1. Reiland, Debra MS, RN

Article Content


Aging is a natural process of life. With aging come changes in the psychological and physiological makeup of an individual that include increased risk of falling, social isolation, depression, and decreased functional activities. In rural settings, the lack of available resources for exercise and social interaction plays a key role toward increasing the risk for physical decline and decreased quality of life in a senior population. Research has shown that a structured exercise program can positively influence some of these changes. Implementing and promoting such a program are a feasible and important intervention by a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) working in a rural community with a geriatric population. The purpose of this study was to implement and evaluate the impact of a 6-week exercise program on the quality of life on a rural community senior population.



Research has shown that a structured exercise program can positively influence some of these changes. Implementing and promoting such a program are a feasible and important intervention by a CNS working in a rural community with a geriatric population.



This study used a descriptive pretest posttest research design.



Thirty seniors from Oneida County in southeast Idaho were enrolled. Fourteen completed the study. Ages ranged from 58 to 91 years. These seniors were enrolled in a 6-week structured fit and fall exercise class sponsored by the local senior center. Data collection included demographics, a brief medical, social history, and quality of life indicators using the "Your Health and Well-Being SF-12v2" tool before and at the completion of the 6-week program. The SF-12v2 tool is a well-known quality of life tool that looks at physical, emotional, and functional health.



Data collection has been completed and is currently being analyzed. In addition to a sizable attrition rate, preliminary results suggest a large variation in quality of life indicators. The participants who completed the 6-week exercise program showed an improvement of overall health, a decrease in emotional problems, and improved quality of life.



In rural communities, there are a significant number of older and socially isolated individuals. The rural community lacks resources for established exercise facilities and programs. The overall improvement demonstrated by the results of this study suggests that a structured exercise program implemented by a rural CNS working with the geriatric population can impact quality of life through exercise.


Section Description

The 2009 NACNS National Conference will be held in St Louis, Missouri, on March 5 to 7. More than 350 clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), graduate faculty, nurse administrators, nurse researchers, and graduate students are registered. This year's theme, "Clinical Nurse Specialists: Vision, Value, Voice," demonstrates the essential leadership skills of the CNS as well as the CNS role in implementing evidence-based practice.


Seventy abstracts were selected for either podium or poster presentations. Again, this year, there is a CNS student poster session. The abstracts addressed CNS practice in 3 practice domains (spheres of influence), emphasizing patient safety and quality care outcomes, leadership, evidence-based practice, and new ways to shape CNS practice. Topics include CNS work activities incorporated into 3 spheres of influence-patients, nursing practice, organization/system-including the development of clinical inquiry skills among staff nurses, use of simulation technology, strategies to maintain clinical excellence, CNS practice in end-of-life care decisions, and many new and thoughtful ideas to support CNS education, practice, and research. Collectively, the abstracts represent the breadth, depth, and richness of the CNSs' contribution to the well-being of individuals, families, communities, as well as to the advancement of the nursing profession.


The conference abstracts were published here to facilitate sharing this emerging new knowledge with those who were unable to attend the conference. As you read each abstract, appreciate the intellectual talent and clinical scholarship of your CNS colleagues who are advancing the practice of nursing and contributing to the health of society through improved outcomes for patients and healthcare organizations. We encourage you to contact individual presenters to network, collaborate, consult, or share your thoughts and ideas on the conference topics. Watch out for next year's call for abstracts and consider submitting for presentation at NACNS' next annual conference in Portland, Oregon, on March 4 to 6, 2010.