A Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP) is a registered nurse with a master’s degree from a nurse practitioner program that specializes in the care of older adults. GNPs are educated to diagnose and manage acute and chronic diseases, using a comprehensive approach to meet the medical, psychosocial, and basic functional needs of older patients. The GNP Program prepares advanced practice nurses to manage the health of elders and their families in a changing health care system.
Overview of a DNP – Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Program
- Students train to work with patients to promote good health, maximize their quality of life, and recommend death procedures when appropriate.
- Students learn to work with multiple health care teams in the coordination and delivery of quality assessment and diagnosis across the spectrum of elderly services.
- Coursework prepares students to work with patients who have dementia, assess the patient’s ability to do daily tasks, and identify other illnesses effecting the elderly.
- The curriculum includes advanced pathophysiology, health care and aging, pharmacology in nursing and primary care for the elderly.
- Students complete directly supervised clinical practice hours and multiple clinical sites are available to accommodate students completing the GNP degree program online.
Steps to Become a DNP Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
- Earn an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.
- Receive a Registered Nurse Certification.
- Enroll and complete a DNP in gerontological care from an accredited school like Capella University, Georgetown University, Kaplan University, South University, or University of Cincinnati.
- Obtain DNP certification and proper licensure, which varies by state.
The job setting will vary depending on what specific job you get. Possible options include hospitals, long term care units, nursing homes, community care, home health, and outpatient clinics. While it is not often a prerequisite to find a job, membership with a regional or specialty nursing organization can increase your employability. The online community Doctors of Nursing Practice is a great resource for these associations, scholarship and grant information, and other general DNP resources.
The average salary of a DNP varies by location, experience, and the type of employer you have. For more information on your earning potential, please refer to our nursing job outlook page.