“I’ve said to students, ‘Don’t go into geriatrics if you just want a simple nursing job,’ ” Elizabeth “Ibby” Tanner, PhD, MS, RN, said recently in accepting the American Geriatrics Society’s Dennis W. Jahnigen Memorial Award for outstanding leadership training for students in geriatrics. “Caring for older adults is only for those top-notch nurses who are really smart, like challenges, are caring and compassionate, and can care for the most complex patients. Not just anyone can do that.”
Few do it as well as Tanner.
Since joining the Hopkins School of Nursing in 2004, she has been instrumental in enhancing the baccalaureate and master’s curriculum so all nurses are prepared to care for older adults. Tanner also co-directs interprofessional education with colleague Laura Hanyok from the Hopkins School of Medicine. One project involves teaming students from the schools of Medicine and Nursing with peers from the Notre Dame of Maryland University School of Pharmacy for home visits to low-income, older adults in Baltimore City.
“Without exaggeration, Dr. Tanner has taught and inspired several thousand nurses to recognize the care of older adults as a special and necessary skill,” said Samuel Durso, MD, AGSF, director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at Hopkins Medicine.