Healthcare Insider Blog

The growing demand for Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioners in Pennsylvania

  • Healthcare Alvernia

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by the year 2050, the population of Americans age 65 and over is projected to grow to 83.7 million, almost double the estimated population in 2012.

The aging population makes up a large portion of health care visits and prescriptions each year since they typically have more chronic conditions than younger individuals. Eldercare Workforce Alliance reports that within the next 20 years, one in five Americans will be over age 65 and an estimated 90 percent of those will have one or more chronic conditions.

“People with chronic diseases clearly use more health-care services, and people who are older have more chronic disease,” said Julie Sochalski, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in an article by The Atlantic. “The aging population and chronic disease are creating the perfect storm driving demand for nurses.”

The American Geriatrics Society estimates that the nation will need approximately 30,000 geriatricians by 2030.

In previous blogs, we have discussed the importance of nurse practitioners gaining individual practice authority to increase patient access to DNPs.

The demand for more health care providers is especially vital to Pennsylvania, which, according to The American Geriatrics Society, will be the state with the fifth largest population of adults 65+ in 2030, with a projected total population of 2,890,068 older adults. To match this growing demand, the state of Pennsylvania will need approximately 1,239 working geriatricians by 2030.

Students enrolled in Alvernia’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program can choose from two Primary Care Nurse Practitioner tracks, one of which being Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (A-GNP).

In this track, DNP students will take a mixture of specialized courses in A-GNP, including Health Promotion, Adult Healthcare Issues, Older Adult Healthcare Issues and more, as well as general courses in DNP Clinical Leadership. Graduates of this track will be eligible to take a national certification exam(s), and once credentialed as an Advanced Practice Nurse (APRN), they will be able to apply to the PA state Board of Nursing as an A-GNP Certified Registered nurse practitioner (CRNP), and begin the pursuit of their professional career as a practicing A-GNP helping the large population of aging adults in Pennsylvania.

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