Many fields of nursing are available that gives an opportunity for students to pick the career that fit rights to them. But without knowing about their job duties, work environment, responsibilities, salary and other aspects, no one can serve their best to any career. Nursing is a vast field and to make the career in this field one must have good skills education and experience so that they can serve their best to the patients. There are registered nurses, LPNs, travel nurses, family nurse, etc. role of each of them is somewhat similar but knowing in brief about them is essential.
Here, description of the geriatric nurse practitioner is given to introduce about one new career options for the medical students. Read the geriatric nurse practitioner job description and salary so that students can conclude whether it is a right one for them or not.
What Is A Geriatric Nurse Practitioner?
The geriatric nurse works in the field of gerontology where they deal with the older patients. These particular sections of patients require intense care and health services. Their population is growing, and thus the need for these nurses is also growing. Since they provide care to the older adults thus, they are specialized in their job. They are seen in medical settings like hospitals, family clinics and other facilities that are meant for older adults only. They consult patients related to their medical conditions, diagnostic tests, results, treatment strategies, prescriptions, etc. it means that they are highly qualified in their field and some of them also conduct research. Their research works help in improving policies related to elderly patients.
If a candidate is interested in this field and wants to serve the older people of the society, here is the outline to guide them. They will learn what educational requirements are needed to become the geriatric nurse.
Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Educational Requirements
The candidate should be a graduate and possessed an associate or bachelor degree of science in nursing. They should also pass the national council licensure examination. Additional education in a field of gerontology is optional, but if the candidate preferred it, then it will enhance their career.
Read below the steps to be followed to pursue a career as a geriatric nurse practitioner-
1. Choose a Nursing Program
Nursing schools offer various nursing programs to the candidates at associate or bachelor level. While choosing a program, candidates should consider goals to be achieved. Programs that offer exposure relevant to the field are best and choosing them is always the best option. These programs offer clinical experience along with the lectures to give knowledge of various topics like medical terminology, psychology, anatomy, nutrition, etc.
2. Pass the NCLEX-RN
State board of nursing conduct an exam to qualify as registered nurses candidates should give the NCLEX-RN exam to become RN. The state licensing board has made it mandatory to take this examination to get the license of RNs. It also offers the facility to the holders to serve in two states as RNs.
3. Earn Master Degree
A master degree is one most important pre-requisite for starting a career in geriatric nursing. Master degree gives more specialization in the designated area that is required by the employers. It teaches about the elderly disorders, gerontology, pharmacotherapeutics, aging and lot more. Having a detailed knowledge is essential because it helps in understanding the conditions of patients in the better manner. Therefore, earning a master degree from reputed nursing college is important for those who are viewing a bright career as a geriatric nurse practitioner.
4. Get Experience
Experience in any field is essential, and same goes for this area of nursing. Experience of few years will help in earning a good job and will uplift the career. Anyone having the above qualifications can work in any medical settings like clinics or hospitals to gain experience. There, they will have to work under the supervision of their seniors. By working with them, they will learn how to deal with older patients, their medical conditions, and medication. They will give real-time experience which will help very much in their career.
American nurses credentialing center has stated that certified nurses are in great demand. They also earn average salaries. Hence, ANCC provides certification in gerontology to the registered nurses. Candidates should earn gerontological nurse certification. But before that, they should earn the master degree, pass the certification exam and get some hands-on experience in the relevant field.
What Are The Alternatives?
These are the general steps that a candidate must follow. Since geriatric nurses are the RN and some of them also pursue an advanced nursing degree, they have few alternatives as well. They can continue their career in rehabilitation, critical care, addiction or another specialty. But, according to BLS, U.S. the demand for geriatric nurses are growing because of a rising in the population of older adults with disabilities. The opportunities are growing, and hence there is no need to look for an alternative. One can find good career opportunities in various healthcare settings of any states.
Besides the educational requirements, candidates should also understand the duties and responsibilities of these nurses. If anyone is thinking about this as their future options, then this particular section is a must know the area for them. Below, the description of their duties, what role they play and what are their responsibilities are given. Read them carefully and understand what you must be doing as a geriatric nurse practitioner.
