The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation’s oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging — has awarded the prestigious Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award to Barbara J. Bowers, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor emeritus of the UW–Madison School of Nursing. This award is bestowed upon a GSA member in recognition of their outstanding and sustained contributions to geriatric nursing research.
Bowers is honored to be added to a long list of revered and esteemed award winners, noting, “These are all people whose work I have read and looked forward to over the years. Many are people who I have drawn inspiration from, in addition to learning so much from each of them. It’s a group of people I have long looked up to and who have clearly influenced my career.”
The GSA’s annual awards program salutes outstanding research in the field, recognizes distinguished leadership in teaching and service, and fosters new ideas through a host of awards. Nominated by their peers, the award recipients’ achievements serve as milestones in the history and development of gerontology.
Barbara King, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN, Charlotte Jane and Ralph A. Rodefer Chair and professor at the School of Nursing, notes that only those who have outstanding contributions to aging science are selected for GSA awards, emphasizing that receiving the award is quite an honor. “The award recognizes nurse leaders and researchers who are making and contributing to groundbreaking discoveries that are directly applicable to clinical practice and care of older adults,” she said. “To be selected for this award is an honor within the gerontological nursing community.”
King, who was part of a committee to nominate Bowers for the award, says that she can think of no other individual who better exemplifies the legacy of Doris Schwartz more than Bowers. “Doris Schwartz’s impact in research and education was directly on clinical practice that affected quality of life for older adults and care provision,” she said. “Dr. Bowers’ research career has been dedicated to improving the lives of older persons and the individuals who care for them. Her research spans across countries impacting governmental policy and improving health care systems. She has further mentored researchers and scholars across disciplines. Her work in mentoring nursing graduate students studying care of older adults resulted in outstanding preparation of 30 doctoral scholars who went on to productive independent research careers. Everything she has accomplished exemplifies everything Doris Schwartz was.”
The award presentation took place on Thursday, November 3, during the GSA’s 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting in Indianapolis. The organization proudly acknowledged the work of 23 outstanding individuals through its prestigious awards program, including Bowers. In addition, each award recipient delivered a lecture at the annual meeting.
About the Gerontological Society of America
The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation’s oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,500+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society.