More Older Patients Lead to New AACN Course

Apr 23, 2015

Added to Collection

New Online Nursing Course Addresses Challenges of Caring for Acutely Ill Older Patients

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses launches online course focusing on assessment, treatment and transition of older adult patients

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — April 23, 2015 — The interplay of illness, age, comorbidities and hospitalization can have rapidly harmful effects when older adults are acutely or critically ill.

In response to the increasing number of older adult patients, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has launched a new online clinical education course that teaches acute and critical care nurses to differentiate between symptoms and conditions of usual aging and those arising from illness.

The course, Optimizing Care for Acutely Ill Older Adults, is organized around three primary modules that align with the typical processes of caring for acutely ill older adults: assessment, treatment and care and transition.

“Adults ages 65 and older make up 40 percent of hospitalized patients, and this complex population needs specialized care to prevent decline and promote recovery,” said AACN Chief Clinical Officer Connie Barden, RN, MSN, CCRN-E, CCNS. “AACN continues to add to its collection of evidence-based, online clinical education that bedside clinicians need to maintain their expertise and optimize patient outcomes.”

A collaborative effort between AACN clinical staff and Alexandra Brock, MS, RN, CRNP, GCNS-BC, CCRN, an acknowledged leader in the field, the course focuses on recognizing change to help patients maintain and regain function, and preventing the unintended, costly consequences of critical illness and readmissions. 

The course’s interactive approach engages learners through realistic case studies and offers practice in decision making for both bedside clinicians and advanced practice nurses.

Each of the three modules includes real-world, patient-centered scenarios built around one core principle: recognizing change to help patients maintain and regain function. A fourth module consists of a final exam covering content from the entire course. 

The course also features an in-depth resource section, including evidence-based interventions and assessments validated specifically for use with older adults. 

Continuing nursing education (CE) hours are available upon completion of the course and final exam – a total of four contact hours. 

Individuals and organizations can purchase Optimizing Care for Acutely Ill Older Adults at The AACN Critical Care Webinar Series will present the webinar “Older Adults: Myths, Truths and Caring” on May 14. For more information or to register, visit

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, California, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 235 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
101 Columbia
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-4109

Phone: (949) 362-2000
Fax: (949) 362-2020