Characteristics and Practice Patterns of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses Caring for Older Adults: A Survey of Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association Members

Abstract [from journal] 

Background: Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) play a pivotal role in meeting the increasing needs of elder care given the aging population. A good understanding of the characteristics of gerontological APRNs is important for future workforce planning.

Purpose: To understand the demographic, employment, and practice characteristics of APRNs who provide elder care.

Methods: A 34-item survey was distributed to 2,500 current members of the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association. Three hundred and sixty-four members provided demographic information and employment and practice patterns. To examine the sample representativeness, the survey sample was compared with a sample drawn from the National Sample Survey of Nurse Practitioners 2012. Descriptive statistics were used for analysis.

Results: Most respondents were older than 55 years, held a master’s degree, were certified as a Gerontology APRN, worked in a long-term/elder care setting as an APRN, earned a salary ranging from $105,001 to $125,000, and practiced in urban or suburban areas. Most respondents worked full time, provided care for people who were 55 to 75 years old, and prescribed under a collaborative agreement.

Implications for practice: The study results suggested that gerontological APRNs have the experience and competence to meet the increasing needs of elder care, practice in a variety of settings, including in rural areas, and spend much time with patients. Future efforts are needed to support APRN practice, such as improving their autonomy and independence. Keywords: Advanced practice registered nurses; elder care; practice pattern