Impacting Long-Term Care in New Jersey

The New Jersey Action Coalition (NJAC) is part of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a nationwide movement to improve health and healthcare through nursing.

An initiative of AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Campaign includes Action Coalitions in 50 states and the District of Columbia working to implement the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing recommendations.

One of the IOM evidence-based recommendations states that nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression. Included within that recommendation is a call to promote seamless academic progression through transitional nurse residency programs.

It was 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.

As the result of $1.6 million in funding from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop, implement and evaluate an RN transition-into-practice residency model for long-term care facilities New Jersey, NJAC is well on its way in developing the first residency program of its kind in the long-term care environment.

Community Collaboration

Overall management of the funds is the responsibility of Rutgers University, Nursing in Newark.

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RESIDENT LEADERS: Susan Salmond, EdD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, (left) is co-chair of the Education Pillar for NJAC, co-program director of the New Jersey Nursing Institute, and dean and professor at Rutgers School of Nursing; and Edna Cadmus, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, is co-lead and clinical professor and special director at Rutgers School of Nursing. photo courtesy NJAC

Susan Salmond, EdD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, co-chair of the Education Pillar for NJAC, co-program director of the New Jersey Nursing Institute, and dean and professor at Rutgers School of Nursing and Edna Cadmus, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, NJAC co-lead and clinical professor and special director at Rutgers School of Nursing, are leading the residency project and will serve as co-investigators.

They are joined by the Healthcare Association of New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Health, Nurses Improving Care of Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) of New York University, Heldrich Center at Rutgers University and volunteers from the Action Coalition’s education pillar, who are all lending their expertise to the program’s development. The program will begin in the late spring of 2014, is funded for three years. Linda Hassler, MS, RN, GCNS-BC, FNGNA, is the program director and is assisted by two nursing faculty.

The program’s curriculum criteria is based on the Future of Nurses Core Competencies© model, a nationally recognized framework of core competencies developed from a rigorous review of the state of the science of nursing across the nation to define the knowledge, attitude, and skills required beyond the pre-licensure nursing education.

One of the key components of the program is obtaining 25 RN Preceptors and 25 new RN graduates (Nurse Residents) for each of the two 12-month residency cohorts from New Jersey LTC facilities.

To date, participating facilities include: Alaris Health (West Orange), Allendale Nursing Home (Allendale), Aristacare Centers (Almeda, Cedar Oaks, Cherry Hill, Norwood and Whiting), Bartley Manor (Jackson), Broadway House (Newark), Christian Healthcare Center (Wyckoff), Cornell Hall (Union), Crestwood Manor (Whiting), Green Hill Skilled Nursing (West Orange), Meridian’s Manor by the Sea (Ocean Grove), Merwick Care and Rehabilitation Center (Plainsboro), Stonebridge at Montgomery (Skillman) and Trinitas Hospital – Brother Bonaventure Extended Care & Rehabilitation Center (Elizabeth).

The first cohort will begin in May 2014, with a second cohort (an additional 25 Preceptors/25 Nurse Residents) to begin in January 2015.

An Innovative Design

The program differs from existing Nurse Residency programs in that there is an intensive in-person application approach that accompanies the precepted work experience, as well as follow-up visits to the LTC facilities by faculty. As indicated above, each LTC facility will provide a Preceptor and Nurse Resident to participate in the program.

The Preceptor will attend an extensive five-day program, which includes a course on How to be an Effective Preceptor, a hybrid NICHE Geriatric Resource Nurse (GRN) course, and a two-day overview of the Nurse of the Future (NOF) – Nursing Core Competencies. Understanding these core competencies will help the Preceptor to improve the Nurse Residents’ transition into practice and includes Patient-Centered Care, Professionalism, Leadership, Systems-Based Practice, Informatics and Technology, Communication, Teamwork and Collaboration, Safety, Quality Improvement, and Evidence-Based Practice.

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