The Aging Population: Make a Difference by Working in Geriatric Nursing

Adult-gerontology nurse practitioner interacting with an elderly patient in a wheelchair outdoors
Adult-gerontology nurse practitioner interacting with an elderly patient in a wheelchair outdoors

Nurses who specialize in geriatric nursing or gerontological nursing, or as an adult gerontology nurse practitioner, are in growing demand. Those seeking a career in the nursing profession most likely are doing so because they want to help people during times of health challenges.

Whether it is aiding in the recovery from surgery or assisting those coping with a chronic condition, nurse practitioners are essential providers of care and compassion. This need for empathy is particularly important among the elderly, which is why Spring Arbor University is proud to offer our online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program with a specialized track in Adult-Gerontology, Primary Care.

Those who choose this specialized program are enriching their education with crucial care skills for older patients that can prime a path to a successful and satisfying career in geriatric nursing, gerontological nursing or as an adult gerontology nurse practitioner.

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 United States Health and Aging Policy Fellows reports that by 2030, more than 20 percent of the American population – that totals more than 70 million people – will have reached age 65 or older.

Moreover, the Population Reference Bureau issued a report, “Aging in the United States,” which 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 United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2018, nurse practitioners earned a median salary of $113,930. 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.

Nursing Professionals With Geriatric and Gerontological Nursing Expertise Earn More

Professionals in the nursing field are consistently in demand, and job market indicators suggest that this demand will only grow in the coming years. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a much-faster-than-average 28 percent growth in the number of available nurse practitioner positions by 2028.

Nursing professionals also enjoy high salaries, and the USBLS states that the 2018 median annual wage for nurse practitioners totaled more than $113,930. Nurse practitioners enjoy these substantial salaries and this heightened level of demand because they are a central component of any medical practice or care facility.

While this data is reflective of all nurse practitioners, it is clear that those who cater their skills to gerontological nursing within the elderly population will be even more competitive in the job market because the percentage of elderly patients is set to increase.

Geriatric Nursing Offers Venue Variety

Pursuing a geriatric nursing position also means having a variety of potential professional environments. For example, nurse practitioners with a gerontology specialization who want to work with the most patients possible or deal with a wider array of cases can seek positions within larger medical facilities, such as hospitals or regional care centers.

Others who might value more one-on-one connections or long-term relationships with patients might seek roles in smaller therapy practices or nursing homes. This means that you can select an environment that best fits your preferences.

Geriatric Nurses and Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioners Impact Elderly Patients

A geriatric nurse or adult gerontology nurse practitioner has a direct impact on the quality of life of geriatric patients, many of whom rely on their nursing team and the routine of care they provide. Elderly patients often express gratitude for the commitment made to them each day, and they can impart valuable lessons and help you recognize what matters most, not only in your professional career but also in your personal life.

A Program Focused on Christian-Centered Care

When students enroll in Spring Arbor University’s online MSN degree and choose the Adult-Gerontology, Primary Care track, they can enjoy an exceptional curriculum focused on the best primary care practices for nurse practitioners.

At the same time students are absorbing these central care concepts, they are also being steeped in the principles of the Christian faith. This blend of professional preparation alongside the foundations of Christian morals and ethics can result in an ideal combination for those who wish to become a gerontology nurse practitioner.

Spring Arbor University online MSN raduates can emerge ready to make a difference in the world, and for these forward-thinking and faith-centered individuals, the field of gerontology is calling. Contact us to find out more about the MSN Adult Gerontology, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner online program .