Board certified: the universally recognized standard of excellence in health care.

About recertification (certification renewal)

From facility owners/administrators

About course content

About online course delivery/technology

About related issues/concerns


What is the purpose of the Gerontological Nurse Certification Prep Course?

This proven online training course was expressly developed to promote the professional and educational advancement of registered nurses (RNs) in long term care facilities. It prepares them for attainment of national certification as Gerontological Nurses (RN-BC).


What are eligibility criteria to take the Gerontological Certification exam?

  • current active RN licensure in a U.S. state or territory - or the legally recognized equivalent in another country.
  • two years full-time practice as a RN.
  • a minimum of 2,000 hours of gerontological nursing practice in last 3 years.
  • has completed 30 hours of continuing education in gerontological nursing within last 3 years - fully satisfied by this Gero Prep certification training program.

Could you walk me through the training program/certification process?

Here's the start-to-finish, step-by-step process:

  • The facility owner/administrator:
    • sponsors RNs within the organization, selecting key RNs for the program at each care facility.
    • registers selected RNs online at www.geronurseprep.org
    • makes online payment arrangements.
    • prints a registration receipt with temporary ID/password for each RN registered for the course..
    • gives corresponding ID/password to each RN selected to enroll.
  • Each RN:
    • logs in at www.geronurseprep.org using temporary ID and password supplied by facility owner/administrator.
    • completes her/his personal registration profile, which includes a brief survey and textbook delivery information.
    • accesses the entire course online, with textbook companion, completing 10 modules and 4 milestones in sequential order.
    • proceeds at his/her own pace - start/stop/resume as desired - anytime, 24/7.
  • Each of the 10 modules:
    • is easy to navigate, interactive, learner-centered and organized in the same way.
    • opens with a preview summary of module content and learning objectives.
    • presents learning activities, including objectives, textbook readings, links with important clinical and resource information - all focused on real-world application of module learning.
    • ends with a post-test, which must be passed before the module is complete.
  • Each of the milestones:
    • are nestled after completion of 2-3 modules of learning material.
    • contains test building skills designed to increase your confidence in the test.
    • helps walk you through the test registration system.
    • provides ANCC sample test questions for your practice.
  • After Module 3 has been completed,:
    • the RN is prompted to complete the application for the certification exam in Gerontological Nursing as a part of Milestone1. This computer-based exam is administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. ANCC requires about 8 weeks to process exam applications, so applying at this point is important.
    • Gero Nurse Prep does not process the application to test. This is done by the ANCC. The ANCC requires time to process and approve the application to test. The ANCC recommends that this process can take up to 6 weeks, so the RN will need to plan this time into his/her test preparation schedule. Note: learners have reported that the process has taken just a few days all the way up to 6 weeks. Please contact the ANCC if there are any questions about the application to test process at 1-800-284-2378.
    • the RN's facility owner/administrator is prompted via email that it is time to pay the cost of the certification exam. Your organization may cover all or part of the cost of the ANCC exam as a part of its education sponsorship and commitment to your professional growth.
  • The RN continues with learning progression through the remaining modules.
    • The system keeps track of every completed module and post-test.
    • If there is no system activity for a period of 2-3 weeks, an automatic prompt is sent to the RN as a reminder. If there are problems, the RN may ask for course guidance or help with system trouble shooting.
    • Milestone 2 provides strategies on how to be a "master test breaker". This helps the RN to learn how test questions are written so that correct answers can be selected during the certification exam.
    • Module 3 and 4 provide, the RN with the chance to complete ANCC sample certification exams. These provide opportunity to practice and build confidence and skills.
  • Next, the RN completes a comprehensice post-test , post program evaluation and assessment survey.
    • These provide us with information we use to improve the quality of the modules.
    • They also allow RNs to rate themselves on a variety of skills they have been studying in the course.
  • When all course requirements and evaluation/assessment are complete:
    • a personalized certificate documents that the RN has earned 30 continuing education contact hours.
    • the 30 hours in gerontological training satisfy the ANCC requirement to take the certification exam - and meet state board of nursing requirements for continuing education contact hours.
  • The ANCC will notify the RN once application for certification has been processed.
    • You then have a 90-day window to take the computer-based exam.
    • Typically at a time and location convenient for you. Details provided by ANCC.
    • When the RN passes the ANCC exam, with proof of certification, a framed certificate will be sent to the facility acknowledging their first certified nurse.

