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NICHE Assigns Hospitals 'Exemplar' Status for Improving Elder Care

NICHE [Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders] recently released its list of hospitals that have achieved its Exemplar status for the progress of their nurse-driven NICHE programs in raising the level of quality in care of older adult patients.

Exemplar is the highest of four status levels NICHE-member hospitals can achieve.

Progressing through Early Implementation, Progressive, and Senior Friendly levels to achieve the Exemplar designation indicates a hospital has demonstrated ongoing, high-level dedication to geriatric care and pre-eminence in the implementation and quality of system-wide interventions and initiatives.

NICHE Hospitals that have achieved Exemplar status are:

  • Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Christiana Hospital, Newark, DE
  • Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Lakeland, FL
  • Renown Regional Medical Center, Reno, NV
  • Saint Mary's Health Care, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Schneck Medical Center, Seymour, IN
  • Trinity Hospital of Augusta, Augusta, GA
  • University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, Plainsboro, NJ
  • Wilmington Hospital, Wilmington, Delaware

The NICHE Annual Program Self-Evaluation is used by hospitals to determine the level of their NICHE program. The evaluation benchmarks program progress year-to-year, targets future care initiatives and provides data to use in gaining and sustaining support from institution stakeholders.

The Exemplar status was assigned following this rigorous self-evaluation process. The requirements include:

  • Implementation of the NICHE Geriatric Resource Nurse (GRN) model and evidence-based protocols on all applicable units, including specialty units; implementation of systemic aging-sensitive policies.
  • Inclusion of input from patients, families and community-based providers in planning and implementation of NICHE initiatives.
  • Assuming regional and national leadership roles.

"These hospitals showed a tremendous commitment to meet the most critical challenge of our times - quality care of older adults," says Liz Capezuti, PhD, RN, FAAN, director, Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders - NICHE, Dr. John W. Rowe Professor in Successful Aging, New York University College of Nursing. "The hospitals' dedication to drive continuous improvement processes and enhance care marks them as leaders in the field."

The NICHE hospital member designation starts with the NICHE Leadership Training Program. Through participation NICHE hospitals are able to offer evidence-based, interdisciplinary approaches that promote better outcomes, positive experiences, and improved care for older adults. This leads to greater satisfaction rates for patients, their families and staff, according to NICHE.


NICHE [Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders] is an international program designed to help hospitals improve the care of older adults. The vision of NICHE is for all patients 65-and-over to be given sensitive and exemplary care. The mission of NICHE is to provide principles and tools to stimulate a change in the culture of healthcare facilities to achieve patient-centered care for older adults. NICHE, based at NYU College of Nursing, consists of more than 400 hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout North America.

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