Program Specialist - Geriatrics & Dementia

Work Area: 
Elder Care Program Admin
Base Site: 
Mt St Joseph Hospital
Regular Full Time
Job Category: 
Management/Non Union
Registered Nurse
Registered Psychiatric Nurse
Residential Care Facilities

The Program Specialist – Geriatrics & Dementia plays an integral role in leading the planning, development, and implementation of clinical policies and programs designed to improve the quality of older adult services at Providence Health Care. Specifically, this role will focus on advancing the practice and resident outcomes in the area of dementia care at our residential care sites. If you have experience in seniors care, specifically supporting individuals with dementia and their families and have a strong knowledge of implementing quality improvement initiatives on a unit or care facility level, we want to hear from you!


In accordance with the Mission, Vision and Values, and strategic directions of Providence Health Care, the person promotes a safe, respectful, and civil working environment for patients, residents, families, visitors and staff.

Reporting operationally to the Program Director for Program issues and linking into the Director of Professional Practice and Nursing for professional issues, the Program Specialist, Geriatrics/Dementia informs the program and operations direction and is responsible for providing leadership and expert advice and guidance in the area of geriatric services and care, including resource planning, research, and professional development. As an expert advanced practitioner, the position receives direction from the Program Director, works within established Professional Practice best practice parameters on professional matters, and collaborates and works with Clinical Group/Service Leaders/Directors, Clinicians, Educators, Nurses, other and other health care professionals to achieve excellence, improve and advance practice and patient/resident outcomes in the area of dementia care initiatives throughout Providence Health Care. Leads in the planning, development, and implementation of clinical policies and programs designed for improving the quality of adult/older adult services. Responsible for specialty specific standards of practice, remains current with literature on geriatric practices, and promotes the advancement of a research and theory based autonomous practice for geriatric services. Assumes a leadership role in advancing the practice of geriatric services through education, communication, research, and support for quality and utilization initiatives. Facilitates services across the continuum of care, collaborating with acute and residential care partners to ensure consistency of quality services. Provides leadership and expert consultation to Clinicians, Educators, staff, patients/clients and families/significant others.


ability to apply system-wide thinking to develop, implement and evaluate programs that inform management in areas of clinical practice.
ability to perform in-depth holistic patient/family assessments, plan, implement and evaluate care for complex care situations, and guide interdisciplinary team members in care planning.
ability to provide effective consultation for individuals and groups.
ability to conceptualize research questions and collaborate with researchers to conduct research.
ability to role model expert practice.
ability to assist in the development of professional skills for interdisciplinary teams.
ability to synthesize, present, utilize and implement relevant clinical/research findings into dementia care practice.


Masters’ degree in a related health care field (with a focus on Gerontology or Dementia) with an undergraduate degree in Nursing. Current practicing registration with the relevant regulatory professional body. Five years of recent, related clinical and leadership experience.


Exemplifies and promotes excellence in dementia care practice by providing advanced level expertise and clinical support and advice to the multi-disciplinary health care team.

Utilizes practice opportunities to ensure expert care to patients/residents or groups of patients, to evaluate dementia care practice, and to provide clinical learning activities for staff.

Provides leadership on and collaborates with other health care disciplines within PHC and the community to develop and (with Professional Practice and Director approval) implement, evaluate care standards, clinical practice guidelines and other processes that help to inform PHC geriatrics practice services and support excellence in service delivery consistent with provincial and national guidelines.

Influences practice in the field of dementia care by participating in patient/resident care advocacy issues directed toward improving practice, coordinating services, and the quality of patient/resident care. Participates in provincial/national groups related to gerontology/dementia care.

Develops and (with Director and Professional Practice approval) implements, evaluates integrated systems and processes to promote the development of competent staff, support professional and clinical practice and decision-making and enhance collaborative working relationships across the continuum of care.

Provides consultation and advice/guidance to nurses and other members of the interdisciplinary team on planning, implementing and evaluating services within the continuum of gerontology care.

Ensures support for people with dementia and their families across a continuum of care and services. Coordinates the evaluation of patient/resident care outcomes. Works with staff to identify patients/residents at risk, and problem-solves issues.

Works with Educators to promote an atmosphere conducive to learning and to develop, implement and evaluate education strategies for staff and patients/residents that support effective, efficient, best practice gerontology services. Collaborates in the development of clear guidelines, performance standards and effective processes to assess competencies of staff and students and to facilitate continuing professional development of gerontology/dementia care in compliance with professional standards and codes of ethics.

Identifies research topics, supports research amongst the interdisciplinary team, and administers research projects to promote clinical knowledge development and research-based clinical practice. Critiques current research findings related to dementia care. Makes presentations on research findings as required and disseminates approved research findings encouraging staff to incorporate recommended evidence into practice. Collaborates with colleagues in determining the effectiveness in the practice setting.

Participates in relevant committees as required.

Mentors and supervises graduate and undergraduate students, assisting them to develop a thorough understanding and skilled application of advanced nursing practice and related competencies. Provides professional expertise in dementia care to health care professionals internal and external to the organization on matters related to practice including clinical, research and educational activities.

Provides input into budget planning to ensure the budget meets fiscally responsible clinical practice requirements and professional standards.

Provides advice and guidance to the Director for essential services designation planning as required.

Performs other duties as assigned.