a group of Pins
News Story

School of Nursing Scholarships Support CNL Students with Academic Focus on Caring for District’s Aging Community

(July 22, 2022) — Georgetown University School of Nursing today announces a $300,000 gift from The Washington Home, a charitable foundation, to provide pivotal scholarship support of $25,000 in tuition assistance for 12 graduate nursing students for the 2022-2023 academic year. The scholarships are earmarked for students in the Clinical Nurse Leader program who demonstrate an interest in using their talents to address and improve health outcomes of underserved and aging communities in the DC area.

“We are most grateful to The Washington Home’s forward-looking mission and for its commitment to our community,” says Roberta Waite, EdD, PMHCNS, RN, MSN, ANEF, FAAN, Dean of the Georgetown School of Nursing, a part of Georgetown University Medical Center.

The Washington Home provides funding to entities that create and deliver innovative, compassionate and well-managed programs to improve the quality of life for older adults and/or terminally ill residents of Washington, DC.

“Likewise, we are committed to bringing health practitioners into the workforce to serve in areas that have been historically underserved by the health system—including our aging population,” Waite adds.

Specialized Nursing Deficit

“As a Georgetown nursing alumna, faculty member and a part of The Washington Home through its advisory board, I am so pleased to see these two critical organizations connect to pursue the common goal of supporting our older adult population in Washington, DC,” says Teresa McEnroe Clare (N’87, MS’94).

The deficit of nurses specializing in geriatric care in both acute and primary settings is one of the most pressing needs within today’s health care system, she says. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population aged 65 and over is projected to be 83.7 million by 2050, almost double its estimated population of 43.1 million in 2012.

CNL program director Diane Davis, DNP, RN, PMHCNS-BC, CNL, points out that older adults require specialized care, as they can face multiple chronic diseases and may often be prescribed multiple medications that challenge their capacity for positive functioning and well-being.

“Too often, health care is fragmented, particularly for older adults who may have multiple touch points in the health care system,” explains Davis. “The CNL role of care coordination, interprofessional communication, and implementation of best practices within a frame of quality improvement is designed to address these complex situations.”

To meet the needs of this growing population, the U.S. will require an estimated 3.5 million health care providers by 2030 with expertise in gerontology to care for older adults in a variety of settings.

Innovative Clinical Nurse Training

The graduate level Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program attracts students with non-nursing undergraduate degrees who are pivoting their careers to become clinical nurse leaders. The CNL program is a full-time, 24-month program that convenes in person to prepare aspiring nurses to lead care at the bedside, support other nurses and technicians, and bring evidence-based knowledge to their work. Students graduate with a Master of Science in Nursing and meet both the baccalaureate and masters level “Essentials” set forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) enabling them to sit for the NCLEX exam for registered nurses.

Unique curricular requirements and extensive clinical experience provide a strong foundation for CNL students, equipping them with valuable, real-world experience that best prepares these future nurses to serve the community. In addition to their 900-clinical-hour requirement—approximately 250 more clinical hours than the DC Board of Nursing requires—all students participate in Contemporary Nursing Care of the Older Adult, a course that provides an overview of nursing care for this population based on evidence-based best practices.

Premier Nursing Placements

In addition to Georgetown University’s academic health system partner, MedStar Health, the CNL program has a variety of site placements throughout the DC region including Mary’s Center, DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Unity Health Care and Clinics.

The Scholarship application process will open in July to current CNL students, and will require applicants to submit a personal essay illustrating the student’s commitment to fulfilling their preference to provide care for the underserved and aging communities in the DC area.

“We are so grateful for this needed support of our students,” add Davis. “The Washington Home Scholarships are a wonderful opportunity to engage our CNL students in developing their unique skill set to improve the health and health care of underserved populations.”

Karen Teber
GUMC Communications

aging communities
Clinical Nurse Leader Program
underserved communities