Gannon Professor Named Fellow of National Organization

Posted: September 30, 2014

America's increasing aged population is creating challenges for healthcare workers, but opportunities, too, though many disciplines and practitioners have been slow to explore them.

Not Carol Amann, a professor at Gannon University's Villa Maria School of Nursing. Amann was recently named a Fellow of the National Gerontological Nursing Association (NGNA), a distinction conferred on few nursing practitioners. "It's a very small group.  I'm the only one to receive this honor in northwest Pennsylvania," Amann said. "There are maybe one or two fellows in the Philadelphia area and the same number in Cincinnati, Ohio. Now we have representation for our area and recognition for Gannon University."

One reason why this might be so, Amann said, is the extensive practical and professional experience necessary, as well as providing significant contributions in gerontological care to be considered for the recognition. "You have to have extensive gerontology experience, she said, adding, "You also, you have to live the life. You have to complete work that positively impacts older adult nursing care in all aspects, such as service-learning, experimental work, working with students for the betterment of older adult care."

Extensive service to NGNA, an organization founded in 1984 and dedicated to the clinical care of older adults across diverse care settings, is also necessary. She is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and Board Certified in Gerontology.  Amann has authored chapters and completed text reviews in gerontological care.  She has also presented at the NGNA's National Conference, and others, regarding care of the older adult. Amann will present the results of a project she conducted with her students at Gannon centered on the nutrition needs of older adults in the community at the annual conference in San Antonio Texas in October.

Amann is completing doctoral studies at Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma. Her research focus is on the impact that nurses can have on health policy and politics and how practice and policy can be integrated. "One of my passions is health policy and politics," she said, "and I plan to promote nursing and health policy, and the impact nurses can and do have on issues that directly impact the geriatric population."

Amann credits her work at Gannon University as a motivating factor in her pursuit of activism and knowledge on behalf of older adults. "Prior to coming here, I worked in staff development,  management and leadership, and though I worked with geriatrics, I can't say it was my true focus. GU gave me the opportunity to teach a standalone gerontology course, and I love that," she said, adding. "Most universities don't offer this type of course. Dr. [Carolynn] Masters [now Gannon's Provost] was such a strong supporter. Once I was hired here, I thought I should become the expertI immersed myself in the field and have been blessed ever since."