From the community

Gerontological Nurses Week Focuses on Nursing Shortage – September 30 – October 6

Posted Sept. 26, 2012, at 8:52 a.m.

(Bangor, Me) – In observance of National Gerontological Nurses Week, September 30 – October 6, Rosscare joins other senior health organizations across the nation in raising awareness about the growing need for specialty nurses who focus on health needs and wellness promotion of older adults.

Maine’s older adult population is growing. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Maine’s persons 65 years and older population is well above average with a 15.1 percent increase since 2000. This week is a reminder of the increasing importance to develop gerontological nursing skills of both the current and future nursing workforce.

In 2009, to help meet the demand for gerontological nurses, Rosscare partnered with Eastern Maine Community College and First Atlantic Healthcare, a Maine nursing home management company, to develop a special geriatric nursing faculty position. Val Sauda, RN, MS, Rosscare’s geriatric nursing service instructor was hired to take on this role. During the past few years, she has not only worked with nursing students at Eastern Maine Community College developing competencies for older adult nursing care, she has played a key role in developing geriatric competencies for the Maine Partners in Nursing and Education coalition. “To see the adoption of statewide geriatric nursing competencies for older adult care has been rewarding. Maine is leading the way to develop a workforce that is prepared to care for an increasingly aged population,” Sauda explains.

Amy Cotton, GNP, EMHS Continuum of Care, director of Operations and Senior Service Quality, commented, “Val’s project leadership is a great example of the profound influence gerontological nurses are having on improving healthcare delivery to older adults.”

National Gerontological Week is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Gerontological Nursing Association (www.ngna.org). For more information on the Maine Partners in Nursing and Education coalition visit www.mainenursepartners.com/news.

Rosscare is a member of EMHS and owns and operates Dirigo Pines Retirement Community in Orono. In partnership with First Atlantic Corporation, Rosscare owns nursing homes and assisted living facilities such as Ross Manor, Sylvia Ross Home and Stillwater Health Care in Bangor; Colonial Health Care in Lincoln; Dexter Health Care in Dexter; and Katahdin Health Care in Millinocket.

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