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SMH Nurse Accepted Into Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy

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SARASOTA (Nov. 12, 2012)  –  Karen Reynolds, DNP, CNS-BC, Advanced Practice Nurse at Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, is one of 11 Fellows nationwide selected to participate in the Geriatric Nurse Leadership Academy (GNLA), an 18-month mentored leadership development experience presented by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI). 

The GLNA Fellows advance geriatric nursing practice through leadership of an inter-professional team at their respective hospitals, and then use what they learn and implement to broaden that impact on regional and national levels. 

Karen Reynolds, DNP, CNS-BC, Advanced Practice Nurse

Left to right: Mary O’Donnell, program officer at The Retirement Research Foundation; Deborah Cleeter, MSN, EdD; Karen Reynolds, DNP, CNS-BC; Meredith Rowe, RN, PhD, FGSA, FAAN; and Amy Berman, BS, RN, senior program officer at the John A. Hartford Foundation.

At Sarasota Memorial, Reynolds is leading the hospital’s newly formed Brainstorming Delirium Team to develop innovative ways to manage vulnerable older patients who are affected by delirium while being treated in the hospital for acute medical needs. The team’s goals include the prevention, early identification, best practice and evidence-based treatment and interventions for delirium. Desired outcomes include: decreased length of stay, lower hospital readmission rates and overall improvement in the potential long-term effects of delirium on their quality of life.

“Being in the hospital is stressful for people of any age, but it can be particularly hard on older adults, especially if they are confused or suffering from memory issues or dementia,” said Reynolds. “The focus of our team will be not just to treat their condition or disease, but to focus on ways we can promote their psychological and functional status, so that in caring for their medical condition, we also are protecting their cognitive health and emotional well-being.”

Dr. Meredeth Rowe, a leading nurse scientist in geriatrics and Alzheimer’s research at the University of South Florida and The Leona Hughes Endowed Chair, is Reynolds’ Leadership Mentor and Consultant. She will be using a blended curriculum designed to empower nurses to effectively lead their organizations through challenging times regarding elder care.

“ This leadership institute provides practicing nurses the opportunity to use evidence – based practice and research in the clinical areas to improve the care that older adult patients receive,” Dr. Rowe said. “This project is particularly important because older adults experiencing delirium will have longer hospital stays and higher mortality rates than those with the same conditions but no delirium.  Those who return home will have more cognitive deficits and functional decline as well.”

The fellowship opportunity was made possible through the partnership of STTI and grant funding through The John A. Hartford Foundation, The Retirement Research Foundation and Hill-Rom and Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, Inc.

About GNLA
The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the learning, knowledge and professional development of nurses committed to making a difference in health worldwide. Founded in 1922, STTI has more than 125,000 members in 90 countries. Members include practicing nurses, instructors, researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs and others. STTI’s 485 chapters are located at 659 institutions of higher education throughout Australia; Botswana; Brazil; Canada; Colombia; England; Ghana; Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China; Japan; Kenya; Malawi; Mexico; Netherlands; Pakistan; Singapore; South Africa; South Korea; Swaziland; Sweden; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania; the United States; and Wales. More information about STTI can be found online at

About Sarasota Memorial
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of inpatient, outpatient and extended care services, with more than 800,000 patient visits a year. Sarasota Memorial’s 806-bed acute care hospital has been recognized repeatedly as one of the nation’s largest, safest and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services– from urgent care clinics and physician groups, laboratory and diagnostic imaging centers, to home health and skilled nursing & rehabilitation. Sarasota Memorial is the only hospital in the Suncoast region (Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties) ever to rank in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” and HealthGrades “America’s 50 Best Hospitals” lists.

Media Contact:
Kim Savage
(941) 917-6271

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