The New Jersey Action Coalition recently announced the creation of one of the first long-term care nurse residency programs for new graduates in the country. The program will prepare nurses to care for a growing geriatric population using a variety of educational resources including the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) Geriatric Resource Nurse curriculum and the Long-Term Care Geriatric Institutional Assessment Profile benchmarking tool.


NICHE Educational Curriculum Slated for Use in the Program

The Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing report has recommended the promotion of a seamless academic progression through transitional nurse residency programs. The report determined that new nurses, upon the start of their careers or when transitioning into new clinical practice areas, would greatly benefit from the opportunity to combine their education with equally important holistic interventions of patient and family community care.

Student nurses do not get exposure to the many complexities involved in long-term care (LTC). To date, 22 nursing homes have agreed to provide new nurses hired within the last 12 months with the opportunity to participate in the New Jersey Action Coalition (NJAC) residency program. The program will focus on quality and safety using evidenced-based care, core knowledge, skills and attitudes in relating to older adults, as well as preceptor education. Included in the initiative is a drive to develop partnerships between the educational and LTC practice settings and increased recruitment of new RN graduates.

One of the points of difference in this LTC Nurse Residency program is that preceptors will receive five days of training, as opposed to one day or, in some facilities, no training.

The training consists of:

• Day 1 – "How to be a Nurse Preceptor"

• Days 2 & 3 – Hybrid NICHE Geriatric Resource Nurse in-person and on-line training

• Days 4 & 5 – Future Of Nursing Competencies: patient centered care, information technology, evidence-based care, system-based practice, quality improvement, professionalism, leadership, communication, teamwork/collaboration, and safety

The program has received $1.6 million in funding from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Edna Cadmus, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, NJAC co-lead and clinical professor and special director at Rutgers College of Nursing, and Susan Salmond, EdD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, a member of the NJAC and dean and professor at Rutgers School of Nursing, will lead the project.

“There is a national shift in where healthcare will be happening,” says Salmond. “More and more healthcare will be in the community and long-term care, so preparing people for this setting is a priority.”

The NICHE Geriatric Resource Nurse (GRN) curriculum will be used as part of the nurse and preceptor education efforts. The GRN is an educational and clinical intervention model that prepares nurses as the clinical resource person on geriatric issues to other nurses and is foundational to the NICHE program.

The LTC Geriatric Institutional Assessment Profile (GIAP) tool will be used as part of the program’s research efforts for pre-and post-program assessment. The LTC GIAP was developed by NICHE for use by skilled nursing facilities to quantify staff knowledge, attitudes and perceptions in the care of geriatric patients. The survey provides benchmarking data for targeting areas for improvement.

“We are very pleased that our resources have been chosen as part of the nurse residency program,” says Barbara Bricoli, MPA, executive director – NICHE. “The goal of this new program matches the NICHE mission to increase nurse knowledge and understanding of the specialized healthcare needs of the older adult. We wish the participants great success.”

The program began in the late spring of 2014 and is funded for 30-months.



NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) is an international program designed to help hospitals improve the care of older adults. The vision of NICHE is for all patients 65-and-over to be given sensitive and exemplary care. The mission of NICHE is to provide principles and tools to stimulate a change in the culture of healthcare facilities to achieve patient-centered care for older adults. NICHE, based at NYU College of Nursing, consists of over 530 hospitals and healthcare facilities in the United States, Canada, and Bermuda.

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Christopher James
Christopher James
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