Geriatric Nurse Job Description
These nurses take older adults that need additional care due to their bad health care. These are the patients that need medications outside the hospital setting. They help their seniors and maintain medication schedule, monitor blood sugar changes, make dietary changes, perform a daily exercise, etc. they are also responsible for making care plans, help or assist patients to follow these plans. They are capable or have enough knowledge to understand the acute or chronic health conditions of elderly patients.
Their job is not limited to the patients; they also communicate with their family to assist in their designed plans. They educate them about the medications, personal safety, disease prevention methods, etc.
Duties And Responsibilities
Their duties and responsibilities are similar to the advanced nurse practitioner of other areas. They record and monitor the condition of a patient, inform about the treatment. They also supervise other nurses in a hospital. Since they are specialized nurses, they supervise for care quality, standards of safety and patients rights. Sometimes they need advice from physicians and other healthcare practitioners. They also teach the caretakers of these patients and also administer certain treatments. In such critical situations, they have to deal with patients suffering from chronic illness.
These chronic diseases include diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Alzheimer or dementia, etc. patients who require palliative care are also being taken care of them. Older adults are more likely to have more than one disease, and thus their condition is more complex than other patients. The geriatric nurse practitioner is thus playing the vital role in the hospitals as they are responsible for dealing with the complex health state of patients. Thus, they are unique, and this profession holds great respect in a medical profession.
Employment is not a problem for them as they can get the job easily at any hospitals, hospice facilities, private physician offices, etc. thus they have many options. In some cases, they have to treat the patients in institutions whereas in few cases they assist them at home. Their work depends on the conditions of patients because some require heavy care while other needs minimal care. They can bring great changes in the life of elderly adults if they take their work seriously and work with dedication. Hence they need to deal them with patience and empathy.
What Skills Does Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Possess?
An individual should have personality traits like the ability to handle multiple tasks, comfort in dealing with various peoples other than patients; they should be generous and humble.
1. Communication Skills
Communication is difficult with elderly patients especially those who have dementia. Thus, these nurses have to learn techniques so that they can effectively communicate with them. They should keep patience while speaking to them and should understand what they are speaking. Hence, great communication skills are required.
2. Occupational Skills
Basic nursing skills are essential as they have to give them medications. They also assist in daily activities, and thus they should learn about them.
3. Hydration and Nutrition Skills
Old patients are not able to eat and drink well. They don’t take enough nutrition and vitamin required for recovery. Adults those who live alone or suffering from dementia can have some problems with eating. Hence, these nurses assured that they are taking proper diets or not. They have to take good care of them by offering them healthy food. Hence, they should know what essential nutrition their patients require.
4. Safety Skills
Elderly patients do not recover in most of the cases, and thus they die. Therefore, nurses should carefully monitor their records and consider their safety as the priority. They have to assist them while walking, to move or to sit.
Geriatric Nurse Salary
A geriatric nurse practitioner is thus one who deserves the good return for the services they offer. Therefore, their salary is good. The salary, however, depends on many factors like individual qualifications, skills, knowledge, working experience, the way of dealing patients and lot more. BLS does not provide salary statistics for a geriatric nurse because they are considered as register nurses. Hence, their salary, hourly wages, tips, and bonuses are given as per them.
Geriatric Nurse Salary Description
|Hourly Rate||$11.35 – $16.30|
|Total Pay||$23,599 – $34,939|
Salary statistics for Geriatric Nurse
As an assistant nurse on an average, they earn good wages per hour i.e. between $11.35 – $16.30. However, they can increase their wages by working overtime and can earn $17.49. The total pay, they receive is $23,599-$34,939 as per the statistics.
Those with 20+ year experiences earn the impressive salary, and thus they enjoy this profession. As a beginner, they may earn less, but once they get some years of experience, their salary also hikes. Thus, geriatric nurses should polish their skills by working in any of medical settings so that they can earn the good amount.
Many elderly patients will need the help of these nurses, and thus their demand will be on the rise. The old patients will completely depend on them. In every state, there will be the requirement of this profession. Thus, upcoming or future nurses are prepared to serve the old section of society. Hold the necessary qualifications, develop the skills and you will get the good opportunity to serve the society. Many schools or colleges offer nursing programs, be sure that you take part in them. Stay ready with the certificates so that you easily get to work in different medical settings.
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