Geriatric nurses work in a variety of settings, depending on their education and personal goals. Many geriatric nurses work in nursing homes, hospitals, retirement communities, or clinics. They may also work in hospice and home care or community nursing programs; others work in private offices for gerontologists or at government agencies. Nurses who teach or do research are most often in academic settings, usually in buildings that are well lighted, comfortable, and busy. Although opportunities are found throughout the country, the largest number of positions are found in areas of the country (such as the Southwest and Southeast) that have a large number of senior citizens.
Once you have become a registered nurse, you can apply directly to hospitals, nursing homes, government agencies, and other organizations that hire nurses and offer opportunities to work with older patients. In addition, your school's career services office should have information on job openings. Nurses' associations and their Web sites, professional journals, and newspapers also frequently advertise open positions.
Advancement in this field often comes with further education. Those with bachelor's degrees can obtain graduate degrees and work as gerontological nurse practitioners or clinical specialists in gerontological nursing. These nurses have greater responsibilities and command higher salaries. Other specialties, such as charge nurse, also require advanced education. Nurses who obtain additional education in administration and management may move into administration positions at nursing departments, hospitals, or nursing homes.
Tips for Entry
Read the Journal of Gerontological Nursing (http://www.healio.com/nursing/journals/jgn) and Geriatric Nursing (https://www.gapna.org/publications/official-journal-gapna) to learn more about the field.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings: https://www.gapna.org/career and https://careers.healio.com.
Join the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA) and other organizations to access training and networking resources, industry publications, and employment opportunities.
Attend the GAPNA’s annual conference to network and take continuing education classes and workshops.