Therese Murphy, RN, BSN, CCRN, patient care manager on a medical-oncology unit at Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Ill., was accepted into the Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy, which is presented by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International. In collaboration with the John A. Hartford Foundation Centers for Geriatric Nursing Excellence, the program pairs leadership mentors and fellows in a blended curriculum designed to empower nurses to effectively lead their organizations through challenging times regarding elder care.
According to a news release, Murphys hope is to impact care for elderly patients throughout the Provena and Resurrection merged system by integrating best practice pain management strategies for geriatric patients. Under the auspices of Jackie Medland, RN, PhD, CNE at Provena Saint Joseph, Murphy applied for and was awarded one of 12 fellowships provided nationwide.
“Therese was the perfect candidate given her passion for older adults and her natural leadership abilities,” Medland said in the release. “The international leadership academy will allow her to hone personal and professional leadership skills, expand her sphere of influence and — ultimately — create a new model of care for geriatric patients.”
Murphy submitted a project that focused on safe medication for the elderly.
“This is the fastest growing population, and we need to manage their pain and discomfort in the hospital setting much more effectively,” Murphy said in the release. “Older patients are at greater risk for adverse side effects from medication than any other population. While we want to eliminate or minimize our patients pain, it is important to reduce the possibility of side effects, such as delirium, which can complicate the inpatient stay.”
A team of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists and others will collaborate on Murphys project that will result in an innovative model of care that she will present to the Honor Society of Nursing in November 2013.
Murphys leadership path will be guided by Medland and Jean Wyman, RN, PhD, GNP-BC, FAAN, FGSA, University of Minnesota faculty advisor for the program.
“Jackie is a great mentor,” Murphy said. “She is such a visionary, always looking at the big picture, and that helps me focus on the value of everything I do. Dr. Wyman is a tremendous resource as well, especially helpful in tapping into geriatric networks across the country.”