The Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University's Division of Nursing has launched SNAPP, the Specialty Nursing Activities Partnership Program for Care of Older Adults, an initiative to bring requisite knowledge and elderly nursing care skills to where it is needed most-- in the hands of non-geriatric nurses who care for the older population.
According to a recent study by the Council of State Boards of Nursing, approximately 69% of all registered nurses in their first year of practice predominately care for older adults-- patients 65 to 85 years in age.
"All nurses in the course of their careers care for older adults and need the knowledge and skills to do it well," said Mathy Mezey, EdD, RN, FAAN, director of the Hartford Institute. "In particular, nurses with specialty expertise have a specific professional view that for many does not include geriatrics. With SNAPP, we're trying to bring a geriatric presence to these nurses and encourage them to add geriatric best practices to the care they provide."
Part of the SNAPP initiative includes sending a Resource Center Exhibit Booth for Nursing Care of Older Adults to a number of nursing conferences in the U.S. The booth, supported in part by a grant from the Avon Products Foundation, Inc., includes: aging sensitivity materials; geriatric literature; curricula and training materials; a listing of gerontologic websites; and materials from a number of geriatric organizations.
In addition to the booth, SNAPP provides technical assistance to national specialty nursing associations. This includes maintaining an on-line resource website with links to gerontoloical Internet information, publishing and distributing Try This, a newsletter of user-friendly best practice information, and helping to create geriatric nursing interest groups and geriatric information columns in newsletters.