Geriatric Health Degree Programs

Geriatric health concerns care of the elderly. Learn about the many career options in this field, and find out what education is required for several professions, including options for distance learning. Schools offering Adult Health Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is Geriatric Health?

Geriatric health is a subsection of the health care industry that focuses on caring specifically for older adults. Typically, positions in this field require licensure and fall into two areas: patient care and administration. On the patient care side, you could be a nursing aide, a geriatric nurse or a geriatric nurse practitioner. Nursing aides help nurses by taking care of patients' daily needs and running routine checks. Geriatric nurses are registered nurses (RNs) that specialize in working with the elderly, whereas geriatric nurse practitioners can serve as primary care specialists for geriatric patients. On the administration side, you might consider managing a nursing home or a long-term care facility.

Available ProgramsDiploma, certificate; undergraduate and graduate degrees
Patient Care RequirementsAssociate and bachelor's for nurses, master's for nurse practitioners
Administration RequirementsMinimum of bachelor's
Program FormatsOn campus or online
Career OptionsNursing aide, geriatric nurse practitioner, nursing home management

How Can I Become a Nursing Aide?

You might qualify for a geriatric nursing aide job with as little as a high school diploma, though you could choose to prepare for the career by earning a nursing aide diploma or certificate. These programs teach you basic nursing and patient care skills, such as helping patients dress themselves, perform basic hygiene and exercise. You could also learn infection control and vital sign monitoring.

What Education Is Required for Nurses and Nurse Practitioners?

Educational requirements vary by state for RNs, some accepting an associate degree or bachelor's degree in nursing. These undergraduate programs introduce you to the nursing profession and fundamental health care practices. While you can work with elderly patients as part of the clinical practice portion of your program, most basic nursing programs don't focus on geriatric health exclusively.

To become a geriatric, or gerontological, nurse practitioner, you must have a master's degree in nursing. Most nursing master's degree programs require you to be an RN to enroll. Many schools offer concentrations in geriatric health care. Your curriculum might include elderly patient care, pharmacology, advanced health assessment and pathophysiology as well as clinical practicums.

What About Administration Programs?

If you'd like to work as an administrator, you'll usually need a college degree. Programs specializing in geriatric health administration are often offered at the master's level and include courses in health policy and law, finance, human resources and geriatric care administration. Alternatively, if you're already a health care professional and want to advance your career, you might consider earning a graduate certificate in the field of geriatric care.

What Are My Distance Learning Options?

You can earn a degree online to prepare for a job as a nurse, nurse practitioner and geriatric care administrator. Nursing programs are most commonly offered at the bachelor's degree level as a completion program. You'll need to have completed some prerequisite courses and have an RN license or be eligible for one. At the advanced nursing level, some schools offer completely or partially online master's degree programs geared toward registered or practical nurses who want to specialize in geriatric health care. Nursing and advanced practice nursing programs that include internships or fieldwork usually let you complete practical requirements with your current employer.

If you're interested in a career in health care administration, there are many online undergraduate and graduate programs available. You could pursue a graduate certificate or master's degree focused specifically on geriatric care management. While some nursing and health care administration programs are based entirely online, you might be required to complete a clinical practicum in a local health care facility.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Capella University

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    Popular programs at Capella University:

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Regent University

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Herzing University

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  • University of the Southwest

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    Popular programs at University of the Southwest:

    • Master

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  • The George Washington University

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    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master

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  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

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