Support for Students Benefits Aging Populations

Jodi Staller
January 2, 2024

Pace University was awarded a $50,000 grant from Aging in America, Inc. to provide scholarships for students preparing for careers in gerontology. Ten students from Westchester County and New York City were awarded $5,000 each for academic year 2023-2024 tuition and related expenses, selected on the basis of need.

Pace’s innovative Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) program prepares the next generation of nurses to make a difference for our growing elderly population by providing culturally competent, evidence-based primary care to individuals with acute, chronic, or complex illnesses.

A significant barrier preventing highly qualified students from pursuing nurse practitioner education is their financial resources. Support in the form of scholarships is, for many, the single greatest factor that makes pursuing this program possible.

The contribution from Aging in America, Inc. to my education will allow me to continue focusing on my studies and pursue my dream of becoming a Nurse Practitioner in underrepresented inpatient facilities.

—Melissa Cheung, student, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program

Support from Aging in America, Inc. to fund scholarships for students in the AGACNP program has a significant impact on Pace’s ability to recruit and retain bright and diverse students with promising career paths by eliminating one of the most daunting barriers to students’ resilience in completing a professional degree in nursing.

Maintaining a talented and diverse student body in the program requires that we acknowledge the challenges students face and invest in them to help meet the needs in gerontology care. Scholarship support makes an important difference, particularly for those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds who may feel that a degree in nursing is not a viable option if it means assuming additional debt. It can also significantly enhance the educational experience, allowing our nursing students to focus on their class participation, laboratory and simulation assessments, and clinical performance without the burden of additional student loan debt or multiple jobs.

We are so grateful for the scholarships that the Aging in America, Inc. grant has provided our students. As the population continues to age in the United States, adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners will be an integral part in their care. These scholarships allow for more students to gain the specialty training needed to provide care for the geriatric population. These scholarships not only lessen the burden of tuition for our students, but also will ensure we can continue to work on decreasing the national provider shortage affecting our elderly.

—Ingrid Bell, DNP, RN, AGACNP-BC, FNP-C, program director, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

About the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, MS program at Pace University: The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Master of Science Program prepares specialized nurse practitioners to provide culturally competent primary care for older adults with acute, chronic, or complex illnesses. Students participate in clinical placements in a variety of acute care settings, including medical/surgical, trauma, and intensive care units; inpatient and outpatient specialty care clinics; and long-term care facilities, including care for the frail elderly and palliative care. Through collaboration with local healthcare institutions and senior centers, students and faculty contribute to a growing body of knowledge about the physiological, psychological, and social aspects of aging that informs evidence-based geriatric care.

About the College of Health Professions at Pace University: Established in 2010, the College of Health Professions (CHP) at Pace University offers a broad range of programs at the bachelor, master's, and doctoral levels. It is the College's goal to create innovative and complex programs that reflect the changing landscape of the health care system. These programs are designed to prepare graduates for impactful careers in health care practice, health-related research, or as educators, and equip graduates to work in health policy and global health fields. Students in clinical programs receive hands-on training in the College's interprofessional Center of Excellence in Healthcare Simulation and have the opportunity to apply their developing skills in real-world settings at many of the regions' leading clinical facilities.

The College currently comprises several growing and important areas of study, which include Nursing, Physician Assistant, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Health Science, Occupational Therapy, Health Informatics, Public Health, and Nutrition and Dietetics.

About Pace University: Since 1906, Pace University has been transforming the lives of its diverse students—academically, professionally, and socioeconomically. With campuses in New York City and Westchester County, Pace offers bachelor, master, and doctoral degree programs to 13,600 students in its College of Health Professions, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Lubin School of Business, Sands College of Performing Arts, School of Education, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.

About Aging in America, Inc. (AIA): Aging in America provides assistance and support to individuals, families, and caregivers so that they can remain a vital part of their communities. The organization's mission has evolved to inspire innovation that empowers, guides, educates, and supports those who need it most. AIA and its related entities sponsor numerous programs to promote or improve health, facilitate access to care, nurture innovation, provide financial assistance, and help prepare future leaders in the field of Aging services.

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