High exam pass rate for Gero Prep learners
You should approach the ANCC certification exam with confidence - especially if you gave all 10 modules your full attention. So far, Gero Prep alums have a 96% pass rate.


What is national certification?

Certification is validation of RN knowledge and competency in a nursing specialty area through successful completion of a comprehensive examination and achievement of other relevant benchmarks, such as RN licensure and successful clinical practice experience in that specialty. The certification process is administered and overseen by a variety of professional associations. In nursing, the largest of these is the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

National certification is recognized as achievement of the highest standard of clinical and leadership competence and serves to ensure employers, residents and families of quality nursing care. At all levels, among physicians, nurses and - especially - consumers of health care, 'board certified' is the credential that identifies a highly qualified individual who has satisfied rigorous examination requirements.

In acute care facilities, RN certification is a prerequisite for successful achievement of "Magnet®" status. This is because when an institution employs a cohort of certified RNs, important quality indicators (e.g., patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, RN job satisfaction) have demonstrated marked improvement.


What credential do I earn from certification?

The answer is two simple, highly respected words in health care: board certified.

Earning gerontological certification elevates your credential from RN to RN-BC, meaning board certified. That descriptor instantly earns greater respect from physicians, peer nurses, other health care professionals, care facility managers and consumers of health care - including prospective LTC/AL residents and their families.


Is there really a need for certified RNs in gerontological nursing?

The need is urgent, huge today and soaring tomorrow.

  • There is a serious U.S. nursing shortage - today and projected through 2030.
  • Most patients in long-term care, and more than 50% in hospitals, are over 65.
  • Two-thirds of all U.S. nurses have no geriatric training at all.
  • Only 1% of the nation's 2.2 million RNs have gerontological certification.
  • The population of older Americans is exploding.
  • Aging baby boomers - the biggest generation in U.S. history - are creating massive demand for geriatric care.
  • The first wave of age-65 baby boomers hit in 2011 - and massive waves will continue to reach retirement age each year through 2029.

What are the benefits of certification for long-term care RNs?

  • Recognition/respect from nursing peers, managers, physicians and other health professionals.
  • Enhanced professional credibility.
  • Advanced gerontological knowledge, skills and resources.
  • Improved critical thinking and problem-solving skills in patient care.
  • Improved job satisfaction and confidence in directing/leading staff, aides, etc.
  • Demonstrated commitment to professional development and quality care.

How long does certification last?

Board certification by ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center) is valid for five years. Thus, for example: if you become certified in 2012, you would need to renew your certification in 2017.


When do I need to apply for certification renewal?

Your renewal application should be submitted to ANCC at least 8 weeks before your certification expiration date.


How do I apply for certification renewal?

You apply online through ANCC. Details at http://nursecredentialing.org/Certification/CertificationRenewal.aspx


What is the cost to renew my certification?

In 2011, the cost to renew certification for American Nurses Association (ANA) members was $200. Cost for non-ANA members in 2011: $350. Check current-year renewal fee at http://nursecredentialing.org/Certification/CertificationRenewal/RenewalofCertification.aspx


What criteria must I meet to renew my certification?

ANCC publishes extensive guidelines on criteria for recertification. These allow for certified nurses to qualify under a variety of circumstances, including whether or not they practiced in gerontological nursing in the previous five years.
For specifics, go to: http://www.nursecredentialing.org/Certification/NurseSpecialties/Gerontological.aspx

Note: ANCC requirements for certification renewal will change, effective 2014, offering increased flexibility in how you may meet them. Guidelines here reflect the new criteria.


