Tampa General Hospital (TGH) earned a spot recently as one of only five Florida facilities—and Hillsborough County’s only hospital—to be awarded the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) highest level of recognition.
NICHE, based at New York University’s College of Nursing, is the nation’s leading nurse-driven academic program dedicated to assisting hospitals improve the care of older adult patients, categorized as individuals who are 65 years of age or older.
The exemplar status awarded to TGH – the highest of four program levels – was awarded following a thorough assessment of the hospital's NICHE program, including an analysis of its current and future goals.
Tampa General was recognized for its encouragement of nurses to become trained Geriatric Resource Nurses (GRN's) through NICHE. Those professionals who elect to earn the GRN designation have learned to care for older patients, said Robin Atkins, TGH's NICHE program coordinator.
Not only are such individuals able to pinpoint and evaluate syndromes common to geriatric populations, but they have gained the expertise to share updated and current knowledge in caring for geriatric patients with their respective units' team members.
A hospital whose resources encompass a NICHE program demonstrates its strong organizational commitment to improving quality, optimizing the patient and family experience, and supporting the hospital's efforts to serve older adults, Atkins said.