A geriatric certified nurse is a registered nurse who specializes in the care of the elderly. An elderly nurse often provides care to vulnerable elderly patients with long-term, chronic medical issues that are not the result of acute sickness or injury. Their major responsibility is to provide patients and families with comprehensive and tailored treatment.

A geriatric nurse in this job is responsible for following treatment plans established by doctors. They contribute to developing a care plan that improves the quality of life of patients getting treatment, maximizing patient comfort, encouraging safety, preventing a decline in health, maintaining existing functional status, and stopping new problems.

What Does a Geriatric Nurse Do (Geriatric Nursing)?

Geriatric certified nurses are elderly nurses that specialize in the care of elderly patients and are an important element of the healthcare team in assisting older adults in maintaining their movement, independence, and life quality. Geriatric nurses specialize in age-related disorders and health issues such as cancer, impaired mobility, stroke, Alzheimer’s or dementia, chronic pain, malnutrition, falls, incontinence, arthritis, medication tolerance, osteoporosis, and poly-pharmacy.

Geriatric nurses can also address psychosocial difficulties. Older adults may experience emotions of loneliness, sadness, and isolation as a result of diminished mobility. In senior patients, mental health is just as important as physical health. Abuse and neglect are also a concern among the elderly.


Geriatric Nursing Skills

Geriatric certified nurses have many of the same core abilities as registered nurses but also learn extra skills to assist them in serving an elderly patient population. Here are some essential abilities of these healthcare workers:

Knowledge of the aging process

The body’s dietary demands and healing processes alter gradually as it matures. A qualified senior nurse knows the aging process and can detect anomalies and respond to crises.

Communication skills

While all nurses employ communication skills to communicate with their patients and caregivers, nurses who serve elderly patients may face additional communication challenges. Therefore, they may prioritize nonverbal communication to comprehend their patients’ complaints and reassure them.

Positive attitude

Everyone’s aging process is unique, and some individuals may experience anxiety or depression throughout this time. However, nurses with a good attitude can assist their patients in coping with challenging situations and may help their patients recover more efficiently when they die.

Organizational skills

Employees in the geriatric-certified nursing industry may work with several patients who require a variety of drugs and therapy procedures. Their organizing abilities guarantee that each patient obtains the proper drug dosage and benefits from suitable approaches.


Geriatric Nurse Job Description

  • Preparing medications via injection or other ways, such as IV pumps.
  • Recognizing and responding to potential adverse drug reactions, such as allergies and other undesirable reactions to medications and treatments.
  • Monitoring the patient’s status and notifying the relevant people of any changes (such as discomfort, fever, or strange behavior).
  • Providing patients with supportive therapy to reduce stress or pain.
  • Bathing, clothing, grooming, skincare, and other examples of personal hygiene duties.
  • Giving treatments in compliance with directives from doctors or nurses in charge of patient care.
  • Evaluating emergency circumstances that necessitate rapid action.
  • Educating patients about treatment programs for which they are responsible and drug regimes that must be followed.
  • Under the direction of a doctor, helping in the preparation of patients for medical testing and surgeries.
  • Engaging in discharge planning processes that aid in coordinating patient care following hospitalization.


Geriatric Nurse Duties & Roles (Duties of the Elderly Nurse)

The duties of an elderly caregiver may include:

  • Medication administration
  • Patient education
  • Patient, family, and caregiver liaison
  • Keeping functional mobility
  • Keeping psychosocial health
  • Bedside nursing care


How to Become a Geriatric Nurse?

To become a geriatric certified nurse, you must complete three major steps:

Step 1: Enroll in an accredited nursing program to obtain an ADN, Associate Degree in Nursing, BSN, or Bachelor of Science in Nursing. An ADN needs 18 to 24 months, but a BSN would take about four years to complete. Most nursing schools include geriatric nursing coursework and modules. If you already possess an ADN, you can complete an ADN to BSN bridging program in 12-18 months. The more schooling you have, the more likely you will find your desired career.

Step 2: Take the NCLEX-RN exam to qualify as a Registered Nurse (RN). To assess nursing candidates’ knowledge, the NCLEX includes questions on the topics below:

  • Environments of care that are both safe and effective
  • Promotion and maintenance of health
  • Psychosocial stability
  • Physiological stability

The NCLEX-RN exam will consist of between 74 and 145 questions for nursing applicants. You have up to six hours to finish the test, including breaks.

