Gerontic nurses work with healthy elderly person in their communities, acutely ill elders requiring hospitalization and treatment, and chronically ill or disabled. Aust Nurses J. May;12(10) Gerontic nursing–a new impetus in nursing care. Ryan R. Aged; Australia; Geriatric Nursing/trends*; Humans. Nomenclature: what is in the name, “gerontic nursing”? Gunter LM. PMID: ; [Indexed MeSH terms. Geriatric Nursing*; Humans; Terminology as Topic.

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Specific university-prepared clinical practice streams now include nurse practitioners as clinical nurse specialists and expanded role nurses, among others, providing advanced practice knowledge to older populations. Nightingale initiated such advances as the establishment of an organized training school and a formalized and standardized organization, thus finally turning nursing into a suitable occupation for women.

Gerontology is the preferred term for the normal aging process including the biologic, psychosocial and spiritual aspects of the older adult. Handbook of Gerontological Nursing.

The term geriatrics is the area of study related to diseases of the elderly and became popular as geriatric medicine evolved.

Gerontological Nursing |

Nurses have long been interested in the care of older persons, and they seemed to have assumed more responsibility than other professions for this segment of the population. Laywomen who initially tried to fill the demand for more nursing care during the expansion to the New World were ineffective, as they were without role models or training.

The importance of family life to the well-being of the elderly person can be seen in many cultures. Reduced infant mortality and death rates, the conquering of major diseases, major medical advances, and better overall health care throughout the world have together resulted in increased life expectancy, and thus more elderly persons, especially those of extreme age eighty-five years and geerontic.

The impact of world population changes. In North Americathe immigration boom between and also added to the number of older persons at the turn of the century.

Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia. In other societies, onset of old age is more commonly linked with events such as succession to eldership or becoming a grandparent.


Gerontological nurses must have the knowledge and skill to manage care focused upon normal and abnormal age-related physical changes e. Gerontological nurses must be educated concerning care strategies about wide-ranging basic and complex physiological and behavioral issues such as pain, pressure ulcers, cognitive impairment, self-esteem disturbance, bereavement, fluid and electrolyte imbalance, and caregiver stress, among other issues.

Nursing and the Aged: In contrast to the continued use of the term geriatricthe term gerontological nursing was in use by the early s to reflect the provision of care and the treatment of the whole person, not only care of disease in a medical setting.

Gerontic nursing–a new impetus in nursing care.

Human Needs and Nursing Response4th ed. In its most early phases, nurses were almost exclusively female family members. A more recent term, gerontic nursingrefines the sphere of responsibility of gerontological nurses who care for the elderly by encompassing the art and intuition of caring and maintaining the “well elderly” as well as emphasizing gerntic and scientific principles of care.

A Canadian Perspective3d ed.

Nurxing now make up the largest international work force in health care. As the population has shifted from baby boomers to senior surgethe demand for expertise in this escalating population has also intensified. The birth of gerontological nursing research to provide a strong, independent knowledge base to link research with the increasing complexity of practice expertise began in the late s.

The beginnings of nursing The development of nursing has followed the development of mankind. Gerontology began as an inquiry into the characteristics of long-lived people. A North American gerontological nursing text was published inand a monthly journal devoted to gerontological nursing began publication in In the mids, the Crimean War provided Florence Nightingale with the necessary outpouring of public support to effect changes in nursing.

Other nursing specialty organizations developed in Australia and Great Britain. The assessment of the health needs of older adults, the planning and implementing of health care to meet those needs, and the evaluation of the effectiveness of such care are critical activities in assisting older adults to optimize their functional abilities and thereby maximize independence and promote well-being — a prime directive for gerontological nurses.


Gerontological nursing has taken several centuries to become acknowledged as a separate nursing specialty. The future is secure for gerontological nursing as an acknowledged and well-respected specialty within nursing, as well as a discipline among its interdisciplinary colleagues in efforts to improve care for older persons throughout the world.

Nursing Care of the Older Adult: It is defined as the science of aging, studying the effects of time on human development, specifically aging. Standards of nursing practice have been developed in various countries to define the uniqueness and scope of gerontic nursing practice and to provide a foundation for evaluation of nursing practice in all settings where the focus of care is on the older person. Nursing gained ground toward becoming a profession due to the care provided to the poor, the indigent, the infirm, and the insane; to prisoners and orphans; as well as to women during childbirth and to people during war times.

gerontic nursing

Van Nostrand Reinhold, However, in the early ‘s as North America’s war against infectious diseases was won, more focus was placed upon degenerative, chronic diseases — most of which were notable in the gerlntic, older population.

In the Hospital, Nursing Home and Community. In modern industrialized societies, old age is identified in terms of chronological age. University of Washington Press, Religious orders played an important part in the development of nursing care facilities through care provided in their convents, abbeys, and almshouses.

The nursing profession has clearly been affected by the increased aging of the world population, the sheer numbers of elderly people, and the different ways the world’s elderly persons are treated.

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