Adult Nursing

Nursing is a flexible and highly regarded job pursuit. Adult nursing comes in many shapes and forms, including elder care, memory patient care, surgical, home, emergency and mental health care, to name but a few. The career is flexible because certified and qualified adult nurses are highly sought after, making it easy to find job placements as well as take the skill to many locations. Locum Tenum nursing is a program that allows certified nurses to travel to far off locales for temporary nursing assignments. As an adult nurse, you will be tending to the older population and their specific and vulnerable needs.

Study and Training

According to the National Careers Service, adult nurses enter into the career with average starting salaries around $68,000. Not only is the pursuit altruistic, it pays well too. Expect to go through a standard four-year undergraduate program in the sciences and then matriculate into a nursing program. As you fulfill the necessary credits and general nursing studies, you then get to declare your desired nursing choice, in this case adult nursing/elder care.

Once the nursing tract is declared expect to serve internships, residencies and further training for the specifics of adult care. This includes learning about how the physiology of elderly bodies differs from the younger adult, memory care and diseases, bedside manner and how disease affects elderly versus younger populations. Throughout all of the training, it is crucial the caregiver has a level of patience far and above the norm. Working with the elderly is challenging and requires a great deal of empathy, care and understanding.

Additional Requisites

Because adult nurses work with a vulnerable population, background checks and FBI screenings are required. Those with drug felonies or violent criminal records are not allowed to get the needed permits and board certifications/registrations to work as adult nurses. If you have any doubts or questions regarding your ability to qualify for the certifications and the needed background checks, ask your state’s medical board.

When the training is finished the time comes to find a suitable position. There are many places adult nurses are in high demand, including hospice facilities, VA hospitals, assisted living facilities, in-home elder nursing, hospitals and emergency rooms. As mentioned earlier, Locum Tenum nursing arranges temporary assignments for all sorts of nursing, including adult nursing, throughout the world. Examples include working in the bush in Alaska; working in foreign countries; short-term assignments in large cities and rural assignments where there is a shortage of good medical care.

The Work Itself

The work itself is a cross between medicine and assistance. Adult nurses are often called on to help patients with incontinence issues, mobility, washing and basic daily tasks for the patient. Adult nurses also administer meds, take vitals, apply IVs and any other medical procedure prescribed by the attending physician. A typical day is anything but typical for an adult nurse.

According to the National Occupational Handbook, adult nursing as a career will see a 26-percent increase in demand through 2020, making it one of the most secure careers one could undertake. This growth rate is faster than almost any other profession in the United States. This is due to the aging Baby Boomer population and their projected need for good, certified medical care as they age.

OSHA and the Occupational Handbook point out that the job is not without risks. Adult nurses are often exposed to various illnesses, viruses and dangerous conditions. In addition, the adult nurse is on his or her feet for extended periods of time. The nurse must be able to remain in good physical condition to move about the patients’ rooms, administering meds and treatments. An adult nurse may work a 12 or 24-hour shift that requires extreme stamina and the ability to fend off sleep deprivation. As reported, one of the biggest threats to adult nurses is back injury.

A psychiatric adult nurse works with elderly patients afflicted with memory diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. This is a very stressful and demanding position as the patient slowly loses mental capacities. The nurse is often called on to work between the patient and his or her families, ensuring their safety and health. It is stressful because these diseases rob the patient of their dignity, and they are extremely hard on the family as well as the patient. Additionally, the adult nurse who works in the psychiatric area must be aware of the emotions and symptoms of the patients. An adult nurse may be called on to conduct group therapy sessions and evaluate the daily mental and emotional condition of the elderly patient suffering with metal and physical illness. The degree required for such positions is the PMH-APRN, and it requires a three-year study program.

Adult nursing in all forms is a rewarding and challenging job. It requires special people with special skills. Patience, caring, empathy, understanding and acute mental acumen are necessary for any successful adult nursing candidate. Be prepared to work hard, be challenged daily and go home with a great sense of accomplishment everyday. Long hours and long days are the norm for this job that is a great asset to the world.


Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: