The Geriatric Nurse Leadership Academy (GNLA) is an 18 month mentored leadership experience that is designed to operationalize learned leadership behaviors by assisting and supporting the fellow in developing and implementing a project that is centered on improving geriatric outcomes. Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has a culture of continuous quality improvement and leadership development and therefore chose to participate in the 2014-2015 GNLA cohort recognizing that as an organization the advancement of nursing practice in the care of older adults deserves attention in the community and the profession. A team was assembled to develop needed tools and provide education about the benefits of improving geriatric competence. Metrics to evaluate the program and it its impact were agreed upon and systems were put into place to monitor and share the results. Involvement in GNLA fostered a partnership of a variety of disciplines and the interprofessional project identified and addressed several geriatric initiatives: enhance the geriatric knowledge of 100% of the bedside nurses on the medical surgical unit, implement geriatric training of new graduates in facility orientation and weekly team conferences with the pharmacist, case manager, social worker, patient care coordinator and nurse of geriatric patients on the unit. The expectation of this collaborative effort is to develop a team that is equipped with the clinical competencies to meet the needs of the older adult and focus on a plan using multiple strategies to decrease length of stay, increase patient satisfaction, and ultimately improve clinical outcomes of older patients. Over time the goal is to expand this geriatric knowledge and experience to enhance the care of this specialized population throughout the organization. Participation GNLA allowed the fellow to address professional and personal challenges that will be encountered as a leader uses an interprofessional project to implement organizational change.
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