What is NICHE?
Established in 1992, NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders) is an initiative of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing. NICHE is the leading national nurse-driven program designed to help hospitals and healthcare organizations improve the care of older adults.
NICHE works to ensure that adults age 65 and over receive care that promotes function, autonomy, and dignity. NICHE provides the principles, education and tools to support healthcare systems in transforming and achieving patient centered care.
We all know our population is aging. There are 77 million baby boomers in the United States with 10,000 turning 65 each day. By 2030, the number of Americans aged 65 and older is expected to reach 70 million or 20% of the population. While those 65 years of age and older currently comprise only 13 to 14% of the US population, they have much higher rates of hospitalization than other age groups. They comprised 37% of medical center discharges and 43% of medical center days.
As the older adult population grows, there will be a significant increase in the demand for health services. The number of older patients hospitalized makes it impractical to segregate all older adults on specific units. Which means, we must implement these principles at every level to ensure that all our older adult patients receive high-quality care throughout their medical center experience, regardless of unit location.
NICHE Designated Hospitals
NICHE designation demonstrates a hospital's organizational commitment and continued progress in improving quality, enhancing the patient and family experience and serving its communities.
Resources for Nurses
NICHE resources include online educational programs, methodologies, evidence-based tools, and platforms to foster collaboration with NICHE mentors and other NICHE hospitals.
- Geriatric Education and Nursing Care Models
- Geriatric Resource Nurse (GRN): course for RNs based on evidence-based nursing protocols
- Geriatric Patient Care Associate (GPCA): course for CCPs based on nursing protocols
- Specialty Education Models
- Critical Care Nursing of Older Adults: critical care, step-down, trauma and emergency departments
- Nursing Care of the Older Adult with Cancer: caring for older adults with cancer in all practice settings
- Monthly Live Webinars: free for NICHE designated facilities, can earn 1 CEU per webinar
- Archived Webinars: webinar presentations intended for practitioners interested in new ways to enhance practice improvement outcomes
- Geriatric Assessment Tools
- Try This: Best Practices in Nursing Care to older adults
Resources for Patients and Families
Patients and family caregivers are key members of the healthcare team. NICHE has developed a number of useful tools and resources for patients and their families to help them cope with hospitalization and communicate better with the healthcare team. These tools and resources include: