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Dr. Heather L. Carlisle Recognized as Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing

  • February 23, 2021

Heather L. Carlisle, PhD, DNP, RN, FNP, AGACNP, CHPN, clinical associate professor in the University of Arizona College of Nursing, has received the Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing award from the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence (NHCGNE). The honor is bestowed on experienced nurse educators with specialties in teaching, developing curriculum for, or overseeing aging or gerontological/geriatric nursing courses, professional development content or community education.

Heather L. Carlisle, PhD, DNP, RN, FNP, AGACNP, CHPN“Inspiring nurses to specialize in gerontological nursing requires those of us who are passionate about this specialty to impart that enthusiasm and knowledge to nurses, whether formally in the classroom or by mentoring new nurses at the bedside,” Dr. Carlisle said. “I envision the day when we care for our older adult population the way we would want our children to be cared for in their old age.”

Dr. Carlisle has more than a decade of nursing experience, most of them in advanced practice as a nurse practitioner. Her clinical focus is older adults in acute and sub-acute settings, particularly palliative care and end-of-life care. As an educator, she teaches courses on gerontology and lectures on pain management. She developed a two-semester sequence in palliative care to educate future nurses about older adults and end-of-life issues. Additionally, to help future nurses be more comfortable with issues surrounding death and dying, Dr. Carlisle has contributed to a module on having conversations with elderly patients about end-of-life decision-making.

“I am optimistic that by inspiring nurses to embrace working with older adults, rather than shying away from them, we can greatly improve health care for future aging populations,” Dr. Carlisle said.

Dr. Carlisle’s clinical scholarship focuses on nurse practitioner education, palliative care and opioid safety in acute care settings. She received both master’s and doctoral degrees with an emphasis on gerontology from the College of Nursing. Previously, she earned a doctorate in geography from the University of California at Berkeley.

The NHCGNE is a collaboration of national and international schools and institutions committed to enhancing the capacity and competency of nurses to provide quality care for older adults. Their mission is accomplished through advancing gerontological nursing science, providing faculty development, facilitating adoption of best practices, fostering leadership, and designing and shaping policy.

Also recognized by the NHCGNE with this award was Cheryl L. Lacasse, PhD, RN, AOCNS, clinical professor and RN-MSN program coordinator for the College of Nursing. Drs. Carlisle and Lacasse join 2019 College of Nursing awardees Lorraine Martin-Plank, PhD, FNP-BC, NP-C, GNP-BC, FAANP, FNAP, and Janice D. Crist, PhD, RN, FWAN, FAAN, in their leadership as nurse educators working with students, faculty, providers and older people in diverse settings.