The Center for Nursing Excellence in Long-Term Care: Advancing Quality of Care in Skilled Nursing Facilities through Strengthening the Role of the RN

Sigma Theta Tau International’s Center for Nursing Excellence in Long-Term Care is a partnership among experts from the nine Hartford Centers of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, nurses from skilled nursing facilities, senior nurse executives from national providers, and representatives from trade associations, geriatric nursing organizations, and consumer groups. The Initial Planning Grant and Business Planning Grant were funded by Atlantic Philanthropies.

The purpose of the initiative is to strengthen the professional practice of nursing in nursing homes and to improve the quality of care and quality of life for patients/residents in nursing homes.

A portfolio of products and services has been designed by experts to achieve this purpose:

Gerontological Nursing Knowledge

  • online scenario-based tool to assess an RN’s gerontological nursing knowledge for a comprehensive set of geriatric nursing competencies
  • customized report for the RN indicating competencies achieved and areas requiring additional gerontological knowledge
  • individualized professional development plan that outlines the RN’s goals, recommends actions to strengthen knowledge and expertise in gerontological nursing, and directs the RN to relevant, vetted, public-domain geriatric nursing education resources
  • a web-based, personal professional portfolio that allows an RN to create, document, and share progress of his/her professional development plan and accomplishments
  • an online mentoring program for RNs who seek personal consultation for career development in gerontological nursing
  • an online discussion tool, ― Ask a Geriatric Nursing Expert, for more general mentoring
  • up-to-date, user-accessible database of schools of nursing that identifies key specialties that are available in each school (e.g., gerontology)
  • development partially funded by Foundation for the Future of Aging

Clinical Resources and Tools: Pain Management

  • a user-friendly Web site that provides quick and easy access to a wide variety of currently available nursing resources for pain management such as education, coaching, and improvement
  • development partially funded by Mayday Fund, The University of Iowa and Golden Living

Clinical Resources and Tools: Dementia

  • an online assessment tool to measure the RN’s current competencies in caring for patients/residents with dementia
  • a customized report for the RN indicating competencies achieved and areas requiring additional knowledge
  • an online education program to teach best-practice care of persons with dementia
  • an online certification course
  • development partially funded by Golden Living

RN Leadership

  • a self-assessment and a report that will identify RNs with leadership potential, assess their current competencies and recommend areas for their potential professional growth and leadership development
  • a combined on-line and in-person leadership training program tailored to the various roles of the RN
  • a hands-on mentorship program providing ongoing, individualized coaching support for developing new leadership skills

Sustaining Quality Improvement

  • an assessment and report of the nursing home’s current quality improvement program
  • an assessment and report of the staff’s knowledge of QI best practices
  • a data collection and tracking tool for tracking outcomes of facility’s QI projects, compare them to state and national standards, and trend them over varying increments of time (weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually)
  • materials for staff quality improvement training
  • a mentoring program to support success

RN Practice Environment

  • a consultative program designed to help a nursing home incorporate effective and evidence-based nursing organization structures and care delivery practices into its everyday operations

Clinical Partner Program

Additional products and content-based training courses will be developed as part of the Clinical Partner Program.  This unique program provides the opportunity for a provider organization, trade association or other entity to work with our expert faculty to create customized programs and training that will meet the specific needs of the entity.