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Nurses who specialize in the care of the elderly will have more job opportunities as the population of the old continues to grow. Geriatric nurses give patient-centered care to a vulnerable population and have the power to significantly improve the quality of life of their patients.
What do Geriatric Nurses do?
Geriatric nurses collaborate with doctors and other healthcare professionals to care for senior patients’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being, allowing them to keep their independence and quality of life. These registered nurses (RNs) have particular knowledge and abilities in dealing with frequent health problems that afflict the elderly. The following are some major responsibilities:
- Come up with treatment plans and administer medications to patients
- Inform patients, and their caretakes on coping skills that help manage age-related conditions
- Provides treatment for chronic conditions that are the most likely to affect elderly patients
- Look for signs of elder abuse
- Assist patients with daily living activities, toileting, and medication management
Key skills that a geriatric nurse needs to possess would be knowledge of the aging process and progression of diseases, compassion, patience, and the ability to read nonverbal and verbal communication signs.
How do you become a Geriatric Nurse?
To become a Geriatric nurse, you need to either earn an associate degree in nursing or a Bachelor of Science in nurse. Getting an ADN qualifies a student to apply for a licensure; a BSN degree gives you an advantage and is what most employers are looking for when hiring. The next step would be to pass the NCLEX-RN and receive an RN licensure; every state requires all nurses to have an RN license. Geriatric nurses are commonly required to have bedside nursing experience and completed clinical work experience in critical care. You can then go on to earn certifications if you wish to continue your educational path.
How much do Geriatric Nurses make?
A geriatric nurse’s salary can have multiple factors that determine how much they make per year, such as education, certifications, and how much experience they have. But the average salary for a GN in the United States as of 2021 is $72,500 but can range from $59,318 to $94,088.