UW-Green Bay’s Brenda Tyczkowski, a lecturer in the professional nursing program, recently attended an innovative training in geriatric nursing program at the University of Minnesota.
Tyczkowski took part in the Faculty Learning About Geriatrics (FLAG) summer institute, Aug. 2-6, 2010 along with representatives from 20 schools, universities and tribal colleges from across the country. The yearlong program, which is offered by the Minnesota Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, is designed to enhance geriatric nursing knowledge and provide resources to nursing faculty in order to better prepare the workforce to care for the rapidly growing elderly population.
Adults aged 65 years and older are expected to almost double, from 37 million to over 70 million between 2005 and 2020 accounting for an increase from 12 percent of the U.S. population to almost 20 percent. According to a 2008 report from the Institute of Medicine, the number of older patients with complex health needs will outpace the number of health care providers with the knowledge and skill to care for them. The FLAG program at the University of Minnesota is designed to help ease the projected health care worker shortage that will care for aging baby boomers by helping faculty prepare skilled geriatric nurses.
Faculty members from associate and higher degree nursing programs are encouraged to apply to become a FLAG Fellow. Each year Fellows attend a one-week summer institute at the University of Minnesota, followed by a yearlong mentorship around a specific geriatric nursing educational project. The program directed by nationally recognized leaders in geriatric nursing education, Merrie Kaas and Kathleen Krichbaum, provides learning experiences and resources related to teaching and evaluation including use of technology enhanced learning strategies, geriatric nursing, academic leadership, and informatics.