Greetings and welcome to the ultimate guide on Geriatric Nursing Certification!
Those looking to deal with Geriatric patients need to know how to become a Geriatric Nurse, the importance of continuing education, and available Geriatric nursing careers once certified.
Our comprehensive guide covers:
- How to Become a Geriatric Nurse
- Continuing Education Requirements to maintain your RN license
- Available jobs with Geriatric Nurse Certification
Without much ado, let’s get started!
Nursing is a broad discipline in the medical field with numerous specializations plus job responsibilities.
Everyone must graduate as a Resident Nurse before they get a nursing license and commence practice.
This article will explore Geriatric Nursing, how you can qualify as one, and advanced practice avenues.
Geriatric Nursing is an area of focus under nursing and entails looking after older patients.
It involves addressing this highly susceptible group’s mental health and bodily wants.
Elderly Care Givers must possess unique skills to perform their responsibilities.
They need to be respectful, sympathetic, and good communicators, both with older adults and their family members.
The elderly exhibit different challenges, which a Caregiver should overlook and cope with to achieve a rewarding experience.
Many of these challenges are physical due to the onset of diseases such as arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.
Old Care Nurses aim to promote self-dependence, improve daily living, and encourage better health practices.
The job background differs from one setting to another.
For example, a retirement home offers a different experience from a private home.
How to become a Certified Geriatric Nurse
Register for a nursing course
To become an elder Care Provider, you need to attain a Resident Nurse license and major in elderly care provision.
Those without any nursing background must take a nursing course, preferably a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.
If you don’t have the requirements to fit a BSN, you might consider starting with an Associate Degree, or ADN, and building up from there.
Consider the NCLEX-RN
After completing the degree, you need to register for the National Council Licensure test to get a practice license.
The examination is issued to establish whether you are ready to commence practice.
It tests general skills learned in your degree program in your judgment and decision-making in a healthcare setting.
You must have tangible experience by practicing in a medical environment and gain experience under a seasoned practitioner.
Nurses can grow gradually as they gain more experience and further their studies.
Depending on your educational background and career development through on-hand training, it is possible to attain supervisory roles in the future.
There are various facilities to get valuable experience, from nursing homes to long-term care facilities to home health care plans.
Nurses can further their career by enrolling in a master’s degree program, specifically, a Master of Science in Nursing, MSN, or a Doctor of Nursing Practice, DNP.
This can elevate you to a progressive Registered Practitioner and allow you to choose between taking up an elderly Care Practitioner or a Medical Caregiver Expert.
An elderly Nurse Specialist looks after the aged grownups through analysis, assessment, and management of varying medical conditions.
They can work in different healthcare settings, including hospitals and care homes.
Then again, a Clinical Nurse Specialist assumes a supervisory capacity and offers leadership to improve services in their facility.
Certification with the ANCC
Certification courses are mainly obtainable at a graduate level.
Any prospect should have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in nursing.
Other programs are only available as post-graduate certificates.
Licensing certificates are issued to authenticate an individual’s skills and knowledge.
They also provide opportunities to advance careers.
Most specialties have certification requirements for those in need of furthering their careers.
Certification allows individuals with some nursing background to choose their area of specialty.
Apart from fundamental caregiving services, Care Providers receive training on other aspects of geriatric care.
To enroll in these programs, one must prove that they have tangible experience in a work environment.
Nevertheless, to progress to a Gerontological Care Provider, you need to be certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
You also need to demonstrate that you have attained more than two years of practical experience and more than thirty hours of further education in gerontology.
Certification is given after sitting for and passing a mandatory test.
The certificate is effective for five years, after which it is renewable upon proof of having met the minimum renewal requirements.
One of the requirements is continuous education and specialty training.
However, the requirements may change over time.
With a Gerontological Nursing certification, you are bound to earn a higher average salary.
Continuing Educational Requirements
It is an integral aspect of profession-building to stay on par with new trends, research on patient care, and news.
Education plays a huge role in nursing care.
Continuous studying helps you familiarize yourself with what is happening and hence become better placed to handle different situations appropriately.
The only nationally recognized certification for old-age care is the one offered by the American Nursing Credentialing Center.
To become part of the program, and take part in this program, one must be a licensed Care Giver with at least two years of practical nursing experience.
You must also have clocked at least 2000 hours of tangible experience in geriatric nursing and attained more than 30 hours of additional education in the field.
You will get many career development opportunities for Adult Care Nurses through additional education.
You can take up a new specialty-related program at the undergraduate or post-graduate level.
At the undergraduate level, advancing your education explores several disciplines:
- Management of medications
- Ending life care
- Cognitive plus physiologic aging effects
- Functional assessment
- Upkeep models of senior adults
One can enroll for a Master’s Degree in Nursing as an Adult Gerontological Acute Care or Primary Care Nurse Practitioner.
This is attainable at the graduate level.
You can also consider advancing through the readily available post-graduate certificate programs.
Such programs emphasize adult-gerontological care and include; psychological health, unconventional pathophysiology and physiology, chronic illnesses management, and palliative care.
Available Jobs in R.N. Geriatrics post-certification
A Nurse Director, also known as a Director of Nursing, is a graduate of nursing school who further advances in specialty training to become the head of management in a healthcare setting.
They assume governance roles in their facilities to ensure everything works as it is supposed to.
To attain the status of a Nursing Director in any department, one must have garnered sufficient practical knowledge and graduated in varying programs to improve know-how and skillset.
They define the level of services and their standards in their institution by developing and rolling out new nursing structures and guidelines.
They also participate actively in the development and training of employees.
To become a Director, you must do your master’s degree and graduate.
This qualification sets you up for higher roles in the nursing field.
It would help if you acquired the relevant certifications by taking the prerequisite exams.
