Geriatric Care Model Centers on Nurse Leadership

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media , July 17, 2012

Advancing nurses' knowledgeand encouraging leadership is at the program's heart. Hospitals that implement NICHE appoint a geriatric resource nurse (GRN) who becomes a leader for other nurses on the unit. GRNs receive specialized education about nursing care of older adults, as well as ongoing mentorship and clinical support from advance practice nurses and an interdisciplinary team.

Their training involves identifying and addressing specific geriatric issues, such as falls and confusion, as well as learning how to implement individualized care strategies that discourage the use of restrictive devices and promote patient mobility.

The GRNs also pay their knowledge forward: They're the go-to clinical point persons when nurse colleagues encounter geriatric issues.

According to the Medicare Innovations Collaborative, NICHE helps hospitals achieve reductions in complications such as falls, incontinence, medication errors, and pressure ulcers. It also helps to improve in nursing retention and satisfaction.

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