Do I need to re-take the certification exam when I renew my certification?

If you have completed 1,000 hours of practice in gerontological nursing in the previous five years and you submit your renewal application on time, you do NOT need to re-take the certification exam when you renew your certification.

Instead you must demonstrate that you have completed 150 hours of "professional development" activities in the preceding five years. Professional development activities include six categories:

  • continuing education
  • academic credits
  • presentations
  • publication or research
  • preceptor activity
  • professional service

Please give an example: How could I fulfill the "professional development" criterion for certification renewal? [see paragraph immediately above]

Although it is certainly not the only way to do so, completing 150 hours of continuing education activity (e.g., 15 CEUs or 150 contact hours) is a method of appeal to many nurses. These continuing education hours can be earned over the preceding five years at an average of 30 contact hours a year. This continuing education activity is applicable to both your certification renewal and your RN license renewal, if you are licensed in a state that mandates continuing education activity.


If I fulfill my professional development requirement by continuing education, what kinds of continuing education are acceptable?

There are two important considerations when selecting continuing education activities that will meet certification renewal requirements:

  • content
  • accreditation

Regarding content:

  • At least 51% of your continuing education hours must be directly related to the full scope of your role as a gerontological nurse.
  • Remaining hours must be applicable to your role in gerontological nursing.

Regarding accreditation:

  • At least 50% of your continuing education hours must be delivered by a formally accredited continuing education provider or approver.
  • Remaining hours, which must be applicable to your gerontological role, may be offered by your employer and/or other non-accredited educational providers.

What providers offer accredited continuing education that will meet certification renewal criteria for gerontological nurses?

The ANCC accredits hundreds of continuing education approvers and providers nationwide - offering thousands of continuing education activities each year that meet the requirements. Look for an accreditation statement on the marketing material of any activity you are considering for enrollment. Here is a partial list of accepted agencies:

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)
  • Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)
  • American Nurses Association
  • American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)
  • American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM)
  • American Psychiatric Association (APA)
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)
  • Emergency Nurses Association (ENA)
  • National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health (NPWH)

What methods of continuing education activity are acceptable for renewal of certification?

The ANCC accepts both traditional (live meetings and activities) and non-traditional (independent study) methods of continuing education. In fact, 100% of your continuing education from an accepted continuing education provider can be earned via independent study methods, such as web-based courses and articles from professional journals. An online search should yield hundreds of accredited courses that:

  • are relevant to your role in gerontological nursing, and
  • meet the renewal requirement.

What are the benefits of certification for long-term care facilities?

Research and quality improvement studies have documented numerous benefits to the institution when RN staff are certified. These include:

  • Improved patient outcomes - for example: keener physiological/psychological observation; better prevention: infection, pressure ulcers, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), etc; improved pain management; reduced frequency of patient falls, a leading cause of serious injury among the elder population; improved medication monitoring, including rapid awareness of adverse side effects.
  • Better communication - with elderly residents, with their families, among nursing staff members, between RNs and facility administrators.
  • Overall increase in care quality and patient safety.
  • Greater patient/family satisfaction and referrals.
  • Increased RN job satisfaction and retention - lower turnover/replacement costs.
  • Improved work environment.
  • Enhanced patient recruitment - Families are unanimously impressed, and comforted, by the fact that you have board-certified gerontological RNs on staff.
  • Increased success in recruiting top-quality RNs.

Why should we choose this Gero Prep course for our RNs?

