The geropsychiatric nurse is someone who specializes in caring for older adults with a diagnosis of depression, dementia, and other mental health disorders. They are employed in various health care settings such as home care, ambulatory care settings, and acute care facilities.
Registered nurse license and Bachelor of Science in Nursing are highly preferred; an additional education and training and previous experience in mental health or gerontology are usually required for the position; Basic Life Support certification is also required.
CORE COMPETENCIES/SKILLS NEEDED
■ Knowledge of physiological changes, common pathophysiological disorders, unique needs, psychopharmacology, and behavioral management among older adults
■ Excellent communication and assessment skills
■ Knowledge of evidence-based information related to the care of older adults who have dementia and other mental health disorders
■ Strong analytical and critical thinking skills
RELATED WEB SITE AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION
■ Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing (http://hartfordign.org/education/geropsych_nursing_comp/)