Geriatric nursing salary and career overview

The American Nurses Association expects the number of people aged 65 years and older in this country to increase by 68 percent between 2006 and 2021. In raw figures, that's 17 million people. The ANA predicts strong demand for specialized nurses, including those in the many areas of geriatric nursing.

This creates a need not only for hospital-based geriatric nurses, but also for long-term care providers in nursing homes and in patients' own homes, as well as specialists in palliative care, education, counseling and family support.

Geriatric nursing salary data

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists geriatrics among the six most popular nursing specializations, although it doesn't break down statistics for geriatric nursing salary information. The BLS calculates that for all registered nurses, in 2012, the mean annual wage was $65,470, which is the equivalent of a mean hourly wage of $31.48. The top 10 percent of RNs earned over $45,880, which is $22.06 an hour. However, many of those top earners are likely to have advanced credentials and/or Master of Science degrees.

The BLS projects that the field of registered nursing will grow by 19 percent nationwide from 2012 to 2022, which is much higher than the average for all occupations. This growth is expected, in part, because of the increased number of older people, who are more likely to need nursing care. Given the ANA's forecasts of increased demand for geriatric nurses, salaries could rise from their current levels in response to shortages of suitably qualified staff. This could, at the same time, lead to increased job security for geriatric nurses.






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