Green House Blog

Nurses Organization of Veteran Affairs (NOVA)

Gerontological Nurse, Green House Guide and RN Supervisor, Ann Wagle, from the VA Illiana Green House homes in Danville, IL will present a poster on “The Role of Nurses in the Green House home” during the NOVA 2015 Annual Meeting this June in Washington D.C. The poster will outline the impact of the Green House model on Veterans, families and staff. It will also describe actions that support and propel cultural transformation within long-term care in the VA system.

In her poster proposal Ann described how Green House homes are currently serving Veterans across the United States and future plans for the Danville campus:

“VA Illiana was the first VA in the nation to adopt the Green House model, although at least five additional VA sites have either opened Green House homes or are under design/construction, including VA’s in Chicago, Milwaukee, Tomah, Tuscaloosa, and Lexington. At VA Illiana, two more Green House homes are currently under construction, and an additional two homes are in the design phase, resulting in a total of 60 beds within the total of 100 long-term care beds at VA Illiana. One of these new Green House homes will include Veterans with short-stay skilled care needs.”

This presentation will be an excellent compliment to the recent THRIVE research results on the role of the nurse in Green House homes that The Green House Project has been sharing with our Peer Network of adopters.


CARE: Dedicated to Improving How We Age

The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing created the Center for Aging Research and Education (CARE) in response to the rapidly expanding care needs of our aging population. The center works toward transformation by using “…nursing leadership, discovery, education, and practice…” to support happiness, health and security for all older adults.

In a recent online post by the CARE team entitled, “What Makes a Green House Home? How You Decide Matters,” the author considers the persistence and commitment necessary to take the philosophical tenets of culture change and put them into practice.

The post describes how UW-Madison School of Nursing Associate Dean Barb Bowers, PhD, RN, FAAN and research manager Kim Nolet, MS have conducted research that analyzes the “lived experience” that the Green House model now has after more than 10 years as the pinnacle of culture change.

“By interviewing 166 staff members at 11 Green House homes, Bowers and Nolet identified patterns of problem solving as important to the erosion or reinforcement of the Green House model over time.”

The researchers found that along with the architecture of the Green House home, it is collaboration across the organization and between nurses and Shahbazim that allows the significant benefits of this model to be realized.

Both Bowers and Nolet are a part of The Research Initiative Valuing Eldercare (THRIVE). Interested in learning more about the THRIVE initiative? Take a look at this recent blog post which discusses the importance of the soon to be published THRIVE research results.




Appreciating Nurses: Wise Mentors and Skilled Care Partners

As we continue to celebrate National Nurses Week, we want to take a moment to acknowledge that nurses play an integral role in THE GREEN HOUSE® model as care role models, partners, gerontological nurses, teachers and mentors. The role of the nurse significantly changes in The Green House model, as they are no longer the supervisor of the Shahbaz, but rather a partner.  Both the nurse and the direct care staff bring their perspective to work within scope of practice, as they commit to protecting, sustaining and nurturing every elder they serve.

Nurses are wise and trusted guides and advisors in the Green House model. As part of the clinical support team, they provide elders with skilled and clinical care and functional support.  While carrying out all of the traditional duties of a nurse, the small environment and consistent staffing of a Green House home enables the nurse to create deep relationships with the elders and other staff members, which translates to good clinical outcomes.

In traditional models of long-term care, the hierarchical power structure can become an obstacle to real team collaboration. Nurses in The Green House home however, work hand-in-hand with Shahbazim and elders. Their professional expertise combines with the deep knowing of the Shahbaz to create a clinical care team of excellence. This sense of familiarity, and value for the skill sets of everyone on the team, creates an empowered environment where care delivery is both individualized and relationship-based.

Take a moment today to appreciate the nurses in your Green House home and in your life and thank them for all that they do!