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NLN Expands ACES: Advancing Care Excellence for Seniors

NLN Expands ACES: Advancing Care Excellence for Seniors

Website Adds New Unfolding Cases Simulations and Teaching Strategies to Better Prepare Students and Faculty for Gerontology Nursing Practice

Excellent Resources for Nurse Faculty Available Free of Charge


New York, NY — June 28, 2011 — Millie Larsen is 84, widowed, lives alone, and worries about the cost of her medications for hypertension and other medical problems. Red Yoder, 80 and also widowed, complains his son, Jon, is impatient with him when he has to walk slowly at the mall. Henry Williams, hospitalized for COPD, worries about his wife, Ertha, who gets easily confused and is still grieving for the couples only son, killed in the Gulf War. Julia Morales and Lucy Grey, a long-term couple, are coping with Julias terminal lung cancer and Lucys ensuing loneliness.

Their stories, recounted in compelling monologues found on the National League for Nursing website at, represent a range of challenges — medical, psycho-social, and financial — typically faced by older adults. The unfolding cases of Millie, Red, Henry, Julia, and Lucy are a vital part of Advancing Care Excellence for Seniors (ACES), the NLNs web-based model for teaching care of older adults to nursing students. In these unfolding cases, students are presented with a series of realistic encounters with simulated patients in varied health care settings. The simulation templates offer faculty everything they need to implement the scenarios, and instructor toolkits offer suggestions on how to use the various tools and incorporate them into the curriculum.

ACES takes advantage of evolving knowledge of geriatrics to present an evidence-based foundation for teaching and learning best practices in the field. "With ACES, the NLN earns pride of place in transforming nursing education to better prepare students to provide individualized, humane, and culturally sensitive care for a multi-ethnic, aging population, an arena of increasing demand in Americas health care landscape," asserted NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN.

ACES teaching strategies represent another expanding section of the website. They have been developed by a panel of experts on geriatric nursing education and are designed to be used throughout the curriculum. The teaching strategies are guides for faculty to develop encounters with older adults that incorporate all or some of the ACES Essential Nursing Actions: assess function and expectations, coordinate and manage care, use evolving knowledge, and make situational decisions.

Three new teaching strategies, "Student-Led Geriatric Nursing Conference — Evidence in Practice," "Assessment of the Older Adult in the Long-term-Care Setting," and "End-of-Life Decision Making for Older Adults" have been added to the initial teaching strategies: "Geriatric Syndromes and Examining Risks" and "Benefits to Enhance Quality of Life." New teaching strategies will continue to be released, so nurse educators are urged to check the website on a regular basis.

"Utilizing ACES, nurse educators may foster students development of nursing judgment and observational skill in assessing an elderly persons functional status, strengths, resources, needs, cultural traditions, wishes, and expectations, as well as that of the patients caregiver," noted Cathleen M. Shultz, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN, the president of the NLN.

ACES has been developed through a partnership of the National League for Nursing and the Community College of Philadelphia, with funding from the John A. Hartford Foundation, Laerdal Medical, and the Independence Foundation.

For more information about Advancing Care Excellence for Seniors, please contact Elaine Tagliareni at 212-812-0333,

Editors and reporters: For interview opportunities, please contact NLN chief communications officer, Karen R. Klestzick, at 212-812-0376,

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education offering professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 35,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members.