Stage 3: Obtaining bedside experience is the final step in the procedure. As a geriatric certified nurse, you should look for jobs that provide critical care experience, particularly for elderly patients. In addition, it will provide you with hands-on experience in skills such as artificial ventilation and treatment alternatives throughout a disease cycle.


Geriatric Nurse Certification or Credentials

Working as a geriatric certified nurse does not require certification, but it may give you an edge over others in your profession. The American Nurses Credentialing Center gives the Gerontological Nursing Certification (RN-BC) to qualified individuals. Nurses must meet the following requirements to be eligible for this certification:

  • Have a current Registered Nurse license
  • Have two years of experience as an RN
  • Have completed at least 2,000 hours of clinical gerontology practice in the last three years.
  • Completed 30 hours of gerontological nursing continuing education.

Initial certification is valid for five years. After that, accredited nurses can renew their certification by passing another exam that assesses their geriatric nursing abilities and knowledge.


Where Do Geriatric Nurses Work?

Geriatric certified nurses can work as:

  • Retirement centers
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • In-home care
  • Memory care centers
  • Clinical educators
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Outpatient ambulatory care clinics
  • Case management (BSN-prepared RNs)


Geriatric Nurse Jobs

To capitalize on this rising need, you can pursue various geriatrics-related jobs. The following are the most typical job paths for Geriatric Nurses:

Geriatric Nursing Assistant

They offer patients assistance and personal care. For example, they may help with bathing, clothing, grooming, toileting, washing, and other daily routines. Geriatric nursing assistants are normally supervised by a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse who manages all areas of patient care.

Geriatric Staff Nurse

Geriatric staff nurses assist doctors and patients. They aid with everyday tasks, monitor patients’ status, and aid doctors with diagnostic tests and operations. In addition, they assist patients with complicated medical issues and those with long-term or chronic diseases. Other nurses are also supported and supervised by senior staff nurses.

Geriatric Nurse Practitioner

They are advanced practice registered nurses who have finished a nurse practitioner program at the graduate level. They often conduct sophisticated evaluations of patients’ health requirements and problems, design tailored care plans, and advise other healthcare experts on treatment alternatives. In addition, they might oversee the work of nurses and other nursing staff members in various situations.

Home Health Nurse

Home health nurses are in charge of providing a variety of patient care services outside of the usual healthcare environment. They may give supportive care, teach patients how to manage their diseases, aid rehabilitation efforts, and assist with daily living tasks. For example, home health nurses may assist patients with basic requirements such as washing and meal preparation or specialize in treating particular illnesses such as wound care.

Hospice Nurse

Hospice nurses care for and assist patients who have a terminal disease or are nearing the end of their life. They generally collaborate with other healthcare experts to ensure patients have the best quality of life possible in their final days. In addition, hospice nurses may specialize in a specific area of care, including pain management or bereavement counseling.


Geriatric Nurse Salary

By 2030, there will be more than 82 million people over 65. This demographic shift will boost demand for geriatric-certified nurses as the aging population needs various basic and preventive healthcare services.

Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the United States does not distinguish between RN specializations, RNs may expect a 7% increase in general job growth between 2019 and 2029, with additional chances accessible to those with certificates.

The national average income for geriatric nurses is $72,535 per year. The following cities and states pay more than the average salary for gerontology nurses:

City % above national average
Washington, DC 11.3
San Francisco, CA 25.0
Chicago, IL 6.1
Boston, MA 12.7
New York, NY 20.3


Geriatric Nurses Advantages

  • Work that is rewarding in patient-centered care and advocacy
  • Provide preventative treatment and wellness education to patients to help them preserve their quality of life.
  • Develop strong pharmacological and therapeutic abilities while dealing with patients on various drugs for various diseases.
  • Increasing career and compensation prospects, particularly for registered nurses with graduate training and certification.
  • Long-term care institutions and nursing homes may have deep relationships with patients and their families.


Nurse for Elderly at Home in Las Vegas

Nursing care of elderly patients can help people who require medical treatment on a daily basis but do not want to stay in an assisted living home or hospital. Our professional nurses can help with treatment management, prescription reminders, injections, and various other services. Please let us know if the advanced skilled nursing service you require is not listed on this page. Our personnel will assist you in any way you require.

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