What is DPEN Education?

DPEN is committed to educating current and future healthcare professionals about in-depth dementia care. This is done through a specialized curriculum that will focus on caring for people living with dementia and their family/friend care partner(s) across different healthcare settings. After completing DPEN training, learners will understand nursing roles and develop the skills to identify and evaluate cognitive, behavioral, emotional, spiritual, and physical challenges, evaluate health-related social needs, and evaluate whether their health system is able to treat dementia well. DPEN training offers a foundational, structured, in-depth overview of how to evaluate and address conditions that occur together (comorbidities), establish a strong relationship with people living with dementia, and establish care plans.

UW Dementia Care Scholars

Male African American nursing student raising hand at table of fellow nursing students

A 2-quarter hybrid course for Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) students that includes:

  • Seminars facilitated by experienced faculty
  • 20 pre-study modules (30-40 minutes each) of interactive online content
  • Structured clinical training in different care settings:
    • Acute care
    • Primary care
    • Long-term care
    • Memory care
  • Students have an opportunity to work as nurse technicians and to receive reimbursement for their clinical work and training.

UW Dementia Care Certificate for Practicing Nurses

Female nurse laughing with older woman patient seated in wheelchair

  • Modular SPRINT-style training (virtual or in-person)
    • Pre-study selected modules (30-40 minutes each) of interactive online content.  Organizations can select modules from the menu of 20 options
    • Facilitated 2-hour sessions with subject matter experts that are focused on consolidation and integrating the pre-study content, Q&A, and case reviews.  The number of pre-study modules and facilitated sessions is determined in partnership with the participating organization and reflects training needs and the current level of expertise of the nurses.

UW Dementia Care Fellows

Female nurse showing nursing students an IV in a hospital room

  • This designation is granted to practicing registered nurses (RN’s) who completed the UW Dementia Care Certificate training and precepted UW Dementia Care Scholars for at least 100 hours over 2 quarters.

A New, Exciting Opportunity to Learn

The DPEN curriculum is offered through the University of Washington School of Nursing—the leading educator of nurses among public colleges and universities—to second year BSN students.

Read more about the UW School of Nursing’s ranking.

DPEN is partnering with Emory University’s Nurse-run Integrated Memory Care Clinic to pilot the Dementia Care Certificate training for nurses currently in the workforce, as a part of the Reimagining Nursing Initiative.

Sneak Peek!

Examples of DPEN curriculum modules include:

  • Introduction to Comprehensive Dementia Care for Nurses
  • Mood and Behavior Management in People Living With Dementia
  • Medical Management in the Context of Dementia
  • Care Partner Needs and Self-Care
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Dementia Care
  • Nursing roles in different care settings
  • Dementia Care Planning, Care Management, and Care Navigation
  • Dementia Care nurse’s roles in advocacy and policy

View the free Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) sponsored module, narrated by Dr. Soo Borson

View other free trainings by DPEN team members on the CHSIE’s webpage under Ambulatory Care Nursing Modules

Depiction of the 6-part model for comprehensive dementia care that was created by Dr. Soo Borson


How to Get Involved with DPEN Education

If you are interested in partnering with DPEN to offer Dementia Care training to nursing students or practicing nurses—or if you are a student interested in becoming a Dementia Care Scholar at the UW—please fill out our Dementia Care Training Interest Form.

You can also download our Dementia Care Scholar Infographic to share with friends and colleagues who may be interested in learning more in becoming a Dementia Care learner or partnering with DPEN.

Our Sponsors

DPEN Education is supported by The Macy Foundation.

Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation