GNP - Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Jobs

What Does A Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Do?

Gerontological nurse practitioners (GNPs) are registered nurses (RNs) who have completed advanced training and who possess specific clinical skills to treat elderly patients.  The conditions they address include physical, cognitive, social, and emotional issues.  Some choose to work in subspecialties like gerontological acute care.  All GNPs work within the rules pertaining to practice and scope in their respective states, according to NursingExplorer .

What Are The Job Roles For A GNP?

DiscoverNursing indicates that GNPs have six primary roles:

  • Diagnose illness and disease
  • Manage pain
  • Provide education and preventive care
  • Prescribe medication and therapy (in some states)
  • Complete routine screenings and checkups
  • Order laboratory tests

Job Characteristics

  • The job is multifaceted.
  • Daily responsibilities are structured.
  • Duties require significant face-to-face patient contact.
  • Work requires considerable independence.

What Education & Certification Is Needed For A GNP?

Becoming a GNP starts with earning RN status.  Candidates can do this at a school with a two- or four-year nursing curriculum or through a hospital nursing program.  After graduation, they must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) for licensing eligibility in their respective states. Nursing-School-Degrees reports that prospective GNPs a should apply to a program that awards a Master of Nursing (MSN) with a focus on gerontological nursing.  These programs include training in advanced pharmacology, preventing disease, health assessments, diagnosis, and disease management.  Some nurses opt to complete a doctorate with a geriatric nurse practitioner specialization.  After obtaining an MSN and sufficient clinical experience, RNs can begin the GNP certification process.

What Are The Degree Requirements For A GNP?

GNPs must have at least a master’s degree.  Completion typically takes two to three years.  Some programs are available entirely online, while many others offer some training online.  Most MSN programs require applicants to already have a bachelor of nursing (BSN) degree.  However, some have transitional options for RNs without BSNs.  In some cases, nurses who have earned an MSN can complete a GNP certificate program that qualifies them to sit for the certification exam.

Among the top GNP primary care programs ranked by U.S. News & World Report are these:

What Certification Is Needed For A GNP?

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) awards GNP certification for nurses who pass an examination.  The designation is Gerontological Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified (GNP-BC) and is good for five years.  The last date for which exam applications will be accepted is December 31, 2015, with the final test administered on December 31, 2016.  Certification renewal requirements will change in January of 2017.

What Are the CEU Requirements As A GNP?

Each of the 50 states has specific continuing education requirements to maintain RN licensing.  The list is available in our continuing educaiton guide.  To renew a GNP certification, nurses must provide evidence of completed continuing education for professional development from ANCC-approved institutions.  To keep up with constantly changing federal, state, and local regulatory requirements, most employers offer periodic staff education.  The current preference is onsite or online training.

Where Can I Work As A GNP?

  • Nursing homes
  • Home healthcare services
  • Hospice facilities
  • Your own practice
  • Community health clinics
  • Rehabilitation hospitals

Explore open positions for GNPs on the nation's largest nursing job board now.

Vonda J. Sines is a freelance writer based in the Washington, DC area. She specializes in health/medical, career, and pet topics and writes extensively about Crohn's disease. Her work has been published at EverydayHealth, Lifescript,, Yahoo! Health, Catholic Digest, Angie's List Health, and on many more sites.




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