Baylor Nursing School grant to help develop tool to measure geriatric competencies

Nursing photo
(Baylor Photography/Robbie Rogers)
Feb. 27, 2015

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Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board grant partners Baylor University with Baylor Scott & White Health North and Baylor Institute of Rehabilitation to train nurses to meet the needs of Baby Boomers

WACO, Texas (Feb. 27, 2015) - Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing (LHSON) has received a grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to partner with Baylor Scott & White Health North and Baylor Institute of Rehabilitation to develop, test and validate an evaluation model to measure geriatric competencies.

The $462,135 grant, awarded through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Nursing Innovation “Transition to Practice” Grant Program, will fund the “Geriatric Competency Validation Toolbox for New Nurse Graduates: Utilization of DEU’s and Collaborative Clinical Partnerships for Development and Validation” project.

“We are so appreciative of this generous funding from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to develop and validate the attainment of geriatric nursing care competencies among nursing students,” said project director Tanya Sudia, Ph.D., R.N., associate dean for research and scholarship and interim graduate program director and professor in the LHSON, which is housed in Baylor’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences.

“Our clinical partners from Baylor Scott & White Health North and the Baylor Institute of Rehabilitation played a key role in the development of this project. We are committed to collaboratively working with them to systematically prepare nursing students for the comprehensive care needs of the growing geriatric population,” Sudia said.

The nursing students participating in this project will be both those engaged in learning within the newly developed dedicated educational units and those learning on other units within the same institutions. Approximately 350 students and 160 faculty and hospital partner staff will participate in either the pilot testing or validation phases of this comprehensive project. The final product will be a geriatric competency toolkit available for use by other nursing schools throughout the state of Texas.

“With the aging of the Baby Boomers, the need for nurses with refined knowledge and skills in the care of the older population across the health care continuum is accelerating at an incredible pace,” said Dora Bradley, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., chief clinical and patient learning officer for Baylor Scott & White Health and associate dean for academic partnerships for LHSON.

Bradley serves as co-project director. Nan Ketcham, M.S.N., R.N., LHSON undergraduate program director, serves as project coordinator.

“Addressing this need will take strong partnerships between service and academia. As recipients of the THECB grant, Baylor Scott & White Nursing and the LHSON are able to highlight their joint commitment for preparing new graduates for their future practice,” Bradley said.

David Gardner, deputy commissioner for academic planning and policy for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, said the grant evaluating committee recognized the importance of the scope of work laid out by Baylor University.

“Based on the committee’s feedback on the grant proposal, we have high expectations that the grant results will help transform acute health care delivery for the state’s aging population,” Gardner said.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with Baylor University Medical Center and Baylor Institute of Rehabilitation as we improve the care for geriatric patients. The opportunity to then share these tools, techniques and measurement capabilities with all the nursing schools in Texas is exciting. Every nurse will care for older adults during their careers so improving that care is especially heart-warming and an experience to which we are dedicated,” said Shelley F. Conroy, Ed.D., M.S.N., R.N., C.N.E., dean of Baylor’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


After more than three years of evaluation and input from Baylor regents, deans, faculty and staff, and external entities, the Baylor Board of Regents approved the creation of the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences on May 16, 2014. This was also a direct result of identified priorities for strengthening the health sciences through Baylor’s strategic vision, Pro Futuris, which serves as a compass for the University’s future. The anchor academic units that form the new College –Communication Sciences and Disorders, Family and Consumer Sciences, Health, Human Performance and Recreation, and the Louise Herrington School of Nursing – share a common purpose: improving health and the quality of life. The new College is working to create curricula that will promote a team-based approach to patient care and will establish interdisciplinary research collaborations to advance solutions for improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities. For more information visit


The Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing (LHSON) was established in 1909 as a diploma program within Baylor Hospital in Dallas, which is now Baylor University Medical Center, and in 1950 became one of the six degree-granting schools of Baylor University. The first baccalaureate degrees were enrolled in 1950 and graduated in 1952, establishing the school as one of the oldest baccalaureate nursing programs in the United States. In 1999, the School was renamed the Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing after Louise Herrington Ornelas, a 1992 Baylor Alumna Honoris Causa, who made a $13 million endowment gift to the school. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing, LHSON offers Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) degrees through a Traditional program and FastBacc (one-year accelerated program). LHSON also offers a new online Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) Leadership and Innovation program, as well as Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) programs to include, Family Nurse Practitioner (F.N.P.), Nurse-Midwife (C.N.M.) and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (N.N.P.). LHSON is one of four health-related anchor academic units in the new Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences at Baylor. For more information visit


The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board promotes access, affordability, quality, success and cost efficiency in the state’s institutions of higher education, through Closing the Gaps and its successor plan, resulting in a globally competent workforce that positions Texas as an international leader in an increasingly complex world economy.


Baylor Scott & White Health, the organization formed from the 2013 merger between Baylor Health Care System and Scott & White Healthcare, is today the largest not-for-profit health care system in the state of Texas. With total assets of $9 billion* and serving a population larger than the state of Virginia, Baylor Scott & White Health has the vision and resources to provide its patients continued quality care while creating a model system for a dramatically changing health care environment. The organization now includes 49 hospitals, more than 800 access points, more than 5,800 active physicians, 35,000 employees and the Scott & White Health Plan.

* based on audited fiscal year 2013 financial statements


Helping people overcome serious disabilities and restoring them to full, productive lives is the goal of the clinical staff at the 92-bed, not-for-profit Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation (BIR). BIR offers intense, highly specialized rehabilitation services for traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, strokes and other orthopaedic and neurological disorders. Physicians specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, known as physiatrists, lead interdisciplinary clinical teams that work with patients to design and implement a treatment program to achieve the patient's goals. In 2010, for the 14th year, BIR was named among the top rehabilitation hospitals in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Hospitals" guide.

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