Carolyn K. Clevenger

Clinical Professor, Associate Dean for Clinical and Community Partnerships | RN, DNP, AGPCNP-BC, GNP-BC, FAANP

About

Carolyn K Clevenger, RN, DNP, AGPCNP-BC, GNP-BC, FAANP earned a BSN from West Virginia University, MSN (Gerontology NP) and Post-Graduate Certificates (Education and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP) from Emory University, and Doctor of Nursing Practice from Medical College of Georgia. She completed a Special Fellowship in Advanced Geriatrics at the Birmingham/Atlanta VA Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC). She holds a number of leadership positions in nursing education and practice at the School of Nursing and its clinical affiliate, the Atlanta VA Health Care System.

In addition to her role as Associate Dean for Clinical and Community Partnerships, she is the Clinical Director and a practice nurse practitioner at the Emory Integrated Memory Care Clinic (www.emoryhealthcare.org/imcc) The IMCC is a nurse-led primary care practice for people living with dementia. The new model of care has been recognized as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee on Quality Assurance. The clinic boasts the extraordinarily high patient experience scores and has nearly eliminated avoidable hospitalizations for people living with dementia.

Dr. Clevenger is the Senior Nurse Scholar of the Atlanta VA Quality Scholars Advanced Fellowship program (www.vaqs.org), a postdoctoral fellowship for nurses, physicians, and other health professionals focused on quality and safety. She is a Past President of the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA) (www.gapna.org), the national organization representing the interests of advanced practice nurses who work with older adults in a wide variety of practice settings.

Dr. Clevenger’s commitment to nursing education, practice, and scholarship has garnered national acclaim. She was the Outstanding Young Alumni by Augusta University College of Nursing.  She has been recognized by the Georgia Nurses Association for Excellence in the Care of Older Adults and the Atlanta Business Chronicle as a Health Care Hero in 2015. The Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association honored her with its Excellence in Education Award in 2010.

Dr. Clevenger is a recognized as an expert in gerontology and healthy aging. She has served as a clinical expert for media outlets including Fox News, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Magazine, and the Atlanta Business Chronicle. She is a coauthor of the clinical practice guidelines for the Diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia due to Alzheimer’s Disease (Alzheimer’s Association, 2018).

Areas of Expertise

  • Administration and Leadership
  • Clinical: Geriatrics and Gerontology; Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders
  • Research: Health Systems Research
  • Teaching: Curriculum Development and Evaluation

Publications

Butler, J., Binney, Z., Kalogeropoulos, A., Owen, M., Clevenger, C., Gunter, D., Georgiopoulou, V., & Quest, T. (2015). Advance Directives among Hospitalized Patients with Heart Failure. JACC: Heart Failure. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j-jchf.2014.07.016

Kropf, N., Idler, E., Flacker, J., Clevenger, C., & Rothschild, E. (2014). Interprofessional Dialogues within a Senior Mentoring Program: Incorporating Gerontology Students as Facilitation Leaders. Educational Gerontology, 41: 373-383. DOI: 10.1080/03601277.2014.974390.

Clevenger, C.K., Chu, T.A., Yang, Z. & Hepburn, K.W. (2012). Clinical Care of Persons with Dementia in the Emergency Department: a Review of the Literature and Agenda for Research. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60: 1742-8.

Teaching

As Associate Dean for Community and Clinical Partnerships, she oversees the clinical placement of students and facilitates mutually beneficial relationships between members of the NHWSN faculty and clinical, community, and select corporate partners (www.nursing.emory.edu/clinical-and-educational-partnerships). She is responsible for the oversight and outcomes of the School’s continuing education center, the Emory Nursing Professional Development Center (www.nursing.emory.edu/enpdc) which includes the Emory Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Education Center (www.nursing.emory.edu/wocnec).

Dr. Clevenger is an award-winning educator in gerontological nursing. In addition to teaching across multiple degree and professional programs, she has designed courses and curricula for pre-licensure and professional nurses. She is a course faculty for the Savvy Caregiver, telehealth edition. She continues to lecture in nursing and medicine courses on clinical topics in geriatric primary care, advanced primary care models, and palliative care. She serves on the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (www.aanpcb.org) for the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP exam.

Research

Dr. Clevenger’s work has improved the care provided to older adults in various clinical settings. She has influenced practitioners, students, and policy makers directly as a care giver and faculty member, indirectly as an active member of my professional organizations, and through scholarly and lay publications and presentations.

Her area of scholarship focuses on health systems and supports that impede or facilitate the quality of healthcare and quality of life for older adults. In 2013, she was awarded $1.5 million through the HRSA Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention-Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (NEPQR-IPCP) program to develop APRNs as team leaders to implement primary palliative care across 8 hospital-based units. Along with the Emory Palliative Care Center, the project affected the care of more than 12,000 patients over a 3-year period of which over 10,000 were intensive care unit (ICU). During the funding period, the team collectively trained 32 clinicians in Education in Palliative and End of Life Care (EPEC) curriculum.

She serves in the role of quality improvement specialist on the Enhancing Quality of Prescribing Practices for Older Adults Discharged from the Emergency Department (EQUIPPED) project at the Atlanta VA Health Care System. EQuiPPED embeds preconfigured, best-practice quick order sets for common gerontological conditions into the electronic health record (EHR), greatly enhancing the efficiency and safety of the prescribing process.  EQUIPPED has been implemented in 15 emergency departments across the US, in both VA and non-VA academic medical centers. The results thus far indicate that a systematic practice change in the provider-entered medical orders combined with audit and feedback can reduce potentially harmful prescribing for older adults based.‍

In 2015, she co-created a nurse-led medical home practice that fully integrates dementia and primary care along with colleagues in the Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. The Integrated Memory Care Clinic (IMCC) is a primary care practice exclusively for people living with dementia and their caregivers. The model was co-designed and co-produced with family caregivers and through the generous support of two anonymous donors with personal caregiving experience. The IMCC is a level 3 patient-centered medical recognized by the National Committee on Quality Assurance.

Awards

Health Resources And Services Admin: Educating Primary Care Advance Practice Nurses for the Underserved

HEALTH RESOURCES AND SERVICES ADMIN: Educating Primary Care Advance Practice Nurses for the Underserved

Health Resources And Services Admin: IPCP Primary Palliative Care