How to Become a Geriatric Nurse

A geriatric nurse is a specially trained nurse who provide medical care to aging people. A geriatric nurse can also be referred as a gerontological nurse. Geriatric nurses are employed in hospitals, convalescent homes, hospice, doctor's offices or old age homes. These nurses provide assistance to physicians with performing medical tests and helps with medical administration duties. It is not uncommon for a geriatric nurse to have discussions with the patients and family members regarding the treatment plan.

Steps in Becoming a Geriatric Nurse

  • Start your plan from high school-earn high grades in math and science for instance.
  • Join a nursing college and select one of the registered nurse programs. You must graduate with a Bachelor of Science to become a Registered Nurse.
  • Appear in front of the board examination to acquire a license to work in the preferred state. You might pass the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX), according to your state regulations.
  • Join a hospital which has special care section for the aging. Acquire hands-on-experience by providing medical care to them.
  • The American Nurses Credentialing Center conducts three types of certification examinations in geriatric nursing. After two or three years of experience, engage a Geriatric Nursing Refreshment or Orientation course in an accredited community college or university to become prepared for the geriatrics nursing certification examination. You should study hard become this certification could have long-term positive implications.

A geriatric nurse has the additional responsibilities of helping the patients in a rehabilitation program. You will also have to explain to the patients or their families the health condition and the treatment plan. So, having adept communication skills is necessary to succeed as a geriatric nurse.

Opportunities and Advancement

There is a steady growth in the aging population and so the need of medical care to such population has grown tremendously. Hence, geriatric nurses are acquiring excellent job opportunities with an attractive pay if they are specially qualified. Geriatric nurses are needed heavily since there is a shortage of nurses anyhow and the population is increasing. An entry level geriatric nurse receives around $65,000 in compensation; this is from data from 2009 for this salary information and the following information. The median salary for this position is found to be about $70,000. When you have been in this field for about a decade, you should be making about $75,000.

Most nurses do not obtain a masters degree in their profession. If you do though, you increase your chances of receiving an advancement as in any other profession. You can become promoted as Head of Geriatrics Unit or as a Director of Geriatrics Care Center. Some geriatric nurses prefer to work as consultants or travel geriatric nurses.

Final Word

The geriatric nursing field is mostly preferred by people who love people and who want to make a difference in their lives. Nurses in this field are paid comparatively higher salary than that of other nurse practitioners and so with proper qualifications you can have a successful career as a geriatric nurse.

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