Aging Institute Education and Trai​ning Resources for Professionals

As people age, their bodies and minds respond differently, from how they eat and sleep, to how they are affected by medications or recover from an injury.

To recognize and respond to these differences, health care professionals and service providers at the frontline of care must better understand the unique needs of older adults.

The Aging Institute offers educational and training programs for professionals working in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, home health, and a variety of other settings.

These programs are designed to:

  • Promote increased sensitivity and awareness of general aging-related issues and needs
  • Improve the direct clinical skills of professionals
  • Address special issues concerning aging adults, such as sexuality and gender, long-term care directives, and dementia

Additionally, through its partnership with the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, we provide connections to other support resources for professional growth.

Current Education and Training Programs Offered for Professionals


Certificate Program in Gerontology for Nurse Aides and Nurses

The Aging Institute has developed a certificate program to enhance nurse competency in aging and train nurse aides and nurses in appropriately taking care of older adults.

The program is designed to augment the knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of gerontology and geriatrics focusing on specific aspects of aging, including:

  • Biological
  • Psychological
  • Sociological

Students receive practical tips on managing normal and abnormal changes during the aging process.

The program is offered in two separate tracks:

Nurse Aide Track ​(Geriatric Nurse Aid Training)

​Older Adults require a special kind of care, provided by professional caregivers with an understanding of the normal and abnormal aging changes in:

  • Sensory and function
  • Common mental health issues
  • How aging affects the 12 bodily systems

Nursing Assistants ​and patient care technicians spend the most time with older adults in the majority of healthcare settings and need to have a firm knowledge base in common geriatric syndromes. This conference will provide practical interventions resulting in changes of care delivery at the bedside.

Following the conference, for no additional charge, nursing assistants ​and patient care technicians can sit for an exam covering course content. Upon passing the exam, the participant will be issued a certificate from the Aging Institute designating them as a Geriatric Nursing Assistant or Geriatric Patient Care Technician.

Nursing Track​ (Geriatric Resource Nurse Trainng)

This conference focuses on older adult assessment and practical interventions to improve patient outcomes along the continuum. This content covered in the Nurse Aide Track is also covered in the Nursing Track along with the additional topics of the delirium, medication safety, and critical thinking skills.

Following the event, at no extra cost, nurses can sit for an exam covering course content. Upon passing the exam, the Aging Institute issues a Geriatric Resource Nurse certificate.

CE credits are available for RN, social worker, and general certificate of attendance.



Critical Thinking Skills in Caring for Older Adults

This course is designed to address the complexity of caring for older adults. The nurse will review the history, medications, and the current atypical presentation of illness. The nurse will differentiate between normal aging versus abnormal aging changes and will anticipate potential adverse responses to treatment.

Learn more about this course.

Registration for this program is handled through WISER. Call 412-648-6073 or email wiserhelp@upmc.edu.​


Certification Review Courses

The Aging Institute also offers a two day review course to aid RNs and LPNs in preparing to obtain a certification in gerontology.

Both courses offer a comprehensive review of the topics covered in the exam including:

  • Aging theories
  • Pathophysiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Nursing process
  • Wellness
  • Legal
  • Ethical issues

Certification exams are offered by the following organizations.

RN Certification ANCC Gerontological Nurse Certification
LPN Certification​ NAPNES Certification in Long Term Care​

For More Information

For more information, call Betty Robison at (412) 864-2092.​​​

Delirium Videos

Delirium is an acute disease and primarily affects the older adult population. It is the leading complication of hospitalization resulting in increased mortality rates, persistent functional decline, and higher rates of new nursing home placement. Symptoms are typically unrecognized or attributed to dementia, so the skills of the clinician are paramount.

These three short videos, filmed with staff from Magee-Womens Hospital and UPMC Shadyside, review hypoactive, hyperactive, and ICU delirium.


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