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Nursing Student Shows No Man Is an Island in Finding Needed Care


For immediate release
Date:    2002

"Nurses Care for America" is the theme of National Nurses week. The weeklong observance begins with RN Recognition Day on May 6 and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

Nightingale is considered the founder of modern nursing because she demonstrated the value of compiling and analyzing data about patient care to reduce mortality rates in the remote Crimean War.

Many nurses are facing similar challenges in remote settings today, where they are in short supply because of the current nursing shortage. At the same time, the largest growing segment of our population, older adults, often live in isolated settings, making it difficult to identify those that need help. Moreover, lack of information about services that are available, or lack of transportation to those services, can greatly compromise access to care.

Nursing student Betsy Greacen, who lives on Lopez Island, has decided to do something about this problem in her own community. As a recipient of an Undergraduate Nursing Research Scholarship from the de Tornyay Center on Healthy Aging, Greacen researched the needs of older adults in geographically isolated communities. She then organized a town hall meeting of individuals on Lopez who provide services such as nutrition, urgent care, respite care, and senior services. With information from the meeting, she will be developing a list of resources for Lopez Island care providers, and posting on the World Wide Web.

"As a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician on Lopez, I became aware of a gap in services to older adults. In fact, I watched a number of individuals make the difficult choice of leaving their community simply because they did not have the resources to continue living in their homes." She hopes that the availability of data about local resources will greatly improve the options for older adult residents in the future.

Greacen, who will receive her BSN in 2003, is conducting her research under faculty mentor Basia Belza, Ph.D., RN.


The University of Washington School of Nursing is consistently the nation’s No. 1-ranked nursing school, according to U.S. News & World Report. Ranked No. 3 in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the UW School of Nursing is a national and international leader in improving the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities. The school addresses society’s most pressing challenges in health care through innovative teaching, award winning research and community service.