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Senior Care Innovation Scholarship Finalist Stefani Propper

Dana Larsen
By Dana LarsenAugust 10, 2013

A Place for Mom is proud to announce the commencement of their annual $1,000 scholarship for advancement in the field of gerontology. This is a general scholarship which will award the selected applicants with a financial donation. We have narrowed-down the finalists, which includes Stefani Propper.

Congratulations to Stefani Propper, Senior Care Innovation Scholarship Finalist! Read Stefani’s essay below and vote for her if you think she deserves to be one of the 5 recipients of the $1,000 scholarship awards.

Stefani’s Essay

He looked at her through aged eyes, their arthritic fingers interlocked. He brushed his hand through her silver hair as he hummed through his deeply wrinkled lips; I put my hand on his shoulder. They’d shared over 60 years of marriage and now he sat and watched his beloved bride leave him. With no family to help him through I was not only nursing an ill patient but also guiding a family member through one of the most difficult challenges he’d ever face. It was in moments like these I knew my journey as a nurse had taken me to the right place.

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As we prepare for the increase in geriatric population with the aging of the Baby Boomers it is essential to expand the number of practitioners specializing in gerontology. As a nurse and bedside caregiver I see the importance of clinical expertise and a holistic approach of practice to this growing population of patients. In the hospital setting continuing education to nurses, mid-level practitioners and physicians in the care of the geriatric patient will enhance the care at all levels. Out of the hospital setting it is important to provide community resources for the geriatric population. Having nurses involved in outpatient facilities will decrease hospitalization and the stress it brings to this fragile population. Taking part in community screenings has been rewarding to me as a nurse and I’ve seen firsthand the positive affect it has had and will continue to have on my community. Innovations to enhance and extend independent living through community resources will decrease the feeling of social isolation and increase mood and self-sufficiency.

I have chosen to continue my education and advance as a front line caregiver to the ever growing geriatric population as an Adult/Geriatric Nurse Practitioner. In this role I hope to provide not only specialized medical care to this rapidly growing group but be available to meet their needs at a holistic level; encompassing emotional, mental and physical characteristics of care. Each day I approach my nursing journey knowing that the extra call to the pharmacy, 15 minutes of conversation, or seconds of putting my hand on a shoulder will not only increase their satisfaction but hopefully ease their experience and let them know they are not alone.

As we glance into the near future we can see a rapid increase in the geriatric population. As a healthcare provider I know the importance of specialized care. Advancing the knowledge base of front line caregivers through continuing education will prove to shorten length of hospital stay, while having innovative programs available through community resources will increase social growth and provide early diagnosis and screening of illness. As the nurse pursuing a career as a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner I know I will act as an advocate and change agent to this population. I will continue to provide knowledge, compassion and support to each patient I care for throughout my journey as a geriatric nurse.

View other Senior Care Innovation Scholarship Finalists. Don’t hesitate to congratulate and vote for Stefani in the comment form below if you think her essay is one of the most compelling of all the finalists. Keep in mind we are awarding 5 of the finalists with $1,000 which they can use toward their studies. 

Dana Larsen
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Dana Larsen
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