Introduction: The Nursing Home Environment

How do I identify quality nursing homes for my students?

To introduce you to this topic, Christine Mueller, PhD, RN, FAAN, provides her perspective. Click the play button to listen.

Christine Mueller, PhD, RN, FAAN Dr. Christine Mueller, Chair,
Adult and Gerontological Health Co-operative Unit at the University of Minnesota, School of Nursing

It always helps when faculty are familiar and knowledgeable about the clinical setting where students are learning. Most nursing faculty has never worked in a nursing home and consequently their knowledge about potential learning experiences for students in that setting is limited. Further, there are unique characteristics of nursing homes—different from hospitals, such as staffing, length of stay, routines and schedules, and the role of registered nurses. Nursing faculty need to be comfortable with the nursing home as a clinical learning site for students which requires learning some new ‘lingo’, flexibility in thinking, and partnering with nursing home staff to identify some unique and innovative learning experiences for students. This module is intended to help you learn about the nursing home as a clinical environment. We will use four criteria for selecting nursing homes for student learning that I have identified in my years of using nursing homes for student clinical experiences. These criteria will be introduced to you: quality of care provided by the nursing home, RN staffing, use of evidence-based nursing practices, and an introduction to nursing homes that use a resident directed philosophy of care.