Building Geriatric Nursing Capacity Solutions to Support Aging in Place

A Welcome from Director, Dr. Lazelle Benefield

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. is reaching an unprecedented demographic shift in the American population, and by “2034 there will be 77.0 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.5 million under the age of 18”.  At the same time, changes including shorter hospital stays, limited nursing home and rehabilitation options, lack of sophistication and coordination for at-home care, antiquated payment and insurance systems to support community-based services, and a critical shortage of highly-qualified nurses. These stark inefficiencies do not support a system to achieve active aging across our diverse populations.

As Americans live longer, increased research and training is required to address health and social care of older persons and improve their quality of aging. Established in 2008 through a generous financial gift from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, the Reynolds Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence is dedicated to ensuring that as the American population ages, there are increased cross-discipline solutions for community-based aging in place. This approach supports interventions for older persons interventions that enable older persons to maintain as much independence and dignity for as long as possible in their preferred setting, typically the home environment.

To prepare the next generation of nurses with the expertise required to provide care for older persons, we must first address the critical shortage of highly-qualified PhD faculty and clinical leaders available to teach and mentor future nurses. The Reynolds Center is committed to preparing adult/gerontology-focused PhD nurses who lead the way as academic faculty and/or clinical leaders.

I am delighted that you are considering the Reynolds Scholarship. You are preparing to consider a role in academic education and research, advocacy, and leadership., Your intentions in applying for the Reynolds Scholarship indicate your commitment to care of older persons and to reframing aging by crafting solutions focused on the aging process and aging strong.

I look forward to visiting with you. Also our program administrator, Dr. Denise Short, is available for guidance and to respond to specific questions.

With best regards,

Lazelle Benefield, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA

Director, Donald W. Reynolds Center of Geriatric Excellence   

The Donald W. Reynolds Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence is helping pave the way for adult/gerontology care through: 

  • Providing scholarship opportunities and enriching the University of Oklahoma’s nursing PhD curriculum for students who will assume faculty and/or clinical leadership roles in Gerontological nursing.
  • Building the geriatric translational research skills of current doctoral faculty.
  • Disseminating best gerontology care practice and educational resources to support faculty/clinical partnerships' professional development and aging in place research.

The Reynolds Center is making a difference in the lives of older Oklahomans by developing expert leaders, educators and researchers in the gerontological nursing field - and you can help. Give a tax deductible gift to the Reynolds Center through the University of Oklahoma.

Intro Image



Dedicated to the increase of cross-discipline solutions for community-based aging in place.


An error has occurred. Error: Reynolds is currently unavailable.


Giving Button