Frequently Asked Questions

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What is our belief about nursing in long term care?

Every nurse in long term care needs to be proficient in the care of older adults, as they often have the ultimate oversight of the wellbeing of their residents/patients. In addition, they are likely the coaches of the direct care staff, and they need to be starting from a place of understanding best practices in older adult health and care delivery.

Can LPNs go through the program?

We are currently piloting a track specifically for LPNs. Contact us for updates on the LPN version.

What about nurses who are not new hires – can they benefit by going through the program?

Yes, but some content may be redundant for them, and this might lead to a negative learning experience. They might specifically want to skip the introduction to long term care and focus on topics that continue to change, like medications and wound care. They will likely find new information that is valuable to their practice. It is ideal to start a nurse in Geri-Res within their first two weeks of employment as a standard part of your nurse orientation.

Can the RN Residents receive CEU credits for completing the course?

Yes, the nursing home track of Geri-Res is certified for CEU’s, and they have a choice to obtain CEU credit at an additional cost. The assisted living track is in the process of being certified for CEUs. Find continuing education information here.

Can Clinical Coaches receive CEU credits for coaching hours?


Can a Clinical Coach work with both Skilled Nursing Facility nurses and Assisted Living nurses?


What does Geri-Res teach about the role of the nurse in Assisted Living?

The role of nurses in assisted living settings varies tremendously. Some nurses work full time in a single AL setting. Others work only a few hours each week and may work in multiple settings. This obviously affects their role and relationship to other staff. Nurses are generally responsible for oversight of medical and skilled nursing aspects of care, such as monitoring wounds, conducting assessments. In some places the nurse supervises direct care staff and has responsibility for oversight and evaluation of care provided by direct care staff, including providing education when needed. AL nurses are often involved in supporting, working with family members and addressing any conflicts between family and direct care staff.

How is Geri-Res different than other online programs, such as those we can find through Relias?

Geri-Res is carefully designed to be integrated into your organization’s onboarding of nurses. Geri-Res becomes tailored to your processes and procedures. There are pre-tests and post-tests in each module to show learning, activities related to each module, and a weekly meeting with the Clinical Coach to review materials, answer questions, and most importantly, demonstrate how your organization operates. This is a professional development tool to be a used as a residency, e.g. enhanced orientation, not simply a professional development course.

Does Geri-Res meet requirements for nurse competencies?

Geri-Res will help meet core nursing competencies both through the curriculum and through the mentored orientation experiences.

How long will it take to go through Geri-Res?

The Clinical Coach curriculum is seven modules, and will take about 4-6 hours. The RN Residency consists of 16 modules, and we recommend one module per week (about an hour in length) and one hour of time with the Clinical Coach each week, for a total of, 1-2 hours per week for 16 weeks.

Can I do the online modules at home?

Yes. Organizations schedule Geri-Res learning in different ways. Many find it valuable to pay their nurses to do the online learning at home, because there are fewer distractions.

Do both Clinical Coaches have to be RNs?

The primary coach must be an RN. Some organizations have successfully used an LPN or other administrative staff to be the secondary coach.

Where do the nurse residents come from?

RN Residents are nurses that you’ve hired through your regular recruiting process. We are developing tools to help you recruit nurses. We think Geri-Res is an attractive benefit to potential new hires, and will give your organization a hiring advantage.

We already have a dementia specific program in our organization; why would we add Geri-Res?

The Geri-Res dementia module addresses cognitive assessments, and interventions that are focused on understanding the needs and preferences of people with dementia (person-centered care). We don’t believe this will present a conflict with your dementia program, but some content may be redundant for your nurses if you are using a robust dementia care educational program.

How was Geri-Res developed?

The story of Geri-Res began more than 10 years ago. Nurse residencies in acute care were becoming more common, and our nursing students were actively seeking residencies after graduation. Evidence shows that new nurses benefit from a transition-to-practice program that supports them as they grow from student to professional nurse. Many nursing students are interested in working with older adults in long term care settings, but know that it is a more independent practice and feel they need extra support. UW-Madison’s Center for Aging Research and Education started working on a nurse residency curriculum and structure tailored to long term care environments, engaging stakeholders that included providers, policy makers, regulators, researchers, new graduates, and residency experts. Geri-Res began to take shape. Research grant funding accelerated the process, and rollout of the skilled nursing track to pilot sites began in 2014, followed by assisted living piloting in 2017. (The home health track and LPN track are still in development.) Feedback from the pilot site experiences led to final refinements, and Geri-Res was born.

What are the technical requirements to use the Geri-Res online modules?

All learners will need an e-mail address, a computer with a stable internet connection, a mouse, sound/speakers, Adobe Acrobat Reader for PDF files. If your organization has restrictions on internet connectivity, this may limit ability to link to external resources that are embedded in the curriculum.

I’m hiring a nurse this week. Can we start our nurses right away?

Geri-Res requires some planning by your leadership team to implement the program and two Clinical Coaches must complete the online coaching course prior to enrolling nurse residents. Two weeks is the shortest feasible turnaround time for these activities, and this will require a motivated team. We generally see organizations take 4-6 weeks from first inquiry to complete the start up activities.

How do I purchase Geri-Res for our organization?

Contact us via phone or email and request to learn more about Geri-Res adoption.
Kim Nolet
Peggy Rynearson

Can Geri-Res be used in any state, or only Wisconsin?

The Geri-Res curriculum is designed for providers across the U.S. While developed at the University of Wisconsin, it is not specific to nurse practice in Wisconsin.