  • Proven record of success: The Gero Prep course was developed under a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to the UNMC College of Nursing for a pilot program on specific methods to improve geriatric nursing in long-term care facilities. It was delivered to 83 RNs in 2010-2011. Graduates have a 96% pass rate on the ANCC Gerontological Nursing Certification Exam.
  • Significant improvement in competencies: Graduates report marked improvement in these areas: communication, pain management, skin integrity, functional status, restraints, elder abuse, discharge planning, physiological and psychological aging changes.
  • Significant improvement in job satisfaction: Graduates report elevation of confidence, self-esteem, sense of accomplishment and nursing care assuredness.
  • Significant improvement in intention to remain at their current employer: Graduates report favorable perception of facility/employer for sponsoring this training and for resulting efforts to improve the nursing environment and quality of care system-wide.
  • Developed by gerontological nursing faculty experts at the UNMC College of Nursing - ranked in the top tier of U.S. nursing schools.
  • Fully accredited nationwide - all 50 states: The Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) division of UNMC College of Nursing has been in operation for over 30 years, is fully accredited, and is a recognized/approved education provider by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the administrator of the Gerontological Nursing Certification Exam.

What will our RNs learn in this course?

Here's a subjects overview of the 10 modules:

  • Promoting wellness, respecting diversity, and using evidence-based practice.
  • RN roles as leaders in gerontological nursing.
  • Psychosocial assessment and management of major problems (elder abuse, substance abuse, etc).
  • Management of cardiovascular, respiratory, and immune system problems.
  • Managing pain; implications of aging on medication management and laboratory values/findings.
  • Promoting safety in light of changing mobility, vision, and hearing.
  • Managing changes in the integumentary system (i.e., aging skin, nails, hair, etc); promoting sleep and rest; promoting normal sexuality.
  • Managing changes in nutrition, digestion, and elimination.
  • End of life care; research activity into gerontological nursing.
  • Managing cognitive-emotional changes (delirium, dementia, depression).

This course focuses on nursing assessment and management of older adults experiencing normal aging changes as well as major health problems and diseases related to aging.

The course:

  • emphasizes communicating with older adults as individuals in therapeutic ways, with consideration of their diversity and unique needs.
  • focuses on the role of the expert gerontological nurse - as a leader of the nursing care team, collaborator with other team members, educator of patients and staff and facilitator of change.
  • provides a broad foundation of clinical knowledge and skills that prepares RNs for the ANCC Certification Exam in Gerontological Nursing.

What is my role as facility owner/administrator in this program?

Owners/administrators sponsor RNs employed in their facility(ies) throughout the Gerontological Nurse Certification Prep Course and successful completion of the ANCC Certification Exam in Gerontological Nursing.

Sponsorship includes payment of:

  • Gerontological Nurse Certification Prep Course.
    Tuition costs at www.geronurseprep.org
  • Gerontological Nurse Certification exam fee.
    $395 per RN. The test is administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

The grant pilot program established conclusively that owner/administrator sponsorship was the linchpin in:

  • driving significant advances in geriatric care quality; better patient outcomes; fewer problematic care incidents; higher RN confidence, self-esteem and best-practices assuredness; higher job satisfaction and higher RN retention.
    • Specific sponsorship steps for facility owner/administrator:

      • select key RNs for the program at each care facility, focusing on those with demonstrated commitment to quality care and professional advancement.
      • register selected RNs online at www.geronurseprep.org
      • make online payment arrangements.
      • print a registration receipt with temporary ID/password for each RN registered for the course.
      • give corresponding ID/password to each RN selected to enroll.
      • watch for an email prompt that it is time to pay the ANCC certification exam fee - this schedule varies with each RN's progress/pace through the course.
      • stay in touch with each RN, encourage her/his progress, and plan together as a group for care quality improvements after they've completed the process.

    Guidance on number of RNs to enroll

    We strongly advise that the number of RNs you enroll in this program be commensurate with the size of your organization, the number of facilities you have and the total number of RNs employed. RNs who are enrolled with a partner RN or a cohort of RNs from your facility will gain valuable peer support during their enrollment in the Gerontological Nurse Certification Prep Course. After passing the certification exam, the process of quality improvement proceeds faster and more smoothly if certified nurses work as a group to improve systems and practices.


How do we assist our RNs in making payment arrangements for the ANCC certification examination?

