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What is the Salary for a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner?

Career News August 16, 2013

The average Geriatric Nurse Practitioner salary is $89,397 per year, placing the position among the top 10 highest paying nursing specialties in the United States.

The top 10 list comes from Scrubs magazine, and the salary is number nine on the list, placing between Clinical Nurse Specialist and Neonatal Nurse. The list reports that the top paying nurse specialty, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, receives an average salary of $135,000 a year.

Of course, the actual Geriatric Nurse Practitioner salary will vary greatly depending on location, workplace and level of nurse experience. Here, we’ll look a little deeper into exactly what a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner (GNP) does, and what education must be completed to become a GNP.

What is a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner?

“A GNP is a registered nurse with a master’s degree from a nurse practitioner program specializing in care of older adults,” reports the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA). “GNPs are educated to diagnose and manage acute and chronic diseases, taking a holistic approach to meet the medical, psychological and functional needs of older persons. In most states, GNPs can prescribe medications. GNPs are board certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).”

Before nurses are permitted to sit for the ANCC certification exam, they must meet the following eligibility requirements, according to

  • The nurse must hold a state license as a Registered Nurse.
  • The nurse must be a graduate of a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Program.
  • That program must be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNA).
  • From the program, the nurse must have earned a master’s degree, a post-master’s certificate or a doctorate degree.
  • During the program, the nurse must have completed courses in pathophysiology, health assessment and pharmacology.
  • The program also must contain “content pertaining to disease management and prevention, diagnosis, and health promotion.

After these conditions are completed, a nurse qualifies to take the ANCC examination, and must renew certification every five years.

What is the Job Growth Outlook of a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner?

As of the latest data available from June 2008, there are nearly 4,000 ANCC certified GNPs working around the country. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of GNPs is expected to grow around twenty-two percent from 2008 to 2018, reports

What will the average Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Salary be in the future?

The $89,579 average for Geriatric Nurse Practitioner salary presented above is from the latest data available in 2009, and that it is up from $81,397, or ten percent, in 2007.

Where can You Obtain the Educational Requirements to Become a GNP?

Currently, there are over 100 Nurse Practitioner programs located in nearly every state in America. Most of these also offer online or distance learning options for those nurses that do not live near a school offering a nurse practitioner program.

These programs offer a variety of degrees and certificates, including the following.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice in Geriatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Gerontology
  • Master of Arts in Gerontology
  • Geriatric Care Management Certificate
  • Gerontology Health Care Certificate

Where are GNP jobs?

According to the BLS, the top five states with the highest number of Registered Nurse employment are California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania. The top 10 metropolitan areas with the highest employment of RNs are New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, St. Louis, Dallas, Minneapolis and Atlanta.

However, it has been noted that in the coming years, nurse practitioners will be in high demand in rural areas, and inner city areas are expected to see a shortage, as well.

While most GNPs work in hospitals, many also work in other facilities, including the following.

  • Offices of Physicians
  • Nursing Care Facilities
  • Home Health Care Services
  • Outpatient Care Centers

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