Aims and objectives. To explain the relationship between a positive nurse practice environment (NPE) and implementation of evidence-based practices. To describe the components of NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) programmes that contribute to a positive geriatric nursing practice environment. Background. The NPE is a system-level intervention for promoting quality and patient safety; however, there are population-specific factors that influence the nurses' perception of their practice and its' relationship with patient outcomes. Favourable perceptions of the geriatric-specific NPE are associated with better perceptions of geriatric care quality. Designs. Discursive paper. Method. In this selective critical analysis of the descriptive and empirical literature, we present the implementation of geriatric models in relation to the NPE and components of the NICHE programme that support hospitals' systemic capacity to effectively integrate and sustain evidence-based geriatric knowledge into practice. Results. Although there are several geriatric models and chronic care models available, NICHE has been the most successful in recruiting hospital membership as well as contributing to the depth of geriatric hospital programming. Conclusions. Although all geriatric care models require significant nursing input, only NICHE focuses on the nursing staff's perception of the care environment for geriatric practice. Studies in NICHE hospitals demonstrate that quality geriatric care requires a NPE in which the structure and processes of hospital services focus on specific patient care needs. Relevance to clinical practice. The implementation of evidence-based models addressing the unique needs of hospitalised older adults requires programmes such as NICHE that serve as technical resources centre and a catalyst for networking among facilities committed to quality geriatric care. Unprecedented international growth in the ageing population compels us to examine how to adapt the successful components of NICHE to the distinctive needs of health systems throughout the world that serve older adults.
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