1. Mezey, Mathy EdD, RN, FAAN
  2. Harrington, Charlene PhD, RN, FAAN
  3. Kluger, Malvina

Article Content

Providing high-quality care for more than 1.4 million older adults in the nation's 16,000-plus nursing homes is the responsibility of RNs in both the nursing home and hospital setting. It's estimated that the population of older Americans will double by 2030, growing from 31 million to 62 million among people ages 65 to 84 and from 4.3 million to 9.6 million for those ages 85 and older. Currently about 4% of people age 65 and over and 18% of people age 85 and over reside in nursing homes. By 2020, when it's predicted that 46% of those who reach age 65 will spend some time in a nursing home, geriatric competence will become a professional necessity. Just as cultural competence cuts across all nursing practice, so does geriatric competence. As older adults will constitute the majority of patients cared for by all nurses, this issue of Nursing Counts addresses the readiness of the RN workforce to care for frail older adults.-Mathy Mezey, EdD, RN, FAAN


Sources: American Health Care Association. 2004.; U.S. Census Bureau. 2004.; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 1999.; Spillman B, Lubitz J. Medical Care 2002; 40(10):965-75.