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Changing Culture: Creating a Long-Term Impact for a Quality Long-Term Care Workforce



Demand for a qualified long-term care (LTC) nursing workforce and focus on federally mandated quality indicators and staffing ratios create an imperative for organizations to invest in developing and retaining quality nursing managers and nursing staff. LEAP is a comprehensive LTC nursing workforce initiative that aims to educate, empower, and retain nursing managers and staff. Evaluation of LEAP in 14 LTC organizations is demonstrating significant increases in work empowerment, leadership effectiveness, perceived organizational climate, job satisfaction, and work effectiveness up to 1-year postprogram implementation. Implications for organizations to focus on a culture of learning to foster person-centered care are described.

Linda Hollinger-Smith, RN, PhD, is Director of Research at Mather LifeWays in Evanston, Ill, and holds faculty appointments at Rush University Medical Center and University of Illinois at Chicago. She has more than 24 years of experience with older adults in long-term care settings, in the community, and in acute care settings in various managerial and staff positions. A frequent presenter at national conferences, she has also published over 35 journal articles, book chapters, and research abstracts.

Anna Ortigara, RN, MS, has focused her practice in the field of gerontology and Alzheimer's disease for the past 22 years. She is currently the Vice President of Program Development at Life Services Network of Illinois, Hinsdale, Ill. Previous to this position, she was Director of Residential Care Services for the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center at Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago. She is a frequent national presenter on the topics of dementia care, frontline workforce issues, and aging topics, and is an associate editor of the Alzheimer's Care Quarterly.

Address correspondence to: Linda Hollinger-Smith, RN, PhD, Mather Institute on Aging, Mather LifeWays, 1603 Orrington Ave, Suite 1800, Evanston, IL 60201. E-mail:

©2004Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.