The modern nursing sector is a multi-faceted place to work and includes many specialized roles that professionals in this industry can pursue. This enables the healthcare system to deliver targeted care that addresses the unique needs of patients and leads to the best outcomes for them.
One good example of this is advanced-level nursing roles specializing in adult gerontology. These high-level nursing professionals care exclusively for adult patients. Working as a nurse within adult gerontology often involves helping patients deal with the various conditions and illnesses that can accompany aging. It also involves working with older adults to help them obtain treatment for injuries, live a healthier lifestyle and manage ongoing age-related health problems.
Breaking into advanced-level adult-gerontology nursing roles
It should come as no surprise that moving into these kinds of high-level positions requires the right training first. This is not only to help people in these roles perform to their maximum abilities but also to meet the specific care needs of adult patients. Studying for an advanced nursing qualification in this field includes learning about the advanced pathophysiology of selected disorders and diseases that affect this patient group, which is vital in preparing nurses to work in adult gerontology.
One of the best programs to enroll in for aspiring nurses in this field is a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with a specialization in adult-gerontology care. Reputable institutions such as the University of Indianapolis offer an online BSN-DNP AGPCNP, which can be a great choice for busy working nurses who want to study part-time. This program also includes tailored help to arrange the clinical placements needed to develop key practical skills.
Why study to earn a DNP in adult-gerontology care?
Although the above may set out the kind of qualification people looking to move into caring for adults need, you may wonder why a DNP with adult-gerontology care specialization is the preferred option for many.
This course, in particular, is an ideal choice because it gives students the advanced academic knowledge and practical clinical experience to care for adults, especially older ones, in the best possible way. This sort of knowledge can only be gained through completing an advanced nursing program focused on adult-gerontology.
It is also important to mention the personal skills and traits that this type of program can help students develop. Communication, people skills and teamwork are all enhanced through this kind of program. This equips students with a higher-level set of the specific skills that adult-gerontology nursing roles call for. As a result, graduates are not only better prepared to succeed in any future adult care job but also become more attractive professionally to employers.
BSN-DNP programs specializing in adult-gerontology care also arm graduates with the right credentials to work in adult healthcare. Without this behind them, nurses who want to advance their careers in this direction would be disappointed. In addition, having this credential on your resume helps you stand out to potential employers and gives your career aspirations a real boost.
Preparing for a DNP in adult-gerontology care
If you plan to move into adult-gerontology care within nursing, there is no doubt that gaining a DNP degree in this field is the best way to go about it. To get the most from this type of program, though and to perform to your maximum capabilities, it is essential to prepare properly for your studies.
This will not only mean you are in the right headspace to begin your studies but also have an idea of what to expect and how best to approach the course. Interestingly, this is also true for any higher education program, and this makes finding the best tips to get ready for university valuable for all.
Students entering into DNP adult gerontology programs, in particular, can prepare for their studies in the following ways:
Read up on the program before you start
Preparing properly to study for this degree actually begins before you even have your first lecture or seminar! One good tip is to take some time a few months before the program begins to read up on what is involved, how it is structured and what modules and content it involves.
This is something you will have done to some extent when checking out the course before you applied for admission. Nearer to the start of the academic year, though, it pays to take a closer look at the resources your university might have put online to access and to look at the finer details of your upcoming studies.
It is a good idea to check out your timetable, which units you will be studying that semester, reading lists and how placements are arranged. You should take time to do this every semester or year, including reviewing updated timetables and reading lists prior to each new academic session.
Get your equipment and study space in order
In terms of preparing to earn a DNP specializing in adult gerontology, it is important to choose your study space and ensure it is outfitted with all the equipment you may require. Ideally, this should be done before you begin your studies so you have everything ready to go when classes start.
In terms of getting your equipment ready, you need to consider the tools you will need to complete the course and make sure you have everything in time. This could include anything from essential textbooks indicated on reading lists to a PC to connect to online courses from home. Students who take a more traditional route may also look at having any equipment they may need to take notes in class, such as pens, paper and highlighters.
