Hospice of the Chesapeake is celebrating the graduation of seven registered nurses and 46 certified nursing assistants at the end of its first year with the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders training program of the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing.

The program helped the nonprofit hospice organization train nurses to become 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 completing the program, nurses earned the designation of Geriatric Resource Nurse, and nursing assistants earned Geriatric Patient Care Associate. Many of these staff reported learning gains from this additional evidence-based training focused on the specific needs of their elder population.

“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,” said NICHE Executive Director, Mattia Gilmartin. “Older adults have unique needs, and with NICHE, the organization will be better positioned to meet those needs.”

“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,” said Hospice of the Chesapeake’s Director of Education and Emergency Management Elisabeth Smith. “The interest has been so widespread that we anticipate most of our nursing assistants will have completed this training by the end of 2024.”