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Pillars of nursing: Geriatric NP Fulmer dedicates her career to the aging, academics

Monday August 19, 2013
Terry Fulmer, RN
Terry Fulmer, RN
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Terry Fulmer, RN, PhD, FAAN, is an internationally known expert in geriatrics. She has served as the first nurse on the board of the American Geriatrics Society and was the first nurse to be president of the Gerontological Society of America. She’s a New York-licensed geriatric NP and lectures on aging for the Physician Assistant Program at the Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, where she serves as a professor and dean.

Fulmer said her biggest impact has been in the advancement of care for older adults. She is well known for her research regarding elder abuse that was funded by the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute for Nursing Research.

"My program of research has focused on this terrible malady since the early 1980s, and since that time, I’ve been able to see a growth in investigators in the nursing profession, and this is especially rewarding," she said. "There is no case of elder mistreatment that is acceptable, and nurses are in a profound and unique position to prevent elder mistreatment through early assessment and interventions."

Fulmer’s work in geriatrics has included positions as associate director for the Harvard (University) Geriatric Education Center; associate professor and coordinator, gerontological nursing track, at the Yale University School of Nursing; and director of the Consortium of New York Geriatric Education Centers at New York University.

From 1996 to 2011, Fulmer served as co-director for The John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing, Division of Nursing, at NYU, alongside fellow elder advocate and Nurse.com nursing pillar Mathy Mezey, RN, EdD, FAAN.

"The founding of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at NYU, along with the [Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders] program with Mathy Mezey, is one of my proudest accomplishments and I am excited about the continuing impact of these programs," Fulmer said. "Our work in geriatric nursing at New York University and now at Northeastern has been impactful and essential to the well-being of older patients everywhere."

In addition to care of the elderly, Fulmer is equally committed to higher education. She is a professor of nursing and professor of public policy and urban affairs in Northeastern’s College of Social Sciences and Humanities, an adjunct professor at NYU School of Medicine, and a visiting professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Before taking her position at Northeastern, Fulmer was the Elrine Perkins McGriff professor and dean for the college of nursing at NYU. She recently was appointed the chairwoman of the Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Executive Fellows program.

Fulmer said her appointments have afforded her the opportunity to work with renowned professionals at exceptional institutions and world-class practice settings. "It’s been a privilege to work with outstanding faculty and to be able to touch the lives of students, not only in nursing but in interdisciplinary fields," she said. "It was an enormous privilege to serve as the founding dean of the New York University College of Nursing."

With all of her academic responsibilities, Fulmer practiced in the clinical setting throughout her career and continues to do so at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

"It is always humbling to be with practicing nurses as they engage in complex, sensitive and life-changing moments with patients across the healthcare continuum," Fulmer said. "I would like to think that my highlights to date will propel me forward to even more important accomplishments on behalf of the profession and patients everywhere."

Tracey Boyd is a regional reporter.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In recognition of the 25th anniversary of Nurse.com (Nursing Spectrum), the magazine will celebrate 25 key members of the New York/New Jersey nursing community in 2013.


To comment, email editorNY@nurse.com.