Janet K. Specht, PhD, RN, FAAN

Professor Emeritus

Janet K. Specht PhD, RN, FAAN, is the Director of the Iowa John A Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence and a Commissioner for the Pathway to Excellence program in the American Nurses Credentialing Center and a Fellow in The Academy of Nursing and the Gerontological Society of America.

Dr. Specht just completed the RO1 on EBP for pain and UI in nursing homes and an ANF grant that was aimed at promoting continence in assisted living. She is currently a multi-PI for an R21 with Karen Rose, University of Virginia, to examine the relationship of UI, sleep and agitation in community dwelling persons cognitive impairment. She is also  an investigator on Marianne Smith's and Fred Welinsky's (University of Iowa) RO1 in Assissted Living.

Dr. Specht's research interests include practice models to promote professional nursing; diagnosis, interventions and outcomes for older persons with urinary incontinence; and care of persons with dementia and their families. Dr. Specht had a grant through the Administration on Aging and the Iowa Department of Elder Affairs for a demonstration project to increase access to, and use of community based dementia- specific services in rural Iowa. The proposed model included the use of Nurse Care Managers to deliver direct services to persons with dementia and their caregivers, and a community development program to involve the community in identifying and developing needed services. The grant provided rich opportunities to increase services as well as influence policy at the state and national level. 

Dr. Specht currently has a grant from NINR to implement Evidence-Based Practice for Pain Management and Continence Promotion in 50 nursing homes in Iowa. She and her partner, Dr. Meridean Maas, developed and operated an alternative living facility for persons’ with dementia for five years and currently own and operate HomeSafe, a care management business to help maintain older persons in their preferred living arrangements.

Prior to joining the faculty at the College of Nursing in 1999, Dr. Specht was Director of Nursing at an 800 bed long-term care facility for 29 years, an investigator on a Family Involvement in Care Alzheimer’s Grant, and a research scientist on a VA grant to use telemedicine to

Research areas
  • Incontinence
  • Dementia
  • Caregivers
  • Shared governance
  • Evidence-based practice in long-term care
Janet K. Specht
PhD in Nursing, University of Iowa
MA in Nursing, University of Iowa
BSN, University of Iowa
Diploma in Nursing, Evangelical School of Nursing