College Directory

Tara A. Cortes,

Executive Director, The Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing
Professor of Geriatric Nursing
433 First Ave Room 502
New York, NY 10010
Areas of Specialization 

Geriatrics, Leadership, Nursing Administration

PhD, 1976, Nursing Science and Research, New York University College of Nursing
MA, 1971, Nursing, New York University College of Nursing
BSN, 1967, Nursing, Villanova University
Professional Overview 
Tara Cortes is recognized for her distinguished career spanning executive leadership, nursing education, research and practice. She is currently the Executive Director of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, and a Professor in Geriatric Nursing at the New York University College of Nursing. Dr. Cortes has provided significant contributions to advance the health of people, particularly those with limited access to the health care system. Importantly, she has developed collaborative models with advanced practice nurses and physicians in traditional as well as nontraditional settings to enhance the care of the American elderly population. As Executive Director of the Hartford Institute, Dr. Cortes has brought her leadership, experience and wisdom to enhance select respected existing programs in the Institute and to develop new and innovative initiatives. The consistent theme across her work is the essential role of advanced practice nurses improving the quality of life in specific patient populations, and the interdisciplinary nature of health care. Dr. Cortes is a leader in developing, evaluating, and implementing advanced nursing practice and collaborative practice. Her work has contributed to advancing interdisciplinary models across the continuum of care to reduce disparities in access to care, and to assure healthy aging in place. She has helped change policy and practice in geriatric care and in low-vision and blindness care by developing roles for advanced practice nurses to provide care to those with poor access to resources due to lack of knowledge or functional disabilities. Prior to joining the NYU College of Nursing, Dr. Cortes was President and CEO of Lighthouse International, a leading not-for-profit organization, dedicated to fighting vision loss and helping people prevent vision impairment. She mindfully transformed the organization to a health care provider from a social charity, and was recognized worldwide for her leadership in helping to move the field of vision loss to health care from that of disability. Dr. Cortes spent the initial phase of her career in nursing education at Hunter College, and then as the Head of Nursing Research and Information Systems at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. She was the Chief Nursing Officer at Rockefeller University Hospital and continued her career in nursing and hospital administration at Mount Sinai Medical Center and at Bridgeport Hospital, before assuming the senior leadership role at Lighthouse International. Dr. Cortes was appointed as a 2013-2015 American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow and serves as a Senior Advisor at CMS in the Medicare and Medicaid Coordination Office. In this role she has worked with multiple organizations in Washington addressing the needs of frail adults who are Medicare and Medicaid eligible. Dr. Cortes was also appointed by Community Catalyst as a geriatric consultant to the Medicare Rights Center to work with New York State on the implementation of the Fully Integrated Duals Advantage (FIDA) program, a CMS demonstration project. Dr. Cortes is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. She is a Past Fellow of the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows Program. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from New York University, where she completed her PhD and Masters degrees. Her BSN is from Villanova University, where she served on the Board of Trustees for 10 years. In 2011 she was awarded the Medallion for Outstanding Contributions to the Profession from the Villanova University College of Nursing. She was named one of the New York Women’s Agenda 2011 STARS for exemplifying the qualities embodied in NYWA’s mission to advocate and collaborate for the interests of New York women in public policy decisions. Dr. Cortes serves on several boards including Archcare: the Catholic Healthcare System of NY, Isabella Geriatric Center, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, the National Accreditation Council for Blindness and Low Vision, and the US Army Community Advisory Board.
Honors and Awards 
2013, Health and Aging Policy Fellowship, The Atlantic Philanthropies
2013, Nurse Leader to Honor, American Organization of Nurse Executives
2011, Medallion for Distinguished Contributions to the Profession, Villanova University College of Nursing
2011, STAR Award, New York Women’s Agenda
2010, Fellow, New York Academy of Medicine
2009, Fellow, American Academy of Nursing
2009, Distinguished Alumni Award, New York University College of Nursing
2009, Our Town Thanks You Award, OTTY, Community Service Award, Our Town News
1999, The Grace Davidson Award in Recognition of an Outstanding Administrator Contributing to Nursing Education, New York University, Division of Nursing
1999, Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow
RN, New York
RN, Pennsylvania
Professional Membership 
American Academy of Nursing
American Nurses Association
American Organization of Nurse Executives
Gerontological Society of America
New York Academy of Medicine
New York Academy of Sciences
New York Organization of Nurse Executives
Sigma XI, Scientific Research Society, Rockefeller University Chapter
Sigma Theta Tau, Upsilon Chapter

Doctor of Nursing Practice Program


Leadership and Organizational Systems Management for Quality Care

Clinical Practice / Clinical Interests 

Geriatrics and Advance Practice Nursing

Mezey, M., Mitty, E., Cortes, T., Burger, S.,Clark, E., McCallion, P. (2011). A competency-based approach to educating and training the eldercare workforce. Generations, 34, 53-60.
Cortes, T.A. (2011). Creating a culture of care for older adults. Voices of Nursing Leadership, 9, 4-5.
Boockvar, K., Fishman, E., Kyriacou, C.K., Monias, A., Gavi, S., & Cortes, T. (2004). Adverse events due to discontinuations in drug use and dose changes in patients transferred between acute and long-term care facilities. Archives of Internal Medicine, 164, 545-550.
Cortes, T.A. (2004). Developing passion and excellence in critical care nursing: Proposed solutions to current challenges in critical care. Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice, 5, 21-24. 10.1177/1527154403260654.
Cortes, T. A., Wexler, S. and Fitzpatrick, J. (2004). Improving nurse to nurse communication for the transition of elderly patients. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 30, 10-15. 15227932.
Cortes, T.A., Wexler, S., & Fitzpatrick, J.J. (2004). The transition of elderly patients between hospitals and nursing homes: Improving nurse-to-nurse communication. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 30, 10-17.
Cortes, T., Lee, A., Boal, J., Mion, L., & Butler, A. (2004). Using focus groups to identify asthma care and education issues for elderly urban-dwelling minority individuals. Applied Nursing Research, 17, 207-212. 10.1016/j.apnr.2004.06.002.
Cortes, T. A. (1996). Outsourcing for hospital services. Hospital Cost Management and Accounting, 36, 1-6.