Filling the void in geriatric mental health: The Geropsychiatric Nursing Collaborative as a model for change

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

Nurs Outlook

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Nursing outlook

PubMed ID


DOI of Published Version



Mental health for older adults is a looming public health problem. Yet, geriatric mental health specialists are a scarce commodity, and few generalists have had formal education in either geriatrics or mental health. A multilevel collaboration using a diffusion of innovation model served to achieve change nationally in preparing entry-and advanced practice-level nurses to improve the mental health of older Americans. The John A. Hartford Foundation Geropsychiatric Nursing Collaborative at the American Academy of Nursing is the exemplar described here. The Geropsychiatric Nursing Collaborative developed and infused mental health competency enhancements for generalist and specialist nurses; identified and disseminated teaching-learning strategies to convey related key concepts using the POGOe (Portal of Geriatric Online Education) website; raised awareness through multiple presentations and publications; and notified deans of every school of nursing about these new resources. Fully embracing diffusion of innovation principles, the Geropsychiatric Nursing Collaborative is achieving change in this critical area of nursing practice.

Published Article/Book Citation

The definitive version was published in Nursing outlook, 59:4 (2011) pp.236-241. DOI:10.1016/j.outlook.2011.05.016.

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