing workforce to be competent to care for our aging society. This article traces the innovative origin and inception of the National Hartford Center, first as the Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity (BAGNC) Initiative in 2000 under the leadership of two groundbreaking scholars in nursing and aging sciences: Claire M. Fagin, PhD, RN, and Patricia G. Archbold, DNSc. We continue through to today's leadership and culminate by describing the Center's influence on the gerontological nursing workforce and clinical practice; the paper also includes a brief introduction to the articles, highlighting advances in gerontological nursing science. With funding from the John A. Hartford Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, The Mayday Fund, and a number of creative public and nonprofit partnerships, the National Hartford Center celebrates two decades and its greatest asset-the nearly 300 gerontological nursing leaders, including Archbold nursing pre-docs, Fagin nursing post-docs, and expert faculty, along with its Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence across the country. We trace the transition of BAGNC to the membership-based National Hartford Center and its move to The Gerontological Society of America to become a self-sustaining, autonomous unit. Current needs, challenges, lessons learned, and strategies of the National Hartford Center are examined within the context of sustainability, which has become paramount as Hartford Foundation funding ends in 2016. Despite the auspicious beginnings of the National Hartford Center, system change has been slow. There remains a strong need to continue to grow the field of gerontological nursing and aging sciences. We are working diligently to drive health system reform, and develop and support gerontological nursing leaders and members of the National Hartford Center as exemplars for innovation in care of older adults. The contributing authors of this supplement are from member schools of the National Hartford Center or are current or past program Scholars or Fellows. Herein these authors showcase innovation for older adults through their research that addresses an array of diseases and conditions affecting human systems, embedded in a variety of environments, including in-home care, subsidized housing communities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, memory care units, and rural community environs. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in Gerontologist
and referenced in Journal of Community & Public Health Nursing