It is also crucial to sort out a viable study space if you are opting to learn online from home. This is a very popular option for working nurses currently, as it gives them the flexibility to study whenever they have time.
To get the most from the course, though, you must find somewhere at home to work from that is quiet, comfortable and free from distractions. This will help you when trying to take in what is being taught in online classes and when completing your assignments. Once you have identified a space to use, make sure you have essential equipment, such as a chair and desk, to operate from.
Negotiate study time away from your current role
One thing you should definitely do to get ready to start a course like this is to negotiate time off to study from your current role. While this is not an issue for students who aren’t employed, it is a must for nurses who will be working alongside studying.
This is true for both traditional and online modes of learning. If you will be attending classes in person, you will need to find out when they take place each week and arrange to have time off for them with your manager.
Working nurses who will be studying from home should also speak with their boss to negotiate time off to catch up on virtual lessons, attend online seminars and complete their assignments. However, this is something you can do when not at work, such as in the evening or on the weekend; it can be better for your work/life balance to also agree on some time each week to study.
Networking is often seen in the latest career news and is certainly a valuable tool for anyone who wishes to advance professionally. This also makes it something many nurses will be familiar with in their current role. Networking can really help when getting ready to study an adult gerontology care DNP. Students can ask their network for advice on how to best prepare for this sort of course. This works very well if someone in your network has also completed a DNP in this field previously. Their insights on how best to handle it and what to expect can really help with effective preparation.
Even if someone in your network has not completed this particular course before but has studied at an advanced level in another area, they can still be useful when getting ready to start the program. They can provide general advice regarding higher education and what it involves. They are also good people to call on if you need advice on certain general issues around higher-level studies, such as how to reference properly in assignments.
Gain some experience in adult-gerontology care
It should be no surprise that studying for this kind of program involves learning how to provide quality care to adults, especially the elderly. This is in the form of both academic learning and practical experience picked up during clinical placements. One very good way to get ready for your studies involves gaining some experience in working in this field of nursing beforehand.
This will ensure you know what to expect when the course starts and when you begin to fully immerse yourself in the subject. It will also mean you are more comfortable and have the practical experience to rely on during placements. This can be especially useful in terms of caring for elderly patients, who often have unique requirements you might not otherwise come across before the course begins.
One of the best ways to gain some experience is to pick up some voluntary work within an adult gerontology unit at your current facility. This can be arranged around your normal role and give you a hands-on taste of what working in this health niche involves. If this is not possible, you could try volunteering at an external long-term care facility or care home. As these are often focused on elderly patients, they will also help you get ready to earn a DNP focusing on adult gerontology care.
Research into health practices and policy
The least valuable way to prepare for your studies in this kind of program is to dig deeper into health policy and practices around adult-gerontology care. This can be especially useful before your course begins but is something to focus on as you progress, too.
By looking into policies and practices for adult gerontology care before your studies start, you get a much better understanding of the topic. It also gives you a firm base of knowledge to rely on when completing assignments, taking part in seminars and making comments in class.
Once you are working in a clinical placement, a good knowledge of adult gerontology policies can help you perform better. This is because you know about the most important policies in this niche, what they contain and what guidelines you need to follow when caring for this demographic. Knowing about practices in adult gerontology can help you work in the most effective way during placements and provide the most ethical care to patients.
As noted above, continuous study of practices and policy in this niche is also a good idea as your studies progress. This will help you stay up to date with the latest guidelines and clinical practices to follow.
Choosing to earn additional qualifications in areas like adult-gerontology care is a great way to advance in any nursing career. A Doctor of Nursing Practice, which focuses on this specialization, is a popular choice to achieve this and one many people apply to each year across the country.
Once you have applied, taking the time to prepare for it properly is key. This will help you perform at your best, pass the course successfully and get the most you can from it. If you need a few tips in this area, the above points are all worth considering.