NICHE designated Edge Runner by American Academy of Nursing

October 05, 2022

The American Academy of Nursing has selected Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystems Elders (NICHE) as one of eleven novel models of care to be named this year’s Academy Edge Runners. Edge Runners are evidence-based, nurse-designed, innovative models of care or interventions with significant, demonstrated outcomes to improve health, impact cost, and influence policy. Each program highlights nurses’ ingenuity and collaboration in developing new methods to provide care and promote health equity.

NICHE is an education and consultation program dedicated to improving the quality of care for older adults and elevating nurse and staff competence in the specialty practice area of geriatric nursing. Founded in 1992 and based at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, NICHE has more than 400 member organizations, including hospitals and long-term care facilities. It has been adopted by nearly 10% of US hospitals, which in turn care for an estimated 1.5 million older adults annually.

“Older adults are the largest consumers of hospital care, but many health professionals lack evidence-based knowledge in the nursing care of older adults,” said Mattia J. Gilmartin PhD, RN, FAAN, executive director of NICHE and a senior research scientist at NYU Meyers. “NICHE addresses this significant healthcare challenge by empowering nurses with skills and knowledge and transforming the organizational environment to improve the care of older adults in hospital and skilled nursing settings.”

NICHE offers continuing education to advance nurses’ positions and contributions within interdisciplinary care teams delivering geriatric care. The Geriatric Resource Nurse (GRN) and Geriatric Nursing Assistant (GNA) roles are the hallmark of the NICHE model. In the past three years, more than 40,000 nurses working in member hospitals and skilled nursing facilities have completed continuing education to prepare them for the GRN role.

Research shows that the NICHE program is significantly associated with improvements in clinical outcomes aligned with national quality measures including fall prevention and reduction; appropriate medication prescribing; dementia symptom management; delirium care; reduced catheter acquired urinary infections; and expansion of advanced care planning services.

“The Academy is proud to designate these unique and timely programs as Edge Runners. The diverse focus of these models highlights the wide range of services, vital support, and team-based approaches that the nursing profession provides,” said Academy President Kenneth White, PhD, AGACNP, ACHPN, FACHE, FAAN. “In particular, these models highlight nurses as innovative change agents who improve care and equity in our health systems.”

NICHE will be honored at the 2022 American Academy of Nursing Health Policy Conference, taking place October 27-29, 2022 in Washington, DC.