The Acute Care Geriatric Nurse Network (ACGNN) was established in British Columbia in 2003 by a collaborative of Clinical Nurse Specialists in gerontology, geriatric medicine, geriatric psychiatry and geriatric rehabilitation and orthopedics.
The purpose of the collaborative and the ACGNN is to enhance nurses’ ability to provide evidence based care to acutely ill older adults.
Throughout BC, caring for acutely ill older adults presents unique challenges as a result of factors such as physiological and psychosocial aging changes, chronic illness and medications and the iatrogenic risks associated with diagnostic evaluations, treatments and the hospital environment. These factors exist in a changing health care environment where patient safety and appropriate utilization of acute care services are major priorities. The ACGNN, through provision of learning opportunities, mentorship and clinical decision making tools, is designed to assist nurses to address these priorities in their local communities.
The overall goal of the ACGNN is to improve the care of acutely ill older adults by building a supportive mentorship network within local nursing communities. This network also provides access to Clinical Nurse Specialist expertise which is not available to many communities outside of the Lower Mainland and Victoria.
In 2003, over 300 nurses in 8 communities in the Fraser Health, Interior and Northern Health Authorities joined the ACGNN.
Our icon, the wise owl, was selected because the owl can see 360 degrees around them and sees in the dark. Like the owl, nurses caring for the aged must observe all information surrounding a patient and bring their instinct and knowledge of the complexity of caring for the aged into their clinical practice. The ACGNN was founded to provide help and resources to nurses caring for acutely ill older adults across BC.
Objectives of the Acute Care Geriatric Nurse Network (ACGNN)
The objectives of the ACGNN are to:
- Prepare local ACGNN mentors and front line nurses in gerontological nursing theory and practice relevant to acute care.
- Enhance the ACGNN mentors’ ability to support unit staff in applying the knowledge.
- Improve care to hospitalized older adults by supporting change in nursing practice.
What We Offer
The main services offered by the ACGNN are:
1. Learning Opportunities
Teams of Clinical Nurse Specialists travel to communities identified by participating health authorities. We provide workshops to enhance nurses’ knowledge on the various clinical problems unique to caring for the acutely ill older population. Topics include: Slaying the Geriatric Giants in Acute Care, Continence Promotion and Management, and Management of Acute Non-Malignant Pain. See workshops >>
Throughout the course of these workshops, the Clinical Nurse Specialists establish relationships with participating nurses, particularly those nurses identified by their health authorities as nurses who can function as local ACGNN mentors. The mentors attend a second session designed to give them a more in-depth understanding of the clinical issues as well as strategies that they can use in mentoring their peers. Mentors can also meet during evening events where mentors discuss nursing issues.