Facility Administrators exist as leaders whose role is to ensure smooth operations.
They oversee the daily operations of the facilities, including; looking after patients and administrative roles.
Facility Administrators are also tasked with managing budgets, property, equipment, hospital programs, and other administrative duties.
Their work does not bring them into close contact with their aging patients.
Facility Administrators are drawn toward improving the entire health facility through policies.
They aim to ensure that the facility provides adequate care to patients by ensuring the facility is well equipped, healthcare providers are well qualified, and any other support is necessary for better services.
Facility Administrators must possess good communication and leadership skills.
Infection Control Nurse
This is a health professional, also denoted as an Infection Control Nurse.
Their job entails detecting and inhibiting the spread of infectious sicknesses in a medical care environment.
They also study and get licensed as Registered Nurses before specializing in infectious illnesses.
Because of their extensive knowledge, they are better placed to devise the best procedures to stop spreading illnesses and look after sick patients.
They offer guidelines to their colleague in other medical care departments to help contain infectious sicknesses caused by bacteria or viruses.
Their roles are fundamental in any healthcare environment.
In case of outbreaks, Infection Control Nurses investigate the cause, monitor how they affect the patients over time, and find ways to contain them.
They promote preventive actions such as sanitation, disinfection, washing hands, and vaccinations.
Infection Control Nurses also collaborate with other healthcare professionals and experts such as scientists to formulate plans of action in case of an outbreak and educate the public about preventative measures.
A Case Manager determines the medical situation, outlines the treatment modules, and harmonizes the plan to ensure proper care is given to a patient.
These professionals are attached to patients with dire needs including those under rehabilitation, the elderly, the mentally ill, and those with chronic health conditions.
In a hospital setting, they take up and review a patient’s care from admission, through treatment, until discharge.
Case Managers are learned professionals with bachelor’s degrees in nursing-related health management courses.
They are also holders of a master’s degree.
The commission for Case Manager certification oversees them.
Wound Care Nurse
Wound Care Nurses provide several medical support and comfort to patients with severe wounds.
Wounds can come from several causes, including injury.
A Wound Nurse can differentiate wounds based on their type and cause.
That helps formulate a treatment plan and prevents the wound from getting infected.
Wounds can be sensitive and disturbing to look at.
However, the gratification of helping someone in need and pain is fulfilling.
Wound Care Nurses are trained professionals in assessing wounds, diagnosis, and administering treatment.
You need to pass a certification exam to become a Certified Wound Nurse like in other specialties.
Their work environment can be in the intensive care unit, long-term health care facility, or a home care setting.
The National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy requires practitioners seeking certification to complete 120 hours of training within a clinical setting accredited and approved by the body.
You should also have practical experience by working full-time for a minimum of 40 hours a week for two years.
Wound care specialty training is an additional requirement of any Registered Nurse intending to become certified in wound care.
That gives them fundamental knowledge and skills in effective wound treatment.
Some of the requirements include advancement in specialty training and education.
Renewal requirements are bound to change from time to time.
Conclusion on Geriatric Nursing Certification
The nursing profession is the backbone of any healthcare facility.
The services of Certified Nurses in specialties dealing with the aging population are in increasingly high demand.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for Nurses is bound to increase by about 200,000 each year for the next ten years.
This opens up new opportunities for Nurses to specialize in these specialties and provide meaningful services to those in need.
With such a broad array of disciplines that one can specialize in, nursing offers stable career opportunities with prospects for career growth.
Through education, experience, certifications, and specialty training, Registered Nurses can further advance their careers by improving their skills and knowledge.
What is a Geriatric Nurse?
A Geriatric Nurse helps to care for the physical and mental healthcare needs of elderly adults. They also provide counseling and education, to better improve the life quality of their patients. These Nurses also assist in routine daily activities like bathing, feeding, and personal hygiene.
What is Gerontology Nursing?
Gerontology nursing is a nursing specialty also involved in caring for senior citizens. The Nurses help patients to deal with varying medical conditions linked to aging. Gerontological Nurses also help in designing treatment procedures for elderly citizens and ensure that they receive proper health care.
What skills are needed to be a Geriatric Nurse?
Old age brings about some health challenges. Some of them may have difficulty in walking, talking, or even performing day-to-day acts. In order to take care of them, there is a need to possess some attributes. An elderly Care Nurse should be calm, understanding, compassionate, and a great communicator.
Which are the best Geriatric Nursing Programs?
Adult-Gerontology Nursing Practitioners; are specialized health care professionals focused on making it easy for the elderly to remain independent and active. They also ensure that their health needs are met efficiently, effectively, and on time. They are also involved in the diagnosis and treatment of varying conditions.
How long does it take to become a Geriatric Nurse?
Minimum of six years. One must enroll in nursing school and graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or an Associated Nursing Degree. These programs take 3 to 4 years. One must also attain a minimum of two years of experience before applying to be a certified Gerontological Nurse Practitioner.
What are the duties of a Geriatric Nurse?
Geriatric Nurses help to understand and meet the health needs of the elderly. They improve the quality of life of aged patients by helping with day-to-day tasks. They also promote independence, self-care, and an active lifestyle. They provide a blueprint for restoring good health through exercise, diet, and social engagement.
How much do Geriatric Nurse Practitioners make?
The wages depend on many factors. For example, one healthcare facility may offer better wages than the other because of location, capacity, or size. The average rate for a Registered Nurse is about $79,000 per year. The level of education and years of experience are also determining factors.
What is the job outlook for Geriatric Caregivers?
The demand for caregivers has grown tremendously over the past years. This demand is expected to keep growing as the elderly population continues to increase. This opens up career opportunities for Geriatric Nurses, especially with a notable shortage in this specialty at present.