Four of the five John A. Hartford Foundation Centers of Geriatric Nursing Excellence (HCGNEs) have been involved in efforts designed to improve the quality of nursing care to older adults through evidence-based Best Practice Initiatives. This article describes the important role these initiatives play in building academic geriatric nursing capacity. Building on the work of other nurse researchers, these projects attend to organizational and individual aspects of change theory, the scientific basis for practice innovations, and the role of expert consultation to support change. Best practice examples from the HCGNE demonstrate how the science involved in translating research into gerontological nursing practice has evolved, creating important educational opportunities for nursing students at all levels. In order to build academic geriatric nursing capacity, it is essential that schools of nursing help undergraduate and advanced practice nursing students develop an appreciation for how research and education can improve the care of older adults.
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