What is Adult-Gerontology?
Adult-gerontology care describes the care needed by patients within the adult to gerontological age range, which is generally considered to range from adolescence to advanced age. It encompasses patients’ primary care needs, such as addressing chronic conditions and treating illnesses as they arise. Adult-gerontology nurses and nurse practitioners spend time educating patients on their health conditions and changes they can experience as they age, and provide information on preventative care and measures patients can take to improve their health.
Gerontology careers offer compassionate, empathetic individuals highly fulfilling career options. Nurses interested in becoming adult-gerontology nurse practitioners must first obtain a Master of Science in Nursing – Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner degree.
Why is Adult-Gerontology Important?
Adult-Gerontology is a specialty which focuses specifically on the health and care needs of adults and seniors. Patients face specific challenges to their health throughout their lifetimes, and specialized health care providers knowledgeable in these changes are able to provide the highest quality care.
In the United States there is a large aging population that will require more care in the future. The Population Reference Bureau issued a report, “Aging in the United States,” that notes that the population of adults ages 65 and over will double by 2060. This demographic will then make up approximately 24 percent of the U.S. population, a substantial increase from the 15 percent it comprises today.
The Demand for Adult-Gerontological Nurses and Nurse Practitioners
What a rapidly aging population means is that more gerontological nurses and adult-gerontological nurse practitioners will be needed to care for this population. In addition to increasing proportions of older adults, the life expectancy in the U.S. has also increased. This means that more people will be needing gerontological care and will require it for longer, opening a wide variety of gerontology jobs.
The adult-gerontology salary and demand are high. Nurse practitioners are compensated well for the lifesaving care they provide. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2017, nurse practitioners earned a median salary of $107,480. Both acute care and primary care nurse practitioners are in demand. Primary care nurse practitioners, especially, are helping fill the provider shortage created by the aging population, increased access to health care and insurance coverage for many. A 2012 study projected a 30 percent increase in the number of nurse practitioners providing primary care services by 2020.
Becoming an Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
Spring Arbor University’s online MSN has an Adult Gerontology, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner track, that gives dedicated nurses the knowledge and experience to master the clinical reasoning skills necessary to provide compassionate, effective care for the adult-gerontological population. Students can continue to work full-time while taking one course at a time, placing the opportunity of obtaining an MSN within reach.
Our student success coaches, advisors and experienced nurse educators are available to provide one-on-one coaching and support. If you’re considering earning an MSN, our helpful staff is happy to answer any questions you might have to help accelerate your journey toward a rewarding career as a nurse practitioner.
For more information please see The Nursing Shortage: The Role of NPs in the New Nursing Landscape and The Aging Population: Making a Difference by Working in Geriatric Nursing.