Members in the News

Members in the News

estherCompletion of Gero Nurse Prep and Successful Board Certification,

Congratulations Esther!

Esther Nederhood, RN, C-AL, CALD, Owner of Belle Oakes Living Center has been awarded board certification in gerontological nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the country’s leading agency in nurse certification.

Esther prepared for gerontological certification by successfully completing a specialized, online continuing education training program, AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep, a nationally accredited online course, which is designed for long term care nurses and aims to improve quality of care and prepare long term care RNs for board certification.

Because most RNs have little or no formal education in gerontology, AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep provides RNs with cutting-edge information on how to prevent and manage the many serious health problems that plague older adults and diminish their quality of life, especially those in long term care facilities.

As with physicians, board certification is the “gold standard” of quality, and recognizes a high level of knowledge, skill, and professional achievement in a specialty area of nursing. Board certified nurses have been shown to have a significant impact on quality of care, yet, only 1% of the nation’s RNs are now certified in gerontological nursing.

Esther was sponsored for both the AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep training program and the board certifying examination by Belle Oakes Living Center.  Facilities with board certified nursing staff set themselves apart as ones that are committed to protecting the public and ensuring the highest standard of care for their residents.

The AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep course was specifically designed as a tool long term care facility administrators could use to advance the training of their entire RN staff, thereby assuring that their RNs provide the highest quality care and advance the quality initiatives within the facility. For more information about the AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep course, go to


Congratulations to the 2014 Ethel Mitty Scholarship Recipient

Sandi FloresThe 2014 Ethel Mitty Scholarship was awarded to Sandi Flores, RN, C-AL, at the 2014 National Conference in Washington, D.C. Sandi has dedicated the majority of her nursing career to assisted living, with over 25 year of experience in assisted living. As one of the founders of AALNA, Sandi has made it her goal to embrace and encourage clinical efficiency, advocacy and ethics.She has served direct care providers, as well as participated in nursing research related to assisted living. As an educator she has directly taught more than 25,000 assisted living professionals in the last 15 years, but currently dedicates her practice entirely to clinical leadership. We are honored to have Sandi as a member of the American Assisted Living Nurses Association, and we are pleased to present her with this scholarship.

Congratulations to Mentor of the Year Recipient, Esther Nederhood

Esther_BOEsther Nederhood, RN, CDP, C-AL was awarded AALNA’s first Ethel Mitty Scholarship. She is the owner and operator of the Belle Oaks Living Center in Lake City, Michigan. For the last 10 years, Esther has been dedicated to improving the lives of the residents and staff who call the Belle Oaks Living Center home. She ensures that her residents and staff feel at home, feel comfortable, and feel safe. When asked about her special contributions to the center, Esther said that her main goal is to put smiles on people’s faces, and “When you walk in her building, you feel the love.” Esther not only creates a nurturing environment for her staff and residents, but also brings an extensive knowledge of the nursing process, assessment and the creation of meaningful interventions to promote health and quality of life for her residents and staff. Esther received her nursing education from Ferris State University, is a Certified Assisted Living Director, a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP), and a Certified Assisted Living Nurse (C-AL).

The State of Michigan Center for Assisted Living honored Esther with the Mentor of the Year award on September 15th, 2014. Esther received this award because she has been such an inspiration to her staff that ten different staff members wrote to the Norman Rapp mentor recognition program to nominate Esther for the award.  This award can be given yearly, but may not always be given, so it is a noteworthy honor to be recognized. Marianne Vander Meulen, the Executive Director at Belle Oaks Living Center, describes Esther as “A true mentor,” and “The definition of a mentor.” When asked why she thought Esther received this award, Marianne told story after story of Esther’s generosity, support, and teaching ability. From all of us here at AALNA, congratulations and thank you for continuing to be a role model for all nurses working in assisted living.