Transforming the Registered Nurse Role and Environment in Nursing Homes

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kimberly M. Bergen-Jackson, MSN, RN1
Janet Specht, PhD, RN, MSN, FAAN1
Meridean L. Maas, RN, PhD, FAAN2
1College of Nursing, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
2University of Iowa College of Nursing, Iowa City, IA

Learning Objective 1: Explain a new model of care in nursing homes that is coordinated by highly skilled RNs with enhanced geriatric nursing competencies and nursing leadership.

Learning Objective 2: Explore the barriers and cacilitators to launchinc a Profession Nurse Practice Model in three Iowa nursing homes.

Registered nurses, when properly educated and working in an environment that facilitates and supports their ability to lead and be accountable, influence positive resident and staff, family and organizational outcomes.  When implemented, this model of nursing will help alleviate problems that result when professional nurse leadership is lacking, such as low staff job satisfaction and high turnover.

In cooperation with Sigma Theta Tau International and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the John A. Hartford Foundation Centers of Geriatric Nursing Excellence Nursing Home Collaborative (NHC) is developing products and services to assist nursing homes transform their environments to strengthen the role of the registered nurse.  The products support the implementation of a Professional Nurse Practice Model (PNPM) and focus on RN knowledge, leadership, quality improvement, and practice environment.

As a product of the Sigma Theta Tau Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy, this project supports the development of a PNPM and aims to develop a feasibility gap analysis concerning the implementation of such a model in nursing homes.  Following approval from the Institutional Review Board at the University of Iowa, registered nurses at three facilities in Iowa participated in a focus group exploring their response and interest about moving ahead with a PNPM.  The participants also completed the Registered Nurse Perceptions of Nursing Practice in Nursing Homes survey.  Using the results of the focus group, surveys, quality indicator data, and turnover, a feasibility gap analysis generated to inform each nursing home of the recommended changes necessary to facilitate the implementation of a PNPM at their facility and the potential barriers.  The results of the gap analysis, difficulties launching such an endeavor and future implications are presented.