We recommend that you refer to the ANCC Website for full application fee information (Gerontological Nursing - American Nurses Credentialing Center - ANCC).

  • The ANCC offers two ways to submit the application and payment, either online or by mail, and by credit card or check. The RN may complete the application online and pay with a credit card. If the RN prefers to pay by check, he/she may download the application from the ANCC's Website and mail the application along with the check to ANCC.
  • The ANCC recommends completing the application 2-3 months before the RN plans to sit for the certification exam. It takes a minimum of 6-8 weeks for the ANCC to process the application. Facilities have assisted their RNs with the ANCC exam fee in the following ways:
    • The facility arranges to issue a check to the RN payable by the facility to the ANCC. The RN then mails the facility-issued check in with her/his application. An alternate option is that the RN submits his/her application to the facility administrator who then mails payment directly to the ANCC.
    • The RN provides the completed written application to the administrator to facilitate submission of the online application using the facility credit card.
    • The facility reimburses the RN for the application fee after he/she has successfully passed the certification exam. This means that the RN would have to pay for the application fee upfront. This may not be a viable option for the RN depending on his/her budget.

How do we justify sponsorship costs in this difficult economy?

In this - or any - economic environment, the Gero Prep certification training program is a relative bargain - and a wise investment in the long-term health of your firm, your facilities, your future success.

Your RNs reap huge benefits in expert gerontological nursing knowledge, skills and competencies. That means you reap ongoing dividends in better quality care; better patient outcomes; happier nurses, residents and families. That means more referrals. And a stronger marketing/recruiting stance since you have board-certified gerontological nurses on staff.

There's also a cost-avoidance benefit. Facilities that employ certified nurses have demonstrated fewer patient complications - such as infections, pressure ulcers, injury from falls, and adverse reaction to medication - all of which can require immediate nursing attention and costly interventions.

From an operations/staffing standpoint, you've helped create higher RN self-esteem, confidence, best-practices assuredness, higher job satisfaction - and higher RN retention. Keep in mind that HR employment reports estimate that all-in costs of replacing a RN can easily run 150% of the departed RN's salary. In addition, the time it takes to replace a nurse can disrupt care continuity.


Beyond the board-certified credential and official certificate that our RNs get, do we also receive recognition for sponsoring gerontological education and professional advancement for our nurses?

Yes. Owners/administrators receive a wood-framed certificate upon ANCC certification of RNs. We suggest you display in your facility lobby - or other prominent location - for prospective residents and their families to see.

Your certificate details:

  • Title: Certified Excellence in Gerontological Nursing.
  • One certificate is awarded for each facility in which you sponsored education for one or more RNs.
  • The name of your facility appears prominently at top.
  • Shows attestation by the American Health Care Association (AHCA), National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) and the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing (UNMC) as educational provider.
  • Attestation of 'board-certified gerontological nursing excellence' by national organizations may be used in your marketing/recruitment efforts to both potential residents and nurses.

Each sponsoring facility will receive a certificate handsomely framed in wood.


How do we get more information about this program?

We've tried to furnish full course details and enrollment information on these webpages. It's impossible, of course, to anticipate every question and circumstance.

If you have questions, suggestions or comments, we invite you to talk with the program director:

Catherine A. Bevil, EdD, RN
Director, Continuing Nursing Education
University of Nebraska Medical Center
College of Nursing
(402) 559-6412
cbevil@unmc.edu


I've worked in long-term care for decades. I feel well-informed about geriatric nursing. Why enroll in this course? Isn't it about what I already know?

To take the certification exam, nurses must have 2 years of practice as an RN, at least 2,000 hours of gerontological nursing practice over the past 3 years, plus 30 hours of continuing education in gerontological nursing within the past 3 years (fully satisfied by this course).

Thus, each nurse will already have a foundation of clinical practice with older adults. Because the course modules are designed using a "mastery" approach, you may spend as much time or as little time as you wish on the learning activities. There is a self-test at the end of each module. You are not required to spend time on a topic if you can demonstrate that you have already mastered the knowledge.

