With an increasing population of elderly people, gerontological nursing is in high demand and will continue to grow. Gerontological nurse practitioners (GNPs) will likely be able to find opportunities regardless of their location, and you will find that some companies even offer incentive plans to attract qualified nurses. Some of these include childcare, flexible work schedules, and competitive benefits.
This field can be trying since elderly patients often have multiple health problems that interact and complicate one another. There are no simple illnesses for the elderly, and a good GNP has to be on top of their game when it comes to knowing medication interactions, diet, multiple health problems, predispositions, and mental states of his or her patients. Communicating well with the elderly and their families is also a vital skill, as you need to be able to help families deal with serious illness and death.
Degree Options and Career Information
Coursework includes advanced practice nurse internships, acute care for older adults, advanced nursing care, assessment and management of health, holistic health assessment, morality and ethics in nursing, pharmacology, statistics, and management of older adult disorders. Learning to analyze patient health history, test results, and symptoms to create a complete picture of the patients’ health is emphasized in almost every class.
- GNP Requirements: In order to become an NP, you must be a registered nurse (RN), earn a master’s degree or higher, and pass a certification exam in your specialty. There is a National Board certification exam, and each state also has its own licensing requirements.
- Work Environment: GNPs work in a variety of settings. Some of these include hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, physicians’ offices, home care, hospice care, and retirement communities.