The New Jersey Action Coalition (NJAC) has received $1.6 million from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to prepare new registered nurses (RNs) for practice at New Jersey Long Term Care (LTC) facilities. The NJAC is part of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action.
The NJAC will use the funds to develop, implement, and evaluate a model LTC residency program using a curriculum based on Nurse of the Future Core Competencies©. The project is intended to improve care for residents in long-term care facilities and help stabilize the state’s RN workforce. New Jersey has the third highest hospital readmission rate for geriatric adults with chronic diseases of all 50 states.
The Health Care Association of New Jersey (HCANJ) will work with the NJAC to recruit 50 preceptors and 50 newly graduated nurses for the first year of this 12-month residency program. It will begin in the late spring of 2014 and is funded for three years.
The program addresses the recommendation in the landmark Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health to implement nurse residency models in a wider variety of health care settings. It will be the nation’s first nurse residency program based at a LTC facility.
“As the Affordable Care Act evolves, long-term care will have a more prominent role and will require more nurses with different competencies,” said Loretta Kaes, RN, B-C, C-Al, LNHA, CALA, director of Quality Improvement for the HCANJ.
“Reducing re-hospitalizations will improve the quality of care while reducing costs,” added Edna Cadmus, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, co-lead for the NJAC. She is a clinical professor and specialty director for leadership tracks at Rutgers University College of Nursing. “New nurses often do not consider applying to work in long-term care settings because [these institutions] have a limited number of RN staff and nursing students don’t receive much preparation for providing care in these environments. In addition, turnover rates for nurses in long-term care settings tend to be higher than in other health care sectors. This program is designed to address all of those issues, as well as focusing on quality and safety using evidence-based care for long-term care residents.”
Rutgers University, Nursing in Newark will take the lead in overall management of the funds. Cadmus and Susan Salmond, EdD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, a member of the NJAC and dean and professor at Rutgers School of Nursing, will lead the project. Salmond is also a co-director of the New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI), which leads the NJAC.
The HCANJ will recruit LTC facilities to participate in the project. Evaluation will be conducted by the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development in the Edward J Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. The New Jersey Department of Health will provide in-kind support.
“With a prestigious interdisciplinary team, along with others who will be participating with us over the next 30 months, we are excited about the impact we can make for the long-term care residents in New Jersey,” Salmond said. “We are especially grateful to the New Jersey Department of Health team which has been working with us hand-in-hand to make this funding a reality. We appreciate their guidance and leadership on this important project.”