The goal of NICHE is to achieve systematic nursing change that will benefit the care of older adults in all healthcare settings. The vision of NICHE is for all patients 65 and over to be given sensitive and exemplary care. The mission of NICHE is to educate nurses with the knowledge and skills to provide best practice care and to position nurses as change agents in the settings in which they work to improve the quality of care delivered to older adults.

NICHE is unlike other programs in that it does not prescribe how institutions should modify geriatric care. Rather, it provides the resources and tools necessary to stimulate and support the planning and implementation process.

The focus of NICHE is on programs and protocols that are under the control of nursing practice. In other words, areas where nursing interventions have a substantive and positive impact on patient care. Over the years, NICHE has evolved into a collaborative, member-driven organization.

1981 – 1988

Geriatric Resource Nurse (GRN) model initiated in 1981 at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital.

1989 – 1991

GRN model adapted within a geriatrician led care team at Yale New Haven Hospital.

1992 – 1998

The John A. Hartford Foundation provided funds in 1992 to New York University and the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) to field test the nursing care models in the broader hospital community.

1996 – 2002

NICHE grows to include a national network of hospitals that share lessons learned and collaborate to inform the further development of resources at the NYU College of Nursing.


The findings from field tests resulted in the NICHE Toolkit, that included:
  • The NICHE Planning and Implementation Guide
  • Geriatric Resource Nurse (GRN) model
  • ACE (Acute Care for Elders) models
  • Revised Geriatric Institutional Assessment Profile
  • Expanded clinical practice protocols


In 2003 NICHE was expanded with three new initiatives:
  • Geriatric advanced practice nurse leads practice initiatives of the Hartford Institute
  • GIAP Benchmarking Service moved to New York University
  • GIAP Research Group was organized to develop research initiatives

2007 – 2009

In 2007 Atlantic Philanthropies (U.S. Aging Programme) funds the five-year business plan to help NICHE build its internal capacity, dramatically improve the program's "Toolkit," and accelerate adoption of the program by more hospitals. In 2008 and 2009 NICHE launched a robust website to facilitate peer-to-peer exchange and a community of learning. NICHE also launched several web based training and education tools hosted on a members only website.


In 2009 NICHE introduced the online Leadership Training Program (LTP) to increase the flexibility and affordability of starting a NICHE program, and launched the NICHE Knowledge Center, which houses the LTP, online courses, interactive webinars, and other resources.


NICHE reaches a milestone 300 hospitals in its North American network, sustaining and building on its position as the leader in delivering evidence-based best practices and tools for improving care of older adults. Over 450 healthcare providers, representing more than 175 hospitals, attended the 2011 NICHE Conference—the largest conference ever!


The 78 million member baby boom generation born between 1946 and 1964 began turning 65 in 2011. And the number of people age 65 and older is expected to grow from 39 million in 2008 to 72 million in 2030. This explosive growth will place great demands on our healthcare system. NICHE is well positioned to help healthcare professionals rise to the challenge for the older adult.


The 2012 Annual NICHE Conference exceeds capacity. Over 750 individuals, from over 250 faciites meet in Philadelphia for a 3 day event to share innovations and collaborate on the best practices in the care of older adults.


In 2013 NICHE reaches the 500 member milestone. Through 2030, 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day. Medicare spends $555 billion now; that number is projected to almost double by 2020. The NICHE hospital member designation signals a resolve to provide specialized and patient centered care for older adults.


NGNA honors NICHE Founder Terry Fulmer with Lifetime Achievement Award. Singapore Healthcare Group Visits U.S. Sites to Gain Insights on NICHE Program.


The NICHE network of healthcare organizations reaches 660-member mark. NICHE expands its international reach again, adding a healthcare organization in Australia. NICHE-Long Term Care (NICHE-LTC) initiative gains traction and funding.


Today NICHE continues to build the capacity necessary to ensure the right resources, tools, and models are available to help improve the quality of health and lifestyle of older adults across the spectrum.

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