Certified Geriatric Nurse Practitioners (CGNPs) play an integral role in providing quality care to elderly patients. With an aging population, the demand for qualified practitioners who specialize in geriatric care is increasing. CGNPs are responsible for managing and improving the health of elderly patients, as well as helping them to make informed decisions about their healthcare. In this article, we’ll explore what it takes to become a Certified Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, the duties and responsibilities of this role, and the benefits of becoming a CGNP.
QualificationsBecoming a Certified Geriatric Nurse Practitioner (CGNP) requires meeting certain educational and clinical requirements.
The most important qualifications include obtaining a Bachelor's or Master's degree in nursing, as well as having two years of clinical experience in geriatric care. In addition to these educational and clinical qualifications, prospective CGNPs must also pass a certification exam administered by a national certifying body. This exam is designed to test a practitioner's knowledge of gerontology, geriatric health topics, and the complexities associated with aging. In order to stay certified, CGNPs must complete continuing education courses and maintain their current licensure.
Certification OptionsAmerican Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is a nationally recognized certification body that provides certification for Certified Geriatric Nurse Practitioners (CGNPs). To become certified, applicants must have a valid RN license, have completed an accredited nurse practitioner program, and have at least 500 hours of experience in geriatric nursing. Applicants must also pass an exam that tests their knowledge of gerontology, geriatrics, and advanced nursing practice.
ANCC certification is valid for five years.
National Certification Corporation (NCC)The National Certification Corporation (NCC) also offers certification for CGNPs. Applicants must have a valid RN license, have completed an accredited nurse practitioner program, and have at least 500 hours of experience in geriatric nursing. Additionally, applicants must pass an exam that tests their knowledge of gerontology, geriatrics, and advanced nursing practice. NCC certification is valid for five years.
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) also offers certification for CGNPs.
AANP certification is valid for five years.
Roles & ResponsibilitiesA certified geriatric nurse practitioner (CGNP) is responsible for providing specialized care to elderly patients. CGNPs are highly knowledgeable in the complexities associated with aging, and are well-versed in gerontology and geriatric health topics. As part of their roles, CGNPs may conduct physical exams, prescribe medications and treatments, provide counseling on lifestyle changes, and coordinate care between other healthcare providers. Conducting physical exams is an essential role of a CGNP, as it allows them to assess a patient’s overall health and detect any medical issues that may be present. During a physical exam, a CGNP will typically check the patient’s vital signs, such as blood pressure and heart rate.
They may also perform tests to check for signs of infection or other illnesses. Additionally, they may assess a patient’s mental health and cognitive functioning. CGNPs are also responsible for prescribing medications and treatments to elderly patients. This may include medications to treat existing conditions or to prevent further health complications. They may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as diet modifications or exercise regimens, to improve the patient’s overall health. In addition to prescribing medications, CGNPs may provide counseling on lifestyle changes.
This may involve discussing topics such as nutrition, exercise, and stress management with their patients. Counseling can help elderly patients become more aware of how their lifestyle choices impact their overall health and wellbeing. Finally, CGNPs are responsible for coordinating care between other healthcare providers. This includes communicating with doctors, specialists, and other caregivers to ensure that the patient is receiving the best possible care. Coordinating care also involves monitoring a patient’s progress over time and making necessary adjustments to their treatment plan.