Geriatric Nurse Career Profile

A geriatric nurse works with the elderly and plays a vital role in the healthcare industry. As life expectancies are increasing, this area of nursing continues to grow at a rapid pace. Here are the basics of being a geriatric nurse and what you will be able to get out of the job.

Becoming a Geriatric Nurse

In order to become a geriatric nurse, you will first need to become a registered nurse. Start out by getting your high school diploma and then applying to an accredited nursing program. You can obtain the necessary education to become a registered nurse at a community college in the form of a two-year associate's degree. You can also choose to attend a four year university and get a bachelors degree in nursing. Throughout your educational career, you need to take courses that are geared towards teaching you about geriatric care.

Once you have completed the educational requirements, you will have to become licensed as a registered nurse. This will involve taking an exam known as the NCLEX-RN. This exam is administered differently in every state. Once you complete this exam, you will be able to practice as a registered nurse. 

Basic Tasks

A geriatric nurse performs many different tasks associated with the care of the elderly. Some geriatric nurses work in a hospital or clinical environment while others provide home care to the elderly. As a geriatric nurse, your primary concern will be the well-being of your patients. You may be in charge of helping them move from place to place. You may have to administer medication to them or help them with other forms of treatment. You may be required to administer an IV in your patients as well. You will be in charge of monitoring the patients and checking on their progress. You will then report necessary information to the patient's doctor. Geriatric nurses will commonly need to communicate with members of the patient's family as well. You may have to advise them on how to assist their loved ones as needed. Certain medical problems can evolve quickly with the elderly and a geriatric nurse needs to be able to recognize problems as they happen.

Work Schedule

The work schedule of a geriatric nurse can vary greatly. Geriatric nurses are needed at all hours of the day and therefore, you might be required to work nights or weekends. Most of the time, you can stick to a 40 hour work week. However, when there is an increased demand for nursing services, you might have to work more.

Salary

The median salary for a geriatric nurse is approximately $58,000 per year.

Opportunities for Advancement

As a geriatric nurse, there are multiple opportunities for you to advance in your career. Many geriatric nurses eventually move up to a management role within their medical facilities. You may also choose to become a nurse practitioner as well.

Looking for a Job

If you are currently looking for a job as a geriatric nurse, be sure to look at www.nursingjobs.org. They have recent job listings as well as other good information for job seekers.