Geriatric Nurse Training Programs and Classes

A geriatric nurse is a registered nurse (RN) who helps elderly patients with their unique medical needs, such as chronic pain and illness. Read on to learn more about nursing programs that can jumpstart your career in geriatric nursing and also prepare you for licensing and certification. Schools offering Adult Health Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

A geriatric nurse is an RN specializing in the medical care of the elderly. Like all RNs, geriatric nurses may work for a hospital, a doctor's office or a community clinic. Because they deal specifically with elderly patients, geriatric nurses may also travel to the homes of patients. Degree programs for geriatric nurses are available at the diploma and undergraduate degree levels.

ClassesMicrobiology, human anatomy, psychology, pharmacology for nurses, clinical procedures, human growth and development
Degrees Diploma, associate's or bachelor's degree
Training Practical nursing training under supervision occurs at healthcare facilities

What Are Some Job Duties?

Registered nurses perform a variety of job duties in their workplaces. RNs may help a patient by:

  • Administering medication
  • Checking vital signs
  • Making the patient comfortable
  • Communicating with the patient or family about treatment
  • Helping with therapeutic counseling, such as physical therapy

What Training Programs Are Available?

The first step to becoming a geriatric nurse is becoming an RN. There are three main pathways to become a registered nurse: a diploma, an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in nursing. Associate's degree programs and hospital diploma programs typically take 2-3 years to complete, while bachelor's degree programs take four years to complete. Diploma programs are exclusively geared toward training in nursing, but degree programs encompass a wider range of studies. Programs at all levels include practical nursing training at healthcare facilities, such as hospitals and clinics. Many courses in associate's and bachelor's degree programs are offered online. There are very few hospitals with nursing diploma programs.

What Types of Classes Are in Nursing Programs?

At the bachelor's, associate's and diploma levels, your coursework in nursing will be focused on general topics pertinent to the career. In a bachelor's degree program, there could be opportunities to take geriatrics courses or courses that focus on the health of older adults and families. The nursing curriculum typically includes medical research and pharmacology.

How Do I Get Licensed and Certified?

After you complete your RN program, you'll be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), which qualifies you for RN licensure in your state. Additionally, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers RN specialty certification in gerontological nursing. The requirements for earning this credential include two years of RN experience, 2,000 hours of gerontology experience within the last three years and 30 hours of continuing education coursework in gerontology in the last three years (www.nursecredentialing.org).

How Can I Advance?

Nurses who have achieved RN status may be interested in strengthening their credentials to specifically work as a geriatric nurse by enrolling in a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. An MSN program would allow you to focus on becoming a nurse practitioner (NP) or clinical nurse specialist (CNS) in the field of gerontological nursing. After you earn your degree, you could pursue NP or CNS certification through the ANCC.

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

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
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  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

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    • Master
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  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Fortis College

    Fortis College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

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  • Northcentral University

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  • American InterContinental University

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    Popular programs at American InterContinental University:

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  • Herzing University

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