Online Master's Degree in Geriatric Health Services

If you are interested in caring for the elderly and are considering a career change, you might think of studying geriatric health services and how an online master's program can fit your busy schedule. Take a look at program descriptions and requirements. Schools offering Adult Health Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Geriatric Health Services Master's Degree?

Geriatrics is concerned with the clinical and medical aspects of aging. A master's program in geriatric health services should prepare you to work as a professional in the field. For example, you might enroll in a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program and specialize in geriatric health. Such a program can prepare you to become a geriatric nurse practitioner. Some schools allow you to complete these programs online, either on a part-time or full-time basis. Online programs in geriatric health services may require occasional visits to an on-site campus. This is usually necessary to complete certain clinical experience requirements.

In an MSN program specializing in geriatrics, you will learn about the special needs and health concerns that older individuals have. You should also learn how to provide the best and most respectful care for this particular population. You may also receive instruction on how to conduct research into the healthcare needs of older individuals.

Program FormatFull-time and part-time online programs available; may require visits to campus for clinical aspect
PrerequisitesBachelor's degree in nursing, existing license and/or nursing experience
Class OfferingsAdvanced age health assessment, acute diseases in older populations, community health, geriatric research
Online AdvantagesSelf-pacing, constant access to class material, current job can be sustained
Work Settings Internal medicine practices, long-term care facilities, primary care facilities, clinics

What are the Requirements?

The requirements for entry into an online master's degree program in geriatric nursing vary by school, but there are several commonalities. One common requirement is that you have completed a bachelor's degree program in nursing. Some schools also require you to have completed a certain number of supervised hours in nursing or have practiced nursing for a certain period of time. Other schools require you to be licensed as a nurse.

Once you gain entry into the program, your main requirement for graduation will be to complete your coursework while maintaining a certain grade point average. Some schools may also require you to conduct clinical research on an older population and write a thesis in order to graduate.

What Courses Will I Take?

The courses offered in an online Geriatric Nurse Practitioner MSN degree program should prepare you to earn certification as a gerontological nurse practitioner. Core courses might cover nursing research and health assessment, while specialty courses might cover the basics of geriatric care. Some specific examples include:

  • Geriatric research
  • Advanced age health assessment
  • Acute diseases in older populations
  • Geriatric syndromes
  • Community health
  • Chronic problems in adults

Why Should I Earn My Degree Online?

Online programs offer you the flexibility to complete your degree while still working in the healthcare system at the same time. You can usually work on your degree at your own pace, allowing you to manage your education and career in a way that best suits you. Online classes are also very flexible, and you can generally access your course material any time throughout the day on a course website.

What Does Being a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Entail?

Once you earn your degree and become a nurse practitioner, you will be responsible for providing and directing care of older individuals. You may also be responsible for developing community health education programs, depending on where you work. Many nurse practitioners are employed in primary care facilities, such as internal medicine practices, clinics and long term facilities. Additionally, you may be able to work for a government body as a health educator or researcher.

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:

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