Geriatric Education & Training (GET) Program for Acute Care Nursing

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Jennifer Baumbusch, PhD, RN


Maureen Shaw, MSN, RN
Dr. Angela Wolff, PhD, RN


With our aging population, older adults are increasingly the main population accessing hospital services. Most nurses, however, have received minimal education about this population in their formal education, and few hospital-based nurses have pursued continuing education in this specialized area of practice. Previous research has demonstrated that hospitals, in general are not ideal settings for older adults and suggests that hospitalization puts older adults at a greater risk for negative health outcomes than their younger counterparts. Despite the growing need for evidence-based nursing care for older adults in hospitals, currently there are no practice-relevant, specialized programs that have been systematically developed and evaluated for this population.


The main objective of this study was to a) develop, implement and evaluate the Geriatric Education and Training (GET) Program for Acute Care Nursing and b) share the GET Program with hospitals across BC at the conclusion of the study.

The GET Program:

The GET curriculum was developed based on current literature related to best practice and policy level guidelines. The program took place over 3 and a half days. The course covered; foundations in nursing care of older adults in acute care, consequences of hospitalization, and meeting the challenges in older adult care. One session was held every month over four consecutive months and the last session being the focus groups.

In addition to the course, the participating nurses also completed 3 surveys at 3 different time points; at the beginning of the GET program, at the end of the program and three months after the program. These surveys measured beliefs and knowledge about nursing care of older adults and were used to examine whether nurses’ attitudes and knowledge improved over the course of the GET program.

On the last day, program participants, their managers and practice leaders (42 in total) participated in focus groups to better understand nurses’ perspectives on factors that influence their readiness to provide appropriate care for hospitalized older adults.


Findings from the focus groups suggest point-of-care, organizational conditions, and a culture of ageism contribute to the challenges in providing appropriate care for hospitalized older people.

Knowledge Translation Workshop:

Held on March 12, 2014 the goal of the workshop was to share and disseminate the GET Program to Health Authorities throughout the province so that the GET Program can be offered at other hospitals. 18 practice leaders, representatives from 4 Health Authorities and the Nurses Union attended and each attendee was given the full curriculum content material on a flash drive to facilitate dissemination of the program in their respective settings


Baumbusch, J., Shaw, M., Leblanc, ME. & Kjorven, MC. (2013). Implementing the Geriatric Education and Training (GET) Program: a toolkit for educators. Published on cIRcle (University of British Columbia public repository).

Baumbusch, J., Leblanc, M.E., Shaw, M., & Kjorven, M.  (2015). Factors Influencing Nurses’ Readiness to Care for Hospitalized Older People. International Journal of Older People Nursing. CLICK HERE to link to the article page.

Baumbusch, J., Shaw, M., Wolff, A., Kjorven, M., & LeBlanc, M. The Geriatric Education and Training Program in Acute Care Nursing. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions (Degree of Completion: 80%).

Conference Presentations:

Baumbusch J., Shaw M., Leblanc ME. & Kjorven M. (April 2015). Acute Care Nurses’ Perspectives on the Needs of Older Adults in Acute Care Settings. Gerontological Nurses Association of British Columbia Annual Meeting. Kelowna, BC.

Baumbusch J., Shaw M., Leblanc ME., Wolff A., Kjorven M., Blackburn L., Lawrie B. & Shamatutu M. (April 2015). The Geriatric Education & Training (GET) Program: GETting it Right for Seniors in Acute care. Gerontological Nurses Association of British Columbia Annual Meeting. Kelowna, BC.

Baumbusch J., Shaw M., Leblanc ME. & Kjorven M. (Nov. 6-8, 2014). Geriatric Education & Training (GET) for Acute Care Nurses: GETting it Together for our Seniors. 67th Gerontological Society of America’s Conference. Washington, DC.

Shaw M., Baumbusch J., Leblanc ME. (April 4-5, 2014). The Geriatric Education &Training (GET) for Acute Care Nurses.  11th Annual British Columbia Geriatric Services Conference. Vancouver, British Columbia.

 Shaw M., Leblanc ME., Baumbusch J. (March 2014) Geriatric Education &Training (GET) for Acute Care Nurses: Education for Sustaining Comfort. 19th Annual Ethel Johns Research Day. St-Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia.