Geriatric Proficiency Requirement

The School of Nursing, in accordance with Title 16, California Code of Regulations (Section 1426 s) is required to assure that the program provides concurrent theory and clinical experiences in geriatric nursing, in addition to medical-surgical nursing, obstetrics nursing, pediatric nursing, and mental health/psychiatric nursing.  The program is required to document that all faculty teaching in identified areas are competent to teach in the area(s) in which they are assigned through the Board of Registered Nursing Faculty Approval process.

Currently, the pre-licensure programs do not have a separate geriatric clinical course.  Thus, achievement of the geriatric clinical performance criteria is accomplished in one or more medical-surgical courses.  All faculty teaching clinical in these medical-surgical courses must be competent and BRN approved for geriatrics.  SMU School of Nursing recognizes that faculty achieves competence in a variety of ways; however, in order to assure up-to-date evidence-based practice in geriatrics, the following are accepted:

  • Graduate degree in geriatrics/gerontology nursing
  • Post-graduate course work in geriatric nursing, either in an accredited formal education setting or in an accredited continuing education program such as offered by the AACN/Hartford Foundation Geriatric education course

Note: having only clinical experience with older adults does not satisfy this requirement competence.


The SMUSON Geriatric Competency Program

The School of Nursing developed a three-level competency program that supports integration of evidence-based practice knowledge and skill into faculty teaching.  The SMUSON geriatric competency program is an on-line course within the SON Faculty Resource Center Canvas course.

  • If you do not currently have access to this course, you may self-enroll on Canvas by following these instructions for Access to SoN Faculty Resources Center

The program offers approximately 36 hours of continuing education credit across the three levels.  Each level contains a series of modules that utilize the Hartford Foundation "Try-this" series that was published in conjunction with the American Journal of Nursing.  Each module contains an article on a selected topic, an accompanying video, and a post-test.

To access and complete the modules:

  • In the Canvas course SoN Faculty Resource Center, scroll down to the Geriatrics module.
  • Click on the Geriatrics folder to access the three levels and their modules
  • Faculty members are required to complete the post-test for the modules in each of the three levels, and to complete an evaluation at the end of each level
  • You may request for certificates to be generated and mailed to you by emailing the program administrative assistant.  In your email, please provide your nursing license number and address for the certificates to be mailed out.

SoN Requirement: New faculty are expected to complete the first two levels of proficiency before teaching at SMU.  Level three is expected to be completed before faculty begin their second rotation of teaching.  Once geriatric competency is verified through this method, the program director will submit a BRN Faculty Approval form.  After being returned signed by the BRN, faculty will be given a copy of the form for their records.


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