The purpose of this study was to determine the effect on clinical outcomes for newly admitted nursing home residents when advanced practice gerontological nurses (APNs) worked with staff to implement scientifically based protocols for incontinence, pressure ulcers, depression, and aggressive behavior. Use of APNs in this manner differs from the usual way APNs have been used in nursing homes, in which their primary focus has been to augment the physician's role. The APN treatment was randomly assigned to two nursing homes and usual care was assigned to a third. Trajectories from admission to 6 months revealed that residents with APN input into their care (n = 86) experienced significantly greater improvement or less decline in incontinence, pressure ulcers, and aggressive behavior, and they had higher mean composite trajectory scores compared with residents receiving usual care (n = 111). Significantly less deterioration in affect was noted in cognitively impaired residents in the treatment group. Findings suggest that APNs can be effective links between current scientific knowledge about clinical problems and nursing home staff.
- Advanced practice nurses
- Nursing home