VUSN educator honored for gerontological nursing education excellence

Instructor Kanah Lewallen stands in front of a large visual display that a group of students behind her are using to take a test.

Instructor of Nursing Kanah Lewallen, DNP, MSN’09, has been recognized by two national organizations for excellence in gerontological nursing education.

The Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association awarded Lewallen its Excellence in Education Award during its annual conference in July. The honor recognizes Lewallen for her teaching and design of gerontological nurse practitioner curriculum/course content, as well as overall commitment to students and gerontological practice.

Lewallen teaches in VUSN’s Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner academic specialty program. She has been responsible for revising the delivery of AGPCNP content using multiple modes of instruction and incorporating technologically advanced innovations. Most recently, she created lessons to make use of the school’s Wachtmeister Interactive Classroom, a newly opened facility equipped with high-definition displays that interact with students’ laptops and smart devises and other technologies. Student reaction included increased engagement and retention of information. The success of her teaching strategies resulted in adoption of those methods by other faculty.

In November, Lewallen received the Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing Excellence from the National Hartford Centers for Gerontological Nursing Excellence. The award honors nurse educators who combine nursing expertise in caring for older adults with teaching and fostering positive attitudes toward older adults.

The Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing Program is a Hartford initiative to recognize the leadership of nurse educators who work with students, faculty, provider, and older people in diverse settings.

Lewallen is a member of the Vanderbilt Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence, a group of Vanderbilt School of Nursing nurse educators, nurse researchers and APRNs. She has been integral in VCGNE’s student outreach activities, increasing social media interaction and speaking program to community nonprofits. She also serves on GAPNA’s education committee. Her clinical research interests include deprescribing for older adults making the transition from hospital care to skilled nursing facilities.

Image, top:
Kanah Lewallen holding class in the school’s new Wachtmeister Interactive Classroom. For this lesson, groups of students explore different aspects of polymedication issues using separate digital displays.