Jablonski honored as visionary leader in geriatric nursing

Jablonski is among 55 nurse leaders and innovators who were recognized by the journal Geriatric Nursing.
Written by: Frank Couch
Media contact: Holly Gainer

Rita2Rita Jablonski, Ph.D.Rita Jablonski, Ph.D., professor and director of Research and Scholarly Development at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing, was recognized by Geriatric Nursing as a visionary leader and innovator in the field of geriatric nursing.

Jablonski was among 55 nurse leaders and innovators who have had a significant impact on the development and growth of gerontological nursing, as noted by the peer-reviewed journal. Geriatric Nursing is the official journal of the American Assisted Living Nurses Association, National Gerontological Nursing Association and Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association.

Jablonski’s research and clinical practice focuses on improving the lives of older adults, especially those with dementia and who reside in nursing homes. She has developed and tested methods to reduce threat perception from patients using dementia-centric communication strategies. She also has focused much of her research on changing the culture in nursing homes to ensure patients receive high-quality care. 

“To me, research is a way to answer the question, ‘What is the best way to fix this problem?’ In my case, it was the problem of noticing how people with dementia living in nursing homes were not receiving good mouth care. This is still a problem,” Jablonski said.

In addition to her research in and work with nursing homes, Jablonski maintains a faculty practice in the UAB Memory Disorders Clinic and has appointments as a scientist in the UAB Alzheimer’s Disease Center, UAB Center for Comprehensive Aging and a secondary faculty appointment in the UAB School of Dentistry.