Geriatric nurses provide care for patients in need. With the population of aging individuals growing quickly, the need for professional geriatric nurses continues to increase. A geriatric nurse cares for elderly patients who require medical care to restore their good health. Geriatric nursing is an excellent field to enter for anyone who wishes to provide treatment for elderly patients.
Geriatric Nursing Job Description
Geriatric nurses have a special job of caring for elderly patients. Their focus is to develop and implement treatment plans for elderly patients with chronic and acute illnesses that may include respiratory conditions and diabetes. Geriatric nurse also provide their services to the families of these elderly patients by providing counseling and educate to help them understand the nature of the illnesses.
Geriatric nurse provide care for patients who suffer from diminishing mental conditions who are no longer able to make decisions on their own regarding their health. Additionally, these nurses provide treatment in the homes of some of their patients on a regular basis although these patients have the ability to care for themselves mostly on their own.
Geriatric nurses have the following responsibilities:
- Creating care plans for patients and establishing health goals
- Providing patients with assistance during procedures and examinations
- Educating family members on the conditions of patients
- Administering medications according to the patient’s care plan
- Conducting medical tests on patients in their homes or at a medical facility
Geriatric Nursing Job Requirements
It is necessary to attend a nursing school to become a geriatric nurse. Many accredited colleges and universities offer the nursing training, and potential nursing students have many options when it comes to the manner in which to receive their degree. Generally, the minimum education requirement for a geriatric nurse is a 4-year nursing degree from an accredited college or university.
Some students choose to earn a diploma from a participating hospital or a 2-year degree from an accredited college or university before earning the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Due to the competitive nature of nursing, more geriatric nurses are choosing to earn their masters degree in nursing to advance to positions with greater responsibility and income potential.
Nurses must earn the credential of registered nurse to become geriatric nurses. The requirements for certification are an active, current registered nurse license and a degree from an accredited nursing program. Geriatric nurses that meet the criteria can qualify to become clinical nurse specialists, gerontological nurse specialist, or gerontological nurse practitioner. The criteria for these specialized areas of geriatric nursing require additional criteria for certification.
Clinical nurse specialist must have coursework in the area of advanced health assessment, advanced pathophysiology, and advanced pharmacology. Additionally they must have at least 500 hours of supervised clinical experience to receive certification in this area.
Gerontological nurse specialists must have at minimum of 2,000 hours of geriatric nursing practice, the registered nurse credential with at least 2 years of related practice, and 30 hours of continuing education credits in gerontological nursing during the past three years.
Those interested in receiving certification as gerontological nurse practitioners must have a minimum of 500 hours of supervised clinical experience and coursework in advanced pharmacology and advanced health assessment. They must also receive continuing education training in such areas as disease management and health promotion.
Nurses can obtain their certification through The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) in geriatric nursing.
Geriatric Nursing Salary
Salaries for nurses are very lucrative. The nursing shortage has created a demand for nurses, and this demand will continue to increase over the next decade. The median annual nurse salary for geriatric nurses are $70,000 annually. Advanced degrees in nursing can drive this annually salary even higher. The best opportunities for geriatric nurses are in St. Petersburg, Scottsdale, Honolulu, and Fort Lauderdale.
Geriatric Nursing Jobs Outlook
Geriatric nursing jobs have a great deal of promise over the next decade. It is predicted that 20 percent of the population in the next 20 years will consist of those ages 65 and older. Since elderly adults primarily make up the majority of ambulatory care visits, hospital stays, and home care visits, geriatric nursing careers hold a great deal of opportunities for qualified nurses. The greatest number of opportunities for geriatric nurses is in hospitals and nursing home facilities, respectively.
Geriatric nursing requires special individuals who can provide specialized care for elderly patients. The opportunities are unlimited as the population of elderly adults continues to rise each year. Geriatric nurses make a commitment to restoring the health of their aging patients.