Nursing Excellence

Caring for Seniors

To ensure that senior patients are receiving specialized clinical care, St. Joseph Hospital is participating in the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) initiative. NICHE is an international, research-based program providing best-practice guidelines specifically for hospitalized older adults. Through NICHE, St. Joseph Hospital is cultivating a new way of thinking about geriatric care through increased knowledge and attitudinal change. Several of our nurses have obtained their geriatric specialty certification, currently possessed by less than one percent of nurses nationwide.

“Men and women over the age of 65 are six times as likely to be hospitalized,” states St. Joseph Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Katie Skelton, RN. “We intend to provide our growing population of older patients with safe, sensitive and age-specific care that promotes healing and well-being. Our team has enthusiastically welcomed this program and we look forward to positive results.”

There are about 250 hospitals in 40 states, Canada and the Netherlands taking part in NICHE. St. Joseph Hospital is the first hospital in the St. Joseph Health and the only hospital in Orange County to begin this journey toward exceptional senior care. Participants report that elderly patients experience greater patient satisfaction, decreased lengths of hospital stay, reduced readmission rates and increased length of time between readmissions.