Jacke Vance

Last week, I once again joined my colleagues at the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Examiners meeting. This year, I received an award for over 10 years of service.

No, this isn’t showing masochistic tendencies, despite the months of hard work each year; I believe those of us who volunteer our time year after year show a dedication toward impacting quality.

We have the privilege of reviewing applications (I am a Silver Award examiner) of those facilities that have made significant strides toward quality improvement. I mean real strides towards changing the face of care in that facility, not just changing a carpet or adding super bingo to Monday night activity!

It’s so exciting working with a team of like-minded LTC professionals, applying Baldridge criteria and reviewing these applications. I often feel like shouting, “In your face, you negative News Nellys!” that only wish to portray what we do in a harsh light. Like, why don’t you just say we shake babies and slap grandmas in the same breath?

Oh, but if they could see all the awesome stuff that is going on nationwide, maybe that would change their opinion.  (OK, who am I kidding? Good news doesn’t sell.)

But it does energize me, which is why I volunteer year after year. It gives me joy, it gives me hope, it shows that skilled nursing and assisted living facilities are giving amazing quality care and continue to improve.

So, take that, all you naysayers. Even though the criteria are VERY strict, I have a feeling this year’s list of award recipients will be larger than ever. And next October at the annual AHCA/NCAL conference, we will have something to shout about!

Just keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real-life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.