Module content:

  • includes the latest information about evidence-based practice. It may be new content to all but a small portion of practicing nurses.
  • is geared specifically to mastering the material covered on the certification exam.
  • prepares you to take the exam with confidence - and pass on your first try.

What are the features of this prep course?

This course equips RNs with a broad array of clinical knowledge, skills and competencies that are:

  • essential for quality gerontological nursing practice.
  • tested on the ANCC Certification Exam in Gerontological Nursing.

The course also provides test-taking strategies and practice test opportunities to assure success on the certification exam.

Specific features include:

  • 30 continuing nursing education contact hours by the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing Continuing Nursing Education (UNMC CON CNE), a nationally accredited provider serving nurse learners in all 50 states.
  • User-friendly, learner-centered, interactive, easy to navigate, web-based format that may be completed anytime, anywhere.
  • 10 free-standing educational modules, complete with content, multiple learning activities, readings to assure content mastery plus numerous gerontological nursing resources.
  • Required gerontological nursing textbook, which includes access to many additional learning resources, included in tuition price.
  • Regular self-testing: pre- and post-tests in each module that allow nurses to assess their current knowledge status plus new learning progress and mastery.
  • Final "practice" certification exam that mirrors the actual certification exam, allowing nurses to be fully prepared and confident as they take the test.
  • 12-month course access - review as many times as necessary for success.
  • Provides a certificate of completion for 30 contact hours once all course requirements are fulfilled and the practice certification exam is successfully completed.
  • Includes a regular communication system with each student to assess and monitor involvement and encourage completion of the learning activities.
  • Completed application to ANCC for Certification Exam in Gerontological Nursing is a requirement for completion of the Gero Prep course.
  • Permits one additional year of unlimited course enrollment/access if the RN does not pass the Certification Exam on the first try.
  • Provides long-term care facility administrators with a final report of the status of each nurse they enroll.

Why should I enroll in a prep course before taking the certification exam?

  • The ANCC Certification Exam covers a broad scope of specialty knowledge and competencies in great depth. Many RNs, especially those who have been out of school for more than a year, require a refresher to update their knowledge.
  • The Certification Exam is a rigorous evaluation tool that uses the latest strategies for testing and measurement. RNs, including many who possess expert knowledge, may need to learn or relearn test-taking strategies to assure their success on this exam.
  • The certification exam fee is significant ($395/nurse for non-ANA members). Therefore, test applicants need to be fully prepared with required knowledge and test-taking skills to assure their success on the first try. Note: As part of the Gero Prep program, facility owners/administrators are encouraged to pay the certification exam fee as part of sponsoring RN education and professional advancement.

Why should I choose this Geriatric Nurse Certification Prep Course?

  • Proven record of success: The Gero Prep course was developed under a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to the UNMC College of Nursing for a pilot program on specific methods to improve geriatric nursing in long-term care facilities. It was delivered to 83 RNs in 2010-2011. Graduates have a 96% pass rate on the ANCC Gerontological Nursing Certification Exam. Proven record of success: The Gero Prep course was developed under a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to the UNMC College of Nursing for a pilot program on specific methods to improve geriatric nursing in long-term care facilities. It was delivered to 83 RNs in 2010-2011. Graduates have a 96% pass rate on the ANCC Gerontological Nursing Certification Exam.
  • Significant improvement in competencies: Graduates report marked improvement in these areas: communication, pain management, skin integrity, functional status, restraints, elder abuse, discharge planning, physiological and psychological aging changes.
  • Significant improvement in job satisfaction: Graduates report elevation of confidence, self-esteem, sense of accomplishment and nursing care assuredness.
  • Significant improvement in intention to remain at their current employer: Graduates report favorable perception of facility/employer for sponsoring this training and for resulting efforts to improve the nursing environment and quality of care system-wide.
  • Developed by gerontological nursing faculty experts at the UNMC College of Nursing - ranked in the top tier of U.S. nursing schools.
  • Fully accredited nationwide - all 50 states: The Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) division of UNMC College of Nursing has been in operation for over 30 years, is fully accredited, and is a recognized/approved education provider by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the administrator of the Gerontological Nursing Certification Exam.
  • Course is continually upgraded with the most up-to-date gerontological nursing information.

