May 24, 2015 NGNA Award Selection Committee: It is my pleasure

May 24, 2015
NGNA Award Selection Committee:
It is my pleasure to nominate Elizabeth “Ibby” Tanner , PhD, FNGNA, FAAN, for the NGNA Distinguished
Nurse Educator Award in 2015. Dr. Tanner has dedicated her career to improving the health and wellbeing of older adults by preparing nurses to care for an aging population within an inter-professional
health care environment. She has had a strong impact on the field through the thousands of nursing
students whom she has taught, numerous faculty members whom she has mentored, and her
leadership in developing national standards and educational programs dedicated to educating nurses
about gerontological nursing.
Dr. Tanner is recognized as a leader in gerontological nursing education both nationally and
internationally. She has served as a consultant with the National Expert Panel in writing the
“Recommended Baccalaureate Competencies and Curricular Guidelines for the Nursing Care of Older
Adults”, both in 2000 and 2010. Also, she is recognized as a an excellent educator with more than 30
years of full-time undergraduate and graduate nursing education experience in three different
universities teaching , developing gerontological nursing education programs and teaching numerous
gerontological nursing courses across undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels. Consistently, Dr.
Tanner has been recognized for outstanding teaching in each institution where she has taught. She has
been the recipient of more than 15 teaching awards. Most recently in 2014 she was recognized by the
American Geriatric Society where she was the recipient of the prestigious W. Dennis Jahnigen Award for
Geriatric Education– only the second nurse to ever receive this national award from the American
Geriatric Society. In addition, she has been recognized nationally for her expertise in gerontological
nursing curriculum development. For example, a required aging course which she developed at Johns
Hopkins University (JHU) School of Nursing (SON) received the national Hartford Institute for Geriatric
Nursing (HIGN) and American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Stand-Alone Geriatric Course
Award for baccalaureate education. Also, she developed and directed a unique RN-BSN-MSN program at
the University of Alabama in Huntsville which focused on gerontological nursing competencies; this
program also received a curriculum award from HIGN and AACN. Outcomes of this forward-thinking
program have been published and presented as an exemplary national education model for preparing
nurses to care for a growing older population. In conjunction with a national trial studying the impact of
“Guided Care”, an interdisciplinary model of transitional care delivery, Dr. Tanner participated in the
development of an online course in “Guided Care Nursing” which is recognized by NGNA. Nurses
completing this course obtain a certificate from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and are
prepared for a new role to provide coordinated care for older adults within medical homes and
To promote student interest in gerontological nursing, Dr. Tanner began a Geriatric Interest Group
(GIG) at JHU which includes ~100 nursing, medical and public health students. The “GIG” concept has
been represented at national conferences (e.g. NGNA) and replicated in other schools of nursing
nationally and internationally (e.g. Flinders University School of Nursing and Midwifery in Australia).
Currently, in her role as co-director of interprofessional education (IPE) at JHU in collaboration with
colleagues in the School of Medicine, she has expanded interest in geriatrics across other disciplines. She
developed and teaches a year-long IPE aging course for medical, nursing and pharmacy students who
make home visits over the course of a year to homebound older adults living in the community.
The following quotes from students describe the passion and dedication that Dr. Tanner brings to
educating nurses about caring for older adults:
“Dr. Tanner is passionate about the care of older persons and made me realize how important this will be
in my career. I felt honored to have Professor Tanner as [my faculty]. It was extremely helpful to have a
faculty member who was so passionate and qualified to teach this [aging] course. Johns Hopkins is lucky
to have her.”
“Dr. Tanner is a fantastic teacher whose passion for teaching [geriatrics] is obvious. We learned
extremely useful things in this class that I have already used in clinical and will continue to use
throughout my career.”
“I have learned [from Dr. Tanner] that older adults have complex needs that cannot be easily addressed
by one provider. It takes an interprofessional care team with different areas of expertise to come
together and provide the best possible care for that patient.”
In summary, Dr Tanner has touched the lives of thousands of students and she is changing the next
generation of gerontological nurses. Thus, I strongly endorse Dr. Ibby Tanner, for the NGNA
Distinguished Nurse Educator Award and I urge that she be given every consideration.
Mary Rita Hurley,MPA,RN, FNGNA