Empowering Nurses in Memory Care: The Path to Specialization 

“Though I’m no longer in my full-time role as the Director of Nursing in a memory care facility, I continue to provide RN oversite in memory care because I have come to love the work and the individuals that show up every day to provide care.”  

– Natalie Jackson, RN, and Nurse Consultant at Elderwise 

Natalie’s story is not unique. Nurses all over Oregon work in memory care communities for similar reasons: to build meaningful connections among staff and residents, to repay the system that took care of their loved ones, to broaden their spectrum of care skills, to actualize opportunities for professional growth.  

Whatever the reason, nurses play a pivotal role in providing compassionate and specialized care inside these communities.  

Memory care communities are specialized care settings designed to meet the unique needs of individuals living with cognitive impairments, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. These communities go beyond traditional assisted living or nursing homes, providing a secure and supportive environment tailored to the challenges of memory loss. They generally offer structured daily routines; cognitive stimulation activities such as puzzles or art therapy; and individualized care plans that may include assistance with activities of daily living. 

As nurses step into a field that requires such attention to individual care needs, they may find themselves unsure how to manage it all. That is why it is so important nurses receive the specialized support, education, and guidance necessary to provide optimal care to their residents. 

“Having extra support would have been a game changer for me. I came into the job without understanding the role of the nurse within the memory care setting, and initially, I had no one to reach out to with questions.” 

The Value of Nurse Mentors in Memory Care

nurse mentors share their expertise on navigating and finding success in the memory care field

One of the most valuable supports for community-based care (CBC) nurses is mentorship. At NurseLearn, we recognize the profound impact mentorship has on nurse success, so we connect participants of our Enhanced Program with memory care and CBC experts from across the state. 

Our Nurse Mentors are at the forefront of their fields. During one-on-one mentoring sessions with Enhanced Program participants, they share their expertise on navigating and finding success in the field, provide guidance on handling real-life scenarios, and support participants through their online courses.  

Mentorship and field expertise are the cornerstones of all NurseLearn resources, including our courses. Designed by nurses for nurses, our courses cover topics in memory care ranging from understanding behavior as communication to reducing and managing falls.  

“A program like NurseLearn’s Enhanced Program would have changed everything about my experience entering this field. I would have had guidance and support from the beginning and would have felt much more successful in my role,” explains Natalie. Memory care nursing can be a challenging and rewarding specialty—but it’s just that, a specialty. And, like all specialties, possessing knowledge and skills specific to the field makes for a more successful and fulfilling career.  

“Completing memory-care-specific training will ease a nurse’s transition into the field by preparing them with an understanding of the unique rules and regulations in this setting.” Apply to our free Enhanced Program for specialized CBC training and support—a long and rewarding career in memory care awaits! 

Enhanced Program launches March 1, 2024. Applications open December 1, 2023. Sign up for email alerts and learn more at nurselearn.com. 

Interested in being a mentor? Dive into the world of mentorship and redefine your nursing trajectory. Learn more at nurselearn.com. 

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