Geriatric nurses help patients and their families with healthcare services related to medical conditions that develop in the later years of life. They work in nursing homes, hospitals, residential care facilities and physical therapy centers. They may also provide hospice and home healthcare services.
A person needs empathy, patience and sharp attention to detail in order to be a geriatric nurse. Geriatric nurses care for patients who may have Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis and other mental or physical ailments. Elderly patients are also susceptible to broken bones and infections. Therefore, geriatric nurses are required to understand a patient’s needs. Geriatric nurses focus on preventative care.
Because elderly patients may become disoriented or fall at times, these nurses must be able to lift and support patients. Geriatric nurses also administer medications and conduct routine checkups and screenings. The nurses might have to bathe patients and help prevent bedsores as patients may be bedridden. They help with pain management and rehabilitating patients post-injury.
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Geriatric Nurse Salary
As the baby-boom generation is now age mid-50s to mid-70s, the need for geriatric nurses is increasing. This means that the future job market will greatly favor those entering this career.
While there isn’t any specific information available for geriatric nursing salaries, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the median salary for registered nurses was $68,450 as of 2016. The BLS also predicts that the job market for RNs is particularly good: employment will grow 15 percent through 2026, more than twice as fast as the national average of 7 percent.
Becoming a geriatric nurse requires a bachelor’s degree in nursing. These nurses additionally need a background in gerontology. If one wishes to become a nurse practitioner in this area, they should have experience in geriatric care as well as a master’s degree in nursing. Certification in gerontological nursing may also be required.
Campbellsville University’s fully online RN to BSN includes courses focusing on gerontology nursing. Nurses can further their careers and open new doors with this program. Nurses will learn modern nursing procedures and gain knowledge in patient care, and upon graduation, they will be able to take on non-entry-level positions. The RN to BSN program is also ACEN accredited. Students can conveniently fit online coursework into their busy schedules and obtain a bachelor of science in nursing for less than $14,000.