Celebrating a highly successful first year with NICHE

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Hospice of the Chesapeake is celebrating the graduation of seven registered nurses and 46 certified nursing assistants in a prestigious training program. It marks a highly successful first year as a member of the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders, or NICHE, program of New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing.

The program helped the not-for-profit hospice organization train nurses to become key leaders in the NICHE Leadership Training Program. In turn, they led their team’s certified nursing assistants using an action plan to drive quality and support in developing age-friendly care for adults ages 65 and older.

“By joining NICHE, the leadership of Hospice of the Chesapeake has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring evidence-based, person-centered care for older adults. Additionally, with NICHE membership, these leaders validate the vital role of nurses in transforming the care older adults receive,” NICHE Executive Director, Mattia Gilmartin Ph.D., RN, FAAN said. “Older adults have unique needs, and, with NICHE, the organization will be better positioned to meet those needs.”

By completing the program, nurses earned the designation of Geriatric Resource Nurse, or GRN, and nursing assistants earned Geriatric Patient Care Associate, or GPCA. Many of these staff reported learning gains from this additional evidence-based training focused on the specific needs of their elder population. Hospice of the Chesapeake’s Director of Education and Emergency Management Elisabeth Smith, MS, BSN, RN, CHPN, and her colleagues are looking forward to seeing more team members earn their NICHE certification in their goal to standardize their organization’s elder care.

“We are wildly excited by the number of team members that have completed the NICHE learning pathways already. This number of completions was more than we anticipated for our first year and reflects the strong desire of our clinicians for ongoing learning,” Smith said. “The interest has been so widespread that we anticipate most of our nursing assistants will have completed this training by the end of 2024.”



The goal of Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) of NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing is to impart principles and tools to stimulate changes in clinical practice to achieve patient-centered nursing care for older adults in healthcare facilities. NICHE membership is only available to facilities that provide care for older adults. For more information, visit nicheprogram.org.


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About Hospice of the Chesapeake

Caring for life throughout the journey with illness and loss is the mission of Hospice of the Chesapeake.  For more information, please visit www.hospicechesapeake.org.

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