Geriatric nurses are responsible for providing care, enable independence and help ailing elderly individuals. The nurses are usually Registered Nurses who have accumulated more than two thousand hours of geriatric care experience. With baby boomers aging and retiring, the need for geriatric nurses is set to increase to care for them in nursing homes and their personal homes. Providing geriatric encompasses many areas such as nutrition, psychology, physical therapy and pharmacology. The job outlook for geriatric nurses is predicted to grow faster than other careers in the medical field. The jobs may be found in locations where the elderly like to move to such as Fort Lauderdale. Since by the year 2030 twenty percent of Americans will be over sixty five, geriatric nurse jobs will increase by 22%.
Geriatric Nurse Job Responsibilities
A geriatric nurse helps physicians during monitoring of the elderly individual. They record any information stated by the doctor and also prepare the patients for medical examinations that need to be performed in diagnosis. They liaise with family members of the elderly person and give them updates of how they are doing. In addition, they administer medications based on a physician’s orders and determine which plan is best to care for the individual. They are also responsible for helping the elderly patients bathe and dress. They also change linens, take vital signs, perform injections and so on. Because the geriatric patients are usually terminally ill, they have to be emotionally strong for them and their families.
Geriatric Nurse Training and Education Requirements
Due to the aging population of baby boomers, geriatric nurses are now in demand more than ever. Caring for geriatrics has become part of the curriculum for students looking to be registered nurses. Nurses who are looking to specifically specialize in geriatric nursing should have 2000 hours of RN work in assisting with the elderly. In addition to this, they are to pass an exam in order to be certified. The geriatric nurse should be able to exercise patience, empathy and be tough minded since they have to deal with the elderly in any condition they may be in. They should also be physically fit and firm to support the elderly who are unable to move.
Geriatric Nurses Salary and Wages
A geriatric nurse’s salary is based on the number of years invested in caring for the elderly. The work experienced invested in geriatric care requires lots of patience and hard work so the salary would be higher for the nurse. The type of setting they work in plays apart such as a nursing home or a general hospital and the amount of education they have. Geriatric nurses earn $65,000 to $70,000. Those nurses in this profession who have gotten advanced degrees and experience earn above $75,000. Geriatric nurses may end up earning more due to the long hours and working on weekends they put in that result in overtime pay.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Geriatric Nurses Certifications
The American Nurses Credentialing Center is the organization that certifies geriatric nurses once they pass the required exam. Before taking the exam, the individual is required to have certain education hours, have completed a practice time and be licensed. In addition, one must be a registered nurse in the state where they intend to practice, have practiced as a registered nurse for more than two years and have a minimum of two thousand hours caring for the elderly in the last three years. Moreover, the registered nurse must have completed over thirty hours of continuing education as a geriatric nurse in the last three years. If all these requirements are evaluated and found to be correct, then the registered nurse upon receiving a passing score will be certified by the ANCC. With this certification, the geriatric nurse can work anywhere in the United States.
Geriatric Nurses Professional Associations
The National Gerontological Nursing Association includes geriatric nurses, physicians, medical educators and researchers who want to constantly improve clinical care for the elderly. The organization looks to help the elderly achieve both spiritual and physical wellness by including their diverse perspectives and experiences, respecting them even in their vulnerabilities and responding to practices that advance the care provided to geriatrics.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing seeks to encourage independence among geriatrics even when faced with illnesses and functional deterioration. This body seeks to ensure that geriatric nurses have all the experience needed to provide care and comfort to the elderly. It also influences what courses and information is taught at nursing schools.