National League of NursingNational League of Nursing

The Voice of Nursing Education


October 28 - Teaching Nursing Care of Vulnerable Populations

NLN Member Update
header XVIII, Issue Number 18

October 28, 2015
bevphotoDear %%Informal%%,

Millie Lawson, Red Yoder, and a number of other names have been familiar to NLN members for a while now. These seniors, the subjects of the NLN’s widely used unfolding ACE.S cases, have been joined by others: persons with Alzheimer’s disease (ACE.Z) and veterans of the Korean, Vietnam, and more recent US wars (ACE.V). They are the characters and couples at the heart of the NLN Center for Excellence in the Care of Vulnerable Populations ACE (Advancing Care Excellence) initiative.

Unfolding cases are an incredible resource for nurse faculty. They combine the power of storytelling with the experiential nature of simulation scenarios and create a robust, meaningful experience for students. Each case, written by an expert nurse faculty member, includes a first-person monologue that introduces the individual or couple and the complex problems to be addressed. The case then unfolds, or evolves over time, in a manner that is unpredictable to the learner as new situations develop and are revealed with each encounter. An innovative final assignment asks students to finish the story.

I am pleased to tell you that our ACE.S, ACE.Z, and ACE.V cases have been refreshed and updated, with current references added this past summer. In addition, we have developed new teaching strategies that revolve more closely around mental health care and caregiving. They are evidence-based, implementation-ready, and modifiable. Best of all, they continue to be available to nurse faculty at no charge. Here are our four brand new teaching strategies:

  • ACE.S: Utilizing Resources to Support Independence and Quality of Life Issues in Older Adults
  • ACE.Z: Supporting a Couple When One Has Dementia
  • ACE.V: The Impact of Comorbidity of Depression and Anxiety on Outcomes of Illness
  • ACE.V: Promoting a Collaborative Approach in Treating the Complex Issues of a Homeless Veteran

Colleagues, if you have not yet used ACE.S resources from the NLN, here is a bit of advice. Start by visiting the ACESXPRESS microsite and take advantage of the easy access it provides to videos, ACE.S downloadable starter kits, twitter chats, and archived webinars. You will go from novice to expert in no time.


And while you’re on the site, please note our strategic partners: Community College of Philadelphia, the Hearst Foundations, the National Student Nurses’ Association, the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, the American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination, Springfield Technical Community College, Ursuline College, and the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence. Check out the ACESXPRESS Strategic Partner Toolkit to learn how you, as an individual or organization, can help us spread the word about ACE.S and ensure that nurses are well educated in providing sensitive and appropriate evidence-based care. And remember that the NLN has the ability to take ACE.S on the road to your institution.

I am very excited to tell you that with generous funding from the Retirement Research Foundation, the NLN and Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute will present workshops, comprehensive webinars, and online technologies over a two-year course of instruction aimed at academic practical nursing (PN) faculty. Through this collaboration, we will distribute tailored resources in gerontology and coaching skills to improve the preparation of the LPNs and LVNs providing care in community-based ambulatory clinics, long-term care facilities, and in homes throughout the country. Five workshops will be held in the four states with the greatest number of PN programs: California, Florida, New York, and Texas.

I also must again acknowledge the Hearst Foundations for its generous support. During a four-year period, the foundations funded a competitive awards program to recognize 12 schools of nursing that demonstrate exceptional instruction and innovation in health care for seniors. Take a look at the list of all the awardees to get a sense of the important impact the ACE endeavor has already had on the care provided by nurses to this vulnerable population. There are plans for ACE.D next (Advancing Care Excellence for People with Disabilities) followed by ACE.C (Advancing Care Excellence for Caregivers). With your help, we will ensure that all nursing students are better prepared to advance the health of some of the most vulnerable among us – I cannot think of a more important goal.

Before I close, colleagues, allow me to highlight some recent accolades received by our staff. First, Virginia Adams, director of the NLN Center for Diversity and Global Initiatives and chair for the International Council of Nurses Education Network, Core Steering Group, has been inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She is now known as Virginia W. Adams, PhD, MSN, RN, FAAN.

Second, Barbara J. Patterson, PhD, RN, ANEF, who has been serving as scholar-in-residence in the NLN | Chamberlain College of Nursing Center for the Advancement of the Science of Nursing Education and conducting research with Dr. Janice Brewington in the NLN Center for Transformational Leadership, has been named by the Widener University School of Nursing as Distinguished University Professor. With this honor, she is recognized as an outstanding teacher by students and faculty and acknowledged for her scholarly research activities. Barbara is associate dean for scholarship and inquiry at Widener and serves the NLN in numerous capacities, including research briefs editor for Nursing Education Perspectives .

The NLN staff is amazing, as are our members. Congratulations again to Virginia and Barbara – we are very proud.

Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer