Geriatric Nursing Programs

gerontology is the study of the ageing processes. it is a discipline where all aspects of the human ageing processes are studied. it includes:

  • the study of mental, physical, and social changes in older people
  • ageing population and its impacts on the society
  • application of results obtained from these studies to make policies and programs for the betterment of the ageing population

those who specialize in this field are called gerontologists. geriatrics, on the other hand, is the area of healthcare that specializes in the care and treatment of older people.

geriatric nurse
a registered nurse (rn) specializing in geriatric nursing is likely to perform the following duties on regular basis:

  • help with patient rehabilitation after injuries
  • help in bathing and bedsore prevention
  • help in pain management
  • administer medication
  • develop patient care plans
  • conduct routine screenings and check-ups

geriatric nurses focus mainly on preventative care. most of the patients may be suffering from cancer, alzheimer's, or osteoporosis; therefore, at danger of receiving injuries from these conditions. geriatric nurses work in hospitals, nursing homes, and home healthcare services.

geriatric nurse salary
the salary for geriatric nurses will differ from person to person. nurses who have more education, training, and work experience may earn more than their peers. the us bureau of labor statistics (bls) reported that registered nurses earned the following salaries (median annual earnings) in these work settings in may 2012:

  • nursing care facilities - $58,830
  • offices of physicians - $58,420
  • home healthcare services - $62,090
  • general medical and surgical hospitals - $67,210
  • government services - $68,540

becoming a geriatric nurse
geriatric nurses are registered nurses who are certified in geriatric nursing. there are three academic pathways to becoming a registered nurse:

  • a diploma in nursing
  • an associate's degree in nursing
  • a bachelor's degree in nursing

once the academic qualification is obtained, nursing graduates are required to take a nursing license exam. in order to legally practice, nurses must pass the national council licensure examination (nclex-rn). each state may have further requirements of their own. once a registered nurse has two years of work experience, he/she may be required to do 2,000 hours in geriatrics. in addition, he/she must take 30 hours of continuing education in geriatric nursing. a nurse may then be eligible to apply for the gerontological nursing certification, offered by the american nurses credentialing center.

geriatric nursing programs
nursing schools offer a master of science in nursing (msn) degree with a specialization in geriatric nursing. the program prepares registered nurses for the care and management of acutely ill patients, aged 17 and older. the program may be completed in 2 years even when enrolled as a part-time student. while core and specialty courses may differ in title from school to school, some core courses may be titled as:

  • health care ethics
  • foundations of health systems and policy
  • advanced concepts of pharmacology
  • advanced health assessment

some of the specialty courses may be titled as:

  • adult gerontology i,ii,iii,iv
  • best practices in teaching and learning
  • diagnostic reasoning & clinical decision making

geriatric nursing programs are offered by many nursing schools. when picking a school, students should ensure that the school and program is accredited by professional nursing organizations.


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