UT Health Science Center nurse leader to be inducted into American Academy of Nursing

Adrianne Linton, Ph.D., RN, specializes in care for the elderly

SAN ANTONIO (July 30, 2010) — A nurse leader from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio who specializes in care for the elderly will be inducted later this year into the American Academy of Nursing (AAN).

Adrianne Linton, Ph.D., RN, chair of the Department of Chronic Nursing Care in the School of Nursing, will be inducted as a fellow at the AAN’s 37th Annual Meeting and Conference Nov. 13 in Washington, D.C.

“Selection for membership in the academy is one of the most prestigious honors in the field of nursing,” said academy President Catherine L. Gilliss, D.N.Sc., RN, FAAN. “Academy fellows are truly experts. The academy fellowship represents the nation’s top nurse researchers, policymakers, scholars, executives and practitioners.”

“My professional mission is to improve the care of older adults through the advancement and dissemination of nursing knowledge to future generations of nurses, including licensed vocational nurses, bachelor’s degree-prepared nurses and advance-practice nurses,” Dr. Linton said. “As a fellow in the academy I will have the opportunity to influence policy related to the health and well-being of our vulnerable older citizens.”

Dr. Linton has been conducting research into providing care for the elderly since 1988, focusing on patients with dementia, especially those who demonstrate disturbing or dangerous behavioral symptoms. Her contribution to this care issue has been the development of the Cognitive Development Model (CDM). This model is based on Piaget’s cognitive levels and the premise the cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease occurs in reverse of the acquisition of those cognitive skills in childhood (retrogenesis). Using the CDM, specific care plans for activities of daily living and behaviors have been developed and individualized for each cognitive level. A two-year intervention study confirmed the value of this approach.

“Because of the Baby Boomer generation, a larger proportion of the U.S. population is or will soon be entering retirement and older age. This calls for a major shift in the way nurses have been providing care. Older patients are living longer than in previous generations and with chronic diseases and more complex health situations than before,” said Eileen T. Breslin, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing. “Dr. Linton’s excellent work is laying the foundation for better nursing care for all of us in the future.”

Dr. Linton earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1969 from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss. She earned her master’s degree in nursing, with a concentration in medical and surgical nursing, in 1974 from the University of Mississippi, Jackson, Miss., and followed with a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction in 1989 from The University of Texas at Austin.

She joined the Health Science Center in 1977 as an assistant professor after working at the University of Southern Mississippi, New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, N.M., and UT El Paso.

At the Health Science Center she worked her way through the ranks in the School of Nursing and served as an associate professor and a member of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences faculty before becoming interim chair and then chair in August 2005 of the Department of Chronic Nursing Care.

Dr. Linton has written 15 abstracts, eight book chapters, 19 journal articles and co-authored or authored 13 books, including the textbook “Matteson and McConnell’s Gerontological Nursing: Concepts and Practice,” (third edition). The book was named the 2008 “Book of the Year” by the American Journal of Nursing.

She has given more than 60 presentations on various aspects of nursing care for the aged, nursing workload issues and nursing education.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 2 percent of all U.S. institutions receiving federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled a record $259 million in fiscal year 2009. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced 27,000 graduates. The $753 million operating budget supports six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.

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