Nurse Gerontologist as A Promising Career
As everybody knows, a nurse is a professional taking care of individuals, communities, or families in order to gain optimal health. This profession has expanded its scope in gerontology. People call the nurse focusing on gerontology as a nurse gerontologist.
Is the nurse gerontologist really important? If you see how hard elderly people take care of themselves, you will realize that the geriatric nurse is a really great help. No matter how good or bad the condition of the elders, they still need someone’s help to take care of them.
What Is Gerontology Nurse Practitioner?
Not all people are familiar with the term gerontology. It makes sense because only medics often use this term. Gerontology is a study that focuses on physiological, social, biological, cultural, and cognitive aspects of aging.
The gerontology nursing practitioner is the one who nurses elderly people in order to get a better life. Gerontology nursing practitioners usually collaborate with older adults, their families, and communities to enhance healthy aging.
The Role of Nurse Gerontologist
What is exactly the role of a gerontology nursing practitioner? Some people call this professional a geriatric nurse. Principally their role is to assist the old adults in any tasks. We can say that their role is quite complex since they have to ensure the physical and mental health of elders.
⦁ Help to Recover from Illness
Older adults are similar to babies in the terms of immune systems. Their immune systems are not as good as youngsters. It makes them vulnerable to some illness. When they are sick or hospitalized, the ones helping with the medical treatment are doctors and nurses at the hospital.
Once they come back home, there is no way the nurses at the hospital are following them for recovery assistance. In this case, the geriatric nurses will assist the older patients in the recovery process.
They ensure that the patients take medicines regularly to speed up the recovery process. They assess the medical condition of patients and advise medical checkups.
⦁ Develop Care Plans
The nurse gerontologist must educate patients in order to avoid any factors causing illness. They have to teach old adults how to prevent diseases and injury. They also train them on how to apply personal safety.
⦁ Link the Elderly with Local Resources
The job of the geriatric nurse is not merely about treating patients to achieve a better and healthier life. On some occasions, they can link the old adults with the local resources whenever the patients need them.
The geriatric nurse helps the patients throughout their adult life. While the patients are sick, of course, the geriatric nurse will provide extra treatment, especially in medical aspects.
However, when the patients are in good condition, they are responsible to link them with the community in promoting a healthy lifestyle.
⦁ Give Medical Support
A geriatric nurse certainly has medical knowledge that comes in handy when the patients are sick. At this point, they have to organize medications as the doctor prescribes.
They have to be aware of whether the patients have an acute or chronic disease. So they can minimize any factors that can trigger the recurrence of the disease. In addition, this knowledge will be useful when they meet a doctor to have some examination.
How to Join Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Programs
After knowing what is gerontological nursing, you can learn how to be a good nurse gerontologist. To be a geriatric nurse you have to acquire specific skills. Fortunately, there are gerontology nursing practitioner programs that you can attend.
It is possible to join the gerontology nurse programs on-site or online. It depends on your preferences. Of course, the fee to join the program is different among those universities. Since there are many universities offering these programs, you can compare them first.
In general, there are several steps you have to fulfill to be a nurse gerontologist:
⦁ Earn BSN Degree
BSN is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Make sure you have earned this level degree before you start your journey as a geriatric nurse.
⦁ NCLEX RN Exam
NCLEX stands for The National Council Licensure Examination. While RN is the abbreviation from Registered Nurse. It is very essential to pass the NCLEX exam if you intend to be a geriatric nurse.
The purpose of this exam is to determine whether you are qualified or not to be an entry-level nurse. The NCLEX test consists of questions related to the studies you acquire when you are still in nursing school.
⦁ Get Master of Science (M.Sc.) in the Nursing Degree
The next step is you have to earn a Master of Science in the nursing degree program. After graduating with a BSN degree, you have to meet coursework requirements before choosing the MSc programs.
⦁ Experience Working as Registered Nurse
To get recognition as a registered nurse, you have to get some experience in the real world. You can start by shadowing a nurse, volunteer, and employment.
⦁ Pass Certification Exam for Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
The last step to be an acknowledged geriatric nurse, you have to pass a gerontology nursing practitioner certification exam.
How Much is the Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Salary?
Do you know how much salary that gerontology nurse practitioner obtains? Basically, the salary will be different from one nurse practitioner to another. The distinctive amount depends on the experience of the geriatric nurse.
Roughly the annual salary of the geriatric nurse practitioner is around $90,102 up to $110,076. It means the fee per hour will be around $47. Here is the detailed salary based on the nurse experience.
⦁ 1 to 4 years Experience
The geriatric nurse who has worked for 1 to 4 years usually gets an average salary of around $89.577.
⦁ 5 to 9 years Experience
The one who has 5 up to 9 years of experience as a professional geriatric nurse can gain an income of $102,047.
⦁ 10 to 19 years of Experience
The geriatric nurse who has 10 up to 19 years’ experience can earn an average salary of $95,501.
⦁ 20 years and above
Some of the geriatric nurses who have worked for 20 years and above earn $82.200.
We can say that a nurse gerontologist is quite a promising career. In essence, you do a good deed by helping the elderly and get a good salary too. However, there are several steps you have to accomplish to be an acknowledged geriatric nurse.