Senior nursing is a specialization that focuses specifically on the needs of the older patient. The need for specialized care related to aging increases due to illness, disease and other health issues.
Nurses who specialize in adult or senior care perform a wide range of duties that may include distributing medication, assisting doctors, examining patients, providing pre or post-operative care and giving guidance and comfort to patient family members.
Nurses who provide care for senior citizens can work in various settings like nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, and community health centers, or they may provide care through a home healthcare agency. They often work at long-term healthcare facilities, doctor offices, hospitals and a variety of health agencies.
Students who are interested in specializing in senior citizen nursing typically begin by becoming registered nurses (RNs). There are various educational programs for those interested in this field that culminate with the NCLEX examination, a licensing requirement for RNs.
Following their RN licensing, nurses can enter an adult nurse practitioner (ANP) or gerontology nurse practitioner (GNP) degree program, which is typically offered at the master’s level. Training in these fields is also offered as certificate programs for nurses who already hold a master’s degree in a nursing-related field.
ANP programs often prepare nurses to specialize in areas such as palliative care, cardiovascular or women’s health. GNP programs typically combine coursework in health conditions specific to the elderly population with clinical work in a senior living or healthcare facility. Completion of these programs allows nurses to become eligible for specialty certification through state nursing boards and professional organizations.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of RNs is estimated to increase by 19% between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). This faster than average growth would be due in part to an aging population that requires greater healthcare services.
If you’re a nurse interested in working in the USA in one of Sentosa’s facilities please contact us.