Online Graduate Courses in Geriatric Psychiatric Nursing

Graduate nurse education programs generally include courses that are either in geriatric or psychiatric nursing, but not both. Geriatric psychiatric nursing can be studied at the professional level via continuing education. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Courses Are Available Online to Become a Geriatric Psychiatric Nurse?

Although the Geropsychiatric Nursing Collaborative promotes geriatric psychiatric (geropsychiatric) competencies for nursing education programs, online graduate programs and courses in geropsychiatric nursing are currently very rare. Nurses seeking specialized study in geropsychiatric nursing can readily find online continuing education courses, however. Various organizations and universities offer courses accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. These continuing education courses can help nurses gain skills such as recognizing age-related diseases and mental disorders and prescribing appropriate medications.

Professional Continuing Education in Geropsychiatric Nursing:

Depression in the Elderly

In a course about geriatric depression, students learn how to identify major depression in older adults according to the DSM-5 criteria. Students may learn how to distinguish between mental illness and certain types of bereavement caused by old age and other illness. Treatment and prevention for the patients and their families may also be discussed in this type of continuing education course.

Caring for Patients with Delirium

Delirium courses generally cover treatment and prevention for elderly patients dealing with delirium. Students may also learn how to work with patients' families. Challenges that nursing staff face when treating patients who suffer from delirium are typically discussed.

Memory Disorders and Dementia

Courses covering memory disorders and dementia in geriatric patients are available at the continuing education level. In such courses, nurses learn ways to care for those suffering from memory loss disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Depending on the course, students may learn about what medications to prescribe and how a collaborative effort by staff can help in patient care.

Mental Health and Hospice/Palliative Care

Palliative care courses train nurses to help patients deal with the mental effects of terminal illness and dying. Students may learn about managing psychic distress and physical pain with pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical modalities.

Psychopharmacology and Prescribing Medication

Certain continuing education courses focus on the different medications prescribed to the elderly for mental illness, including indications, contraindications, and drug pharmacokinetics. Common topics also include the different risk factors and side effects of certain medications.

What Technology Requirements Are Involved in Online Courses?

The technology requirements to view online courses include having high-speed Internet access and a personal computer with an updated Internet browser. You will likely need a personal e-mail address for online course enrollment and contact purposes. Audio and video programs, such as RealPlayer or Windows Media Player, may be required to view class content. Additionally, specific software, like Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat Reader, may be required to view and complete class assignments. Computer speakers or a headset will also be needed to listen to audio and video materials.

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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