Adults older than 65 represent the majority of clients in most home healthcare agencies. To provide evidence-based care to this group of clients, nurses need up-to-date information. Using on-line sources is a quick and easy way to update knowledge of elder care.


Article Content

New Directions

New Directions is an electronic publication of the Hartford Geriatric Nursing Initiative. The newsletter is helpful to practice leaders, practitioners, and others who wish to keep abreast of the latest news and information relevant to geriatric nursing. For example, the most current issue includes (1) a description of and links to several geriatric-specific articles and reports, (2) upcoming events, and (3) an especially helpful feature called "Link of the Month" (New Directions: The e-Newsletter of the Hartford Geriatric Nursing Initiative, 2005, 2[8]). Each month a different "link" is highlighted. The current "Link of the Month" highlights the US Census Bureau Web site, which is useful when seeking demographic data and other economic information about your agency's service area or proposed service areas. To subscribe to the e-newsletter, send an e-mail to Chris Gherst at


Physical Diagnosis in Elderly People

The on-line continuing education (CE) self-directed learning module is listed on MedScape Nursing. This interactive clinical update provides comprehensive information about the principles associated with optimal physical diagnosis in elderly patients. This excellent resource for the nongeriatric-trained healthcare provider offers CE units to both advanced practice nurses and registered nurses. There is no fee. CE units are offered through March 23, 2006. If you don't already use the Medscape site, you may have to register to enter the site by creating a user name and password, an easy process. This training is particularly effective as an agency-wide update for all clinicians.


Try This Series

Try This, a publication of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, is a series of assessment tools in which each issue focuses on a topic specific to the older adult. The goal of Try This: Best Practices in Care for Older Adults is to provide best practices that are accessible and easily understood, so nurses providing direct care to older persons can apply the information.


Each Try This issue is a 2-page document with a description of why the topic is important and a screening assessment tool that can be administered in less than 20 minutes. The series is accessible on-line and also as hard copy.


Examples include The Pitts-burgh Sleep Quality Index, assessing pain in the older adult, caregiver strain index, confusion assessment, and sexuality assessment. Copies of the issues can be downloaded, photocopied, and disseminated for educational, nonprofit use.


Send an e-mail to or call (212) 992-9416 to receive permission to use the copies, or if you have any questions or comments or would like to be notified when new issues of Try This are posted. A new feature of Try This is that 3 issues are now available for downloading on personal digital assistants. These issues can be accessed on the Hartford Institute Web site at


Review Course for Gerontological Nurse Certification

The Gerontological Nurse Certification Review course examines fundamental knowledge about care of the older adult that the registered nurse must master to be certified as a gerontological nurse by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The content and emphasis of the course correspond to that of the ANCC examination. The course offers a summary of key clinical information and issues and reviews financial, social, political, and cultural issues that affect nursing care for the elderly.


Organized into 4 modules around common patient types (healthy, frail, institutionalized, and dying older adults), each module has a case-study example and practice questions. The on-line self-study is self-paced (asynchronous) and interactive. Estimated time for completion is 8 hours. Incremental use is encouraged.


Geronurseonline provides comprehensive geriatric nursing resources, including information on geriatric syndromes nurses can use to immediately benefit patients.


Users may search the site by clinical signs and symptoms, geriatric topics, or specialty nursing practice areas. Through the "clinical signs and symptoms" entry function, a nurse can look up a patient's particular behavior, such as agitation, and be directed to possible causes.


Clinicians may also visit the Web site to learn more about a specific geriatric topic, such as medication, pressure ulcers, delirium, falls, pain, or urinary incontinence. Specialties are also listed.


The content on the Web site is organized into 3 levels of depth and complexity:Need Help Stat, Want to Know More, and Topic Resources.


* The "Need Help Stat " section gives concise and targeted content, including quick assessment instruments for nurses who need information that can be used immediately.


* The "Want to Know More " section provides more in-depth content about geriatric topics and the nursing process.


* Each geriatric topic also contains a "Topic Resource " section in which users are directed to particular resources, including current journal articles, textbooks, and related practical materials specific to each area.



Visitors to the site may personalize their own home pages, enabling them to save content of interest. The "e-mail to a friend" feature allows you to share content and resources with colleagues. GeroNurseOnline is one component of Nurse Competence in Aging, a 5-year initiative funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies (USA) Inc., awarded to the American Nurses Association (ANA) through the American Nurses Foundation. It represents a strategic alliance between ANA, the ANCC, and the John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University.


Online Broadcasts: Nursing Care of Older Adults: A New Look at the Old

At press time, 7 in a series of 18 60-minute Web casts are available through a collaborative effort between the American Journal of Nursing, the Gerontological Society of America, and PRIME-DIA Healthcare. This free series includes Web casts addressing cognitive impairment, improving nurse-physician communication, presentation of illness in older adults, and challenges to come in elder care. The series is broadcast live on specific dates and then archived for viewing later. The Web casts are open to viewing until at least October of 2006.


Support is acknowledged from the John A. Hartford Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Scholarship Program and the Nurse Competence in Aging, a 5-year initiative funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies (USA) Inc., awarded to the American Nurses Association (ANA) through the American Nurses Foundation (ANF), and representing a strategic alliance between ANA, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing, New York University, The Steinhardt School of Education, Division of Nursing.