Innovative Geriatric Education Strategies

The North Dakota Center for Nursing and the North Dakota Partners in Nursing Gerontology Consortium Project has developed this webpage as a place to collect information about innovate geriatric education projects and to provide resources to faculty across the state.  The webpage includes links to resources and short descriptions with contact information for past and current projects that were carried out by the 18 graduates of the Facilitated Learning to Advance Geriatrics (FLAG) Program hosted by the Minnesota Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence. These graduates will meet once per year via teleconference call to talk about their projects. If you are working on a gerontology project and would like to join this group, email

North Dakota education programs are encouraged to develop innovative strategies. The North Dakota Board of Nursing has a policy for application for approval of innovative educational models/approaches.  Click to go to their website to download the information. 


Minnesota Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence

The Hartford Center includes many resources including geriatric nursing teaching resources, clinical teaching in nursing home resources, a journal club, an Upper Midwest Geriatric Nursing Education Alliance and many opportunities.

Consult Geri RN

Evidence-based geriatric clinical nursing website including geriatric protocols, linkages to specialty organizations, instruments for use with older adults, hospital competencies for older adults and opportunities for continuing education.

ND Facilitated Learning to Advance Geriatrics (FLAG) Program Participants and Project Summaries:

Becky Brodell- Williston State University

I am working on adding more geriatric content to our PN program for our second semester PN students prior to their state hospital clinicals. They will be learning how to assess geriatric depression and substance abuse. I am currently looking at different tools to use for this.

Mary Bruun, University of Mary

I am working on developing a stand-alone gerontology course for junior nursing students. We are planning to implement this course fall of 2013. We have the course description and the objectives done. Nursing practice will be built in through a 4 credit course with a clinical component that we are currently doing. The students work with an older adult in the community. They do journaling and assessments with the community older adult and also go to the nursing home and do assessments and medications teamed up with a preceptor there. They are able to see what the RN does in practice as they function as a team leader and a team care coordinator.

Karen Clementich and Gail Olafson, Lake Region State College

We are developing a simulation about complex medical conditions so that the students become more familiar with the complexity of caring for older adults. We have been working on QSEN and have been looking at the different competencies, especially the beginner competencies to incorporate into our simulation. We also stared using a new textbook this year that includes a section in each chapter devoted to the older adult (Fundamentals of Nursing, Potter & Perry). With the new textbook we are also including new older adult content into our lectures including case studies of how body systems are impacted by aging and additional simulation experiences. Doing case studies in our lecture to show students how the body systems are affected by aging and helps in planning for our simulation.

Paula Fogarty Dakota College at Bottineau

I am working on increasing student assessment skills through using the Try-it series of gerontology assessment tools during our RN student clinical rotations. I assign an additional assessment for our students to conduct during their rotation.  With my PN students I am teaching a focused assessment on cardiac/respiratory and head to toe and the students are reporting back their findings after their clinical.

Dawn Fredrich, Minot State University

Information not available.

Donna Grandbois, North Dakota State University

Information not available.

Loretta Heuer, North Dakota State University

We are developing a residency program as part of the American Indian Community University Partnership Grant program.  Are looking at developing a year-long residency for new Native American nurses as they start their employment in nursing homes.  We are planning to have it up and ready to go in May 2013 when the first graduates from the Next Steps program graduates.


Wendy Hornbuckle, Jamestown College

We are doing curricular assessment to see where we are at on geriatric care and how we are doing at meeting the 19 core competencies that have been identified.  We will make some recommendations about where we are and then will provide some tools. I am also working on developing a sensory perception lab- impairing vision etc. that will help the student understand some of the changes with the older adult.


Wendy Kopp, Sanford College of Nursing

We utilized simulation as an innovative teaching strategy to prepare students in providing end of life care. This included the development of a high-fidelity simulation scenario and the use of an experiential gaming simulation.  Click to see our journal article about the project.



Maggie Mackowick, North Dakota State University,

I have been teaching gerontology as a stand-alone course since 2008.  I have structured lectures to focus on the competencies developed by Felver & Van Son.  The knowledge the students acquire in this course is re-emphasize throughout the nursing program and when they are seniors, they do a clinical experience in LTC .  This experience focuses on the role of the RN in LTC and concentrate on these competencies in the experience.



Becky McDaniel, North Dakota State University

I am working on strengthening the geriatric programming for geriatric patients on our inpatient mental unit. I am also working on implementing a geriatric project with my students in which they will be asked to identify a geriatric patient and implement a therapeutic activity through research and will write up a summary of their findings. I might also put together a resource book for nursing staff.



Lucy Myer, Dickinson State University

Information not available.



Evelyn Orth, United Tribes Technical College

Information not available.



Linda Petterson, Minot State University Nursing Department  

I used the geriatric nursing baccalaureate competencies (AACN, 2000) to evaluate the integrated geriatric nursing content and clinical practice experiences in the current baccalaureate nursing curriculum for gaps,  overlap, and strengths. Then, based on the curricular evaluation, recommended appropriate changes to meet 10 competencies in the curriculum to meet essential core content and evidence-based practice in geriatric nursing.  I then partnered with area groups and/or nursing organizations to offer continuing education in gerontology/geriatric nursing Spring 2009.


Karen Semmons, University of North Dakota

Information not available.


Shila Thompson, North Dakota State University,

I am revising a two day nursing home experience of second semester sophomore students. The experience is designed to have the students’ care for residents using the skills that they learned earlier in the semester, provide support and communicate with residents, and assess a resident. Students will need to select a tool relevant to the resident they assess and use the Try-it series of gerontology assessment tools to improve their assessment of older adults. Through interaction with a resident, students will work in pairs to develop an individualized care plan for a resident and incorporate what they learned about the assessment tools and incorporate relevant nursing interventions. Students will also reflect on their experience.


Deb Townsend, Minot State University,

I am developing a geriatric experience for all of our students during their psychiatric mental health rotation. Some students are doing rotations in an Alzheimer’s Unit at a local nursing home and at an adult health maintenance clinic. We also have some students offering a foot care clinic and other screenings at our low-income, high rise building here in Minot. I am also exploring the use of a reminiscence group with groups of older adults. For example they would talk about their first house or their first date, they start to feel connected with each other and feel good about it.


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