The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) new Pathway to Excellence in Long Term CareTM (PTE-LTC) Program is the first recognition of its kind for long-term-care facilities. PTE-LTC acknowledges long-term-care facilities that foster work environments where nurses and nursing staff can thrive, substantiates the professional satisfaction of nurses, and identifies the best places to work.
I stumbled on this accreditation when researching another topic for this site. After review, I thought it was important to share what I found out.
The Pathway to Excellence in Long Term care Program recognizes the essential elements of an optimal nursing practice environment. A positive work environment has a strong impact on patient safety, patient satisfaction, and quality care.
ANCC embraces these concepts:
- Creating a healthy work environments where nurses and nursing staff prosper.
- Fostering collaboration.
- Retaining the best staff.
- Having a balanced lifestyle.
- Having contributions valued.
- Demonstratimg commitment to nurses and their practice.
This designation confirms to the public that nurses and nursing staff working in a PTE-LTC recognized organization know that their efforts are supported and invite other nurses to come work with them. Program components include:
- Essential elements of an ideal nursing practice environment.
- Standards focused on workplace conditions, such as a balanced lifestyle for nurses and nursing staff.
- Policies and procedures supportive of the nursing practice environment.
Confirmation of the essential elements is obtained through written documentation and an online survey. The PTE-LTC Program is based on Pathway to Excellence® Practice Standards, but is specific to the long-term-care environment. Some of the key differences in the PTE-LTC standards are:
- CNAs are included in the nursing community.
- Educational standards are temporarily established for Directors of Nursing.
- Important issues in long-term-care facilities are highlighted, including staff education in regard to zero tolerance of resident abuse and neglect, policies/protocols related to the use of restraints, and falls prevention.
- A person-centered model of care is understood.
The first step in pursuing recognition as a Pathway to Excellence in Long Term Care Organization is a Self-Assessment. The Self-Assessment must be deliberate and honest if it is to serve as an organizational measure of whether or not to pursue the Pathway to Excellence in Long Term Care designation. This process requires an organization to compare itself against the compulsory elements of the Pathway to Excellence in Long Term Care program to assess the organization’s current state.
Some of the questions it poses include:
- Are all members of the nursing staff actively engaged in and aware of the Pathway to Excellence in Long Term Care application?
- Are Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) included in the nursing community?
- Are RNs, LPNs, and/or CNAs involved in decision-making and all phases of projects that affect nursing, including quality processes?
- Is there evidence that a delineated nursing shared governance model is in place and integrated throughout the organization?
- Is there a policy indicating mandatory overtime is not required for nursing staff?
- Is the development of policy/procedures evidence-based and are at least two of these being implemented?
- Is there input from RNs, LPNs, and CNAs on staffing plans and do they serve on nursing and facility committees?
- Are protective security measures in place for residents and staff?
- Are prevention measures in place to decrease injury, illness, and accidents?
- Do RNs, LPNs, and/or CNAs actively participate on safety committees and in product evaluation?
- Are policies in place to address resident abuse and neglect?
- Are policies in place to address the use of restraints and falls prevention?
- Are employee support structures in place for reporting and addressing work environment events or concerns?
- Are supportive processes in the work environment perceived as restorative and/or holistic?
- Is there a person-centered model of care present?
- Is the person-centered model of care well understood by all staff?
- Are non-adversarial, non-retaliatory, and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in place to address concerns about the professional practice of healthcare professionals?
- Are there systems to assess quality of resident care as well as rights and culturally sensitive needs of residents?
- Are error prevention and management procedures disseminated to all staff on an ongoing basis?
- Do orientation activities incorporate general and specific mandatory training requirements?
More questions follow that will help organizations determine if they are prepared to be credentialed. Find more questions here
In the competitive environment we face, where hospitals are looking for the highest quality organizations to partner with in an ACO, this credentialing could set you apart.