Dr. Erkens is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Health Services Research, within CAPHRI, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences. She works as a linking-pin at VISTA College and Gilde Zorgcollege for the Living Lab in Ageing and Long-Term Care (www.academischewerkplaatsouderenzorg.nl). This is an interdisciplinary and formal partnership of Maastricht University with seven long-term care providers and three educational institutes. For over 20 years the Living Lab has served as an infrastructure that drives scientific research in long-term care in co-creation with end-users, including older people and their relatives, health care professionals, policy makers and educators. The network covers approximately 110 long-term care facilities (e.g. nursing homes, assisted and group living facilities) as well as professional home care, and includes about 30,000 clients and more than 15,000 staff.
The research line of Dr. Erkens focusses on bottom-up leadership of nurses and nurse assistants in innovating long-term care of elderly people.