1. Derosa, Susan E. MS, RN, GCNS-BC
  2. Alderman, Joanne MSN, RN-BC, APRN, FNGNA
  3. Ashcraft, Alyce PhD, RN, CS, CCRN
  4. Bandos, Jean MSN, CNS, APRN, BC

Article Content


The purposes of this study were to emphasize current evidence-based practice for sleep in the older adult and resources available for assessment and intervention and to (1) list sleep assessment tools and (2) strategies promoting sleep.



Sleep disturbances among older adults are under recognized and many times mistreated. At least 50% of older adults living in the community use either OTC or prescription medications to help them sleep. Up to 70% of caregivers report that nighttime difficulties support their decision to place their loved one in a nursing home.



Sleep, the body's rest cycle, is triggered by a complex group of hormones that respond to cues from the body and the environment. In addition to normal aging changes that can change sleep patterns, there are pathophysiological conditions that include restless leg syndrome, pain, apnea, chronic cardiac and respiratory problems, nocturia, depression, dementia, and polypharmacy. Sleep disruption can cause both mental and physical problems, including daytime drowsiness, agitation, depression, memory lapses, loss of initiative, delirium, daily routine/activities disruption, protracted health recovery, and falls.



This poster summarizes the current knowledge on sleep in the older adult, including sleep assessment tools, sleep disruption etiologies, impact of disruptions, and interventions.



The clinical nurse specialist (CNS) will have knowledge of sleep cycles, sleep assessments, and the appropriate use of nonpharmacological and pharmacological interventions.



Armed with the latest evidence, the CNS will be able to conduct a thorough sleep assessment and to identify appropriate interventions.


Implications for Practice:

Knowledge of evidence-based practice sleep assessment and intervention will enhance CNS practice when caring for older adults.


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.