We are thrilled to have recently announced our collaboration with NICHE – Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders, a nation-wide nursing education and consultation program designed to improve geriatric care in healthcare organizations through education and mentorship.
The NICHE Acute Care Program, founded in 1992 is part of NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. The program promotes the use of evidence-based clinical interventions and establishes nurses as leaders to effect positive change in caring for the growing aging population. NICHE empowers front-line nurses to build a team and develop organizational and workforce competencies to improve the health and wellbeing of older adults they serve.
The NICHE long-term care(LTC) program prepares nurses and certified nurse assistants (CNAs) to achieve organizational goals for the care of older adults patients. The NICHE-LTC promotes the use of evidence-based clinical interventions and establishes nurses as leaders to bring about changes in the quality of care delivered to older adults in LTC and PAC (post-acute care) facilities.
The LTC curriculum is designed around the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Five-Star Quality Rating System so organizations uphold the nationally recognized standards for LTC. A few examples of Quality Measures include:
- Ability to move independently and participate in activities of daily living
- High-risk residents with pressure ulcers
- Re-hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and discharge to the community
- Moderate to severe pain
- Falls with major injury
- Antipsychotic medications
NICHE resources include highly engaging webinars, Need to Know patient and family consumerism, LTC Leadership Training, Implementation Courses, and Clinical and Quality Improvement Modules, and an Evaluation and Recognition Process.
Our shared mission that quality training empowers staff will lead to higher CNA retention and improved care:
- Nursing homes whose nursing staff have enhanced knowledge and skills perform better on quality metrics.
- CNA’s who receive specialized training on common health issues experienced by older adults are capable of providing better care to residents and feel more confident in performing their work.
- Opportunities for CNAs to participate in training programs not only empower them with knowledge and skills to carry out their work but also reinforce their important role in achieving organization-wide quality improvement goals.
- CNA’s who receive high-quality training are more likely to report that they are satisfied with their jobs and job satisfaction is directly linked to CNA retention.
Quality elder care is critically important and NICHE programs provide the tools and resources that elevate Acute and Long-Term care organizations to a level of excellence. As the need for dementia training increases, our relationship with NICHE will serve to better prepare the workforce for the special needs of those living with cognitive differences.
Pam Brandon is President/Founder of AGE–u-cate® Training Institute and a passionate advocate for older adults and those who serve them. Pam is the creator of the Dementia Live® Sensitivity Awareness Training program and led the development of the Compassionate Touch® training for persons living with Dementia and End-of-Life care.