California Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Careers

Geriatric nurse practitioners (GNP) diagnose conditions, conduct exams, and prescribe medication for geriatric or elderly populations. Also called gerontological nurse practitioners, GNPs also counsel and educate patients about preventative care, conduct screenings and order lab tests, and assist patients with pain management and other similar issues. Geriatric nurse practitioners work under the direction of physicians in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, hospices, home healthcare services, outpatient care centers, rehabilitation facilities, and more. Some GNPs may even have their own private practice.

Geriatric nurse practitioners (GNP) work in all areas across the U.S., but some of the largest populations can be found in warm climates such as California, Arizona, and Florida.

Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Education and Training Programs

The path to becoming a geriatric nurse practitioner begins with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), followed by successful completion of the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to begin working as a registered nurse (RN). While working as a RN, aspiring GNPs must enroll in an advanced program such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program with a geriatric nurse practitioner concentration or specialty.

The next step is to obtain Board certification in gerontological practice through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

An accredited MSN program with a geriatric nurse practitioner concentration or specialty prepares graduate students to sit for the certification exam by providing an advanced curriculum and clinical specialty courses such as:

    •    Adult/Geriatric Theory and Clinical I & II
    •    Advanced Pathophysiology
    •    Advanced Pharmacology
    •    Advanced Physical Assessment with Lab
    •    Advanced Role Development
    •    Ethical Issues in Public Health
    •    Health Care Economics
    •    Health Policy
    •    Human Diversity
    •    Nursing Leadership: Principles and Practices
    •    Primary Care: Fragile Elders
    •    Research Methods in Nursing
    •    Theories and Roles of AP Nursing

An accredited geriatric nurse practitioner program may take anywhere from 2 to 4 years (or more) to complete depending on the type of degree you have when you enter the program, any prerequisites that must be taken, and whether you attend full or part-time.

Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Schools and Training Programs in California

The universities below offer some of the top graduate geriatric nurse practitioner programs in the State of California.

    •    Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA
    •    Brandman University, Irvine, CA
    •    California State University-Fresno, Fresno, CA
    •    California State University-Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
    •    California State University-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
    •    Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
    •    University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
    •    University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
    •    West Los Angeles College, Culver City, CA

Employment and Earnings Outlook for California Geriatric Nurse Practitioners

Geriatric nurse practitioners are members of the broad groups “Nurse Practitioners” (NPs) and “Advanced Practice Registered Nurses” (APRNs).

The State of California is home to nearly 10,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) averaging $98,970 per year. This is one of the highest average salaries for nurse practitioners in the U.S. The State is also home to 4 of the nation’s highest paying metro areas for NPs as well as the country’s #3 metro area with the highest employment level—Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale. This Metro area is home to 2,370 nurse practitioners averaging $89,500.

The highest paying metro areas in the U.S. include:

#1: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, average $125,450 per year
#3: Stockton, average $121,200 per year
#6: San Francisco, San Mateo-Redwood City, average $116,430 per year
#8: Madera-Chowchilla, average $114,630 per year

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S is home to 105,780-110,200 nurse practitioners (NPs) averaging between $89,960 and $91,450 per year. Nurse practitioners that work in specialty hospitals can expect to earn the highest salaries with an average of $104,550 per year. Home health care NPs can expect to earn the “lowest” salaries with an average of $82,300 per year.

The Bureau expects a 34% increase in employment for nurse practitioners for the 2012-2022 decade.

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