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Nursing Home Quality Report: What Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioners Should Know
In April 2022, a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee released a report blasting nursing homes in the U.S. The report announced, “The way in which the United States finances, delivers, and regulates care in nursing home settings is ineffective, inefficient, fragmented, and unsustainable.” Titled The National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality: Honoring Our Commitment to Residents, Families, and Staff, the report concluded that the system often fails to protect the health and safety of residents. The committee declared that fundamental changes are needed in the nursing home field, and that immediate action must be taken.1
The Nursing Home Quality report also underscored that the care of nursing home residents is a shared responsibility of not just the nursing homes themselves but also federal and state governments, researchers, providers, payers, and others. Not only has there been a lack of investment in the nursing home sector for decades, but accountability for resource allocation has been lacking. In making quality improvements, it will be important to minimize disparities in resident outcomes, quality of care, and resources, says the report.
The Nursing Home Quality report set forth seven goals to improve nursing homes. The goals are to:
- Deliver comprehensive care with the goals of ensuring residents’ health and safety and promoting residents’ autonomy, while also managing risks.
- Prepare, empower, and appropriately compensate nursing home staff, including nurses.
- Collect and audit detailed data on the ownership, operations, and finances of all nursing homes, and make that data available to the general public.
- Develop an improved financing system for long-term care.
- Create an improved quality assurance system.
- Expand quality measurement and enhance ongoing quality improvement.
- Ensure all nursing homes use health information technology.2
While the goals may seem lofty, three members of the committee that developed the report said that these changes have the power to “move the nation closer to making high-quality, person-centered, and equitable care a reality for all nursing home residents, their chosen families, and the nursing home staff who provide care and support them in achieving their goals.”3 And for the 1.3 million people living in nursing homes and the 3 million people working in nursing homes, achieving those goals is critical.
In June 2022, industry trade group LeadingAge, which counts more than 5,000 nonprofit aging service providers among its members, received a $1 million grant to start making the goals a reality. LeadingAge will identify the report’s recommendations that can be implemented most quickly and develop a plan to take action. They will also provide virtual learning opportunities and activities to support nursing homes.4
If you want to help improve quality of care for nursing home residents, you could consider becoming an adult gerontology nurse practitioner. In order to enter this in-demand field, you’ll need a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with a specialization in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner or Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. Both types of nurses provide healthcare for patients ages 13 and older. Acute care refers to medical treatment for a specific, pressing medical problem. Primary care focuses on ongoing healthcare, including prevention or treatment of health issues or diseases, including chronic issues.
Walden University offers a high-quality MSN program with an adult gerontology nurse practitioner specialization online. Walden’s MSN program is CCNE accredited. For RNs, the RN to MSN online option enables you to skip the bachelor’s degree and go directly from RN to MSN.
Walden University Practicum Pledge™
Walden understands that finding a site or preceptor can be challenging, and they are dedicated to supporting students every step of the way to help ensure a timely and successful practicum experience. Walden University Practicum Pledge™ creates a collaborative search process between MSN NP and Doctor of Nursing Practice NP students and Walden’s large network of field sites and preceptors. If after several tries a student is unable to identify their own site and preceptor, Walden pledges to help match them with a preceptor and site. They’ve added a dedicated Field Placement Team to explain the process and requirements and proactively partner with students to offer site and preceptor matching. The Walden University Practicum Pledge™ gives students added confidence as they embark on their NP journey.
Whether you want to be an AG-ACNP or an AG-PCNP, online learning can make your nursing career goals a reality. If you feel called to help others, Walden can help you answer that call.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering MSN Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and MSN Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
The baccalaureate degree program in nursing (BSN), master’s degree program in nursing (MSN), post-graduate APRN certificate program, and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Walden University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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