What subjects will this course cover?

Here's a subjects overview of the 10 modules:

  • Promoting wellness, respecting diversity, and using evidence-based practice.
  • RN roles as leaders in gerontological nursing.
  • Psychosocial assessment and management of major problems (elder abuse, substance abuse, etc).
  • Management of cardiovascular, respiratory, and immune system problems.
  • Managing pain; implications of aging on medication management and laboratory values/findings.
  • Promoting safety in light of changing mobility, vision, and hearing.
  • Managing changes in the integumentary system (i.e., aging skin, nails, hair, etc); promoting sleep and rest; promoting normal sexuality.
  • Managing changes in nutrition, digestion, and elimination.
  • End of life care; research activity into gerontological nursing.
  • Managing cognitive-emotional changes (delirium, dementia, depression).

This course focuses on nursing assessment and management of older adults experiencing normal aging changes as well as major health problems and diseases related to aging.

The course:

  • emphasizes communicating with older adults as individuals in therapeutic ways, with consideration of their diversity and unique needs.
  • ocuses on the role of the expert gerontological nurse - as a leader of the nursing care team, collaborator with other team members, educator of patients and staff and facilitator of change.
  • provides a broad foundation of clinical knowledge and skills that prepares RNs for the ANCC Certification Exam in Gerontological Nursing.

How do I get more information about this program?

We've tried to furnish full course details and enrollment information on these webpages. It's impossible, of course, to anticipate every question and circumstance.

If you have questions, suggestions or comments, we invite you to talk with the program director:

Catherine A. Bevil, EdD, RN
Director, Continuing Nursing Education
University of Nebraska Medical Center
College of Nursing
(402) 559-6412
cbevil@unmc.edu


I've been out of school for years. Will I be facing a hard course in an online format I don't understand?

If you use email, Facebook or Twitter for family communication - or if you browse the internet or You Tube for information - this learning system fits what you already know.

Even if you don't use a computer regularly, you'll find the course structure intuitive and easy to navigate. It moves step by step as you're ready.

The course is organized into 10 modules, each of which has been planned to assure that you succeed. You are not graded for your work. Instead, each module:

  • has a pass/fail system that allows you to check on your own progress.
  • includes practice test questions and brief quizzes designed to help you succeed at understanding the materials and answering test questions correctly.
  • lets you spend as much or as little time as you need to review the learning activities.

In other words, this course is designed to help you "master" the key points. Each module begins with learning objectives that give a clear idea of what's ahead. Each module ends with a practice test so that you can check yourself on how much you learned and where you may need to review.

You can also contact course faculty for help at any time for more assistance.


I have an older computer and limited computer skills. Will that make it hard to be successful at this course?

This course uses a web-based system designed to function on the widest possible variety of computers, old and new. You don't need special software or specific hardware requirements. Internet access is all you need

The course:

  • is easy to navigate - simple and user-friendly, with step-by-step progression.
  • includes user help features - you can ask questions and receive answers directly from course faculty and trained staff ready to help you.
  • lets you spend as much or as little time as you need to review the learning activities.

What are the requirements for smooth functioning of this course website on any computer?

This course uses a web-based system designed to function on the widest possible variety of computers, old and new. You don't need special software or specific hardware requirements but there are some basic requirements that you should check for smooth and proper functioning of course website.

System Requirements:
    Any machine with at least
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • Browser
  • High speed Internet connection
    Any one browser
  • Firefox 8 or later
  • Safari 3 or later
  • Google Chrome 15 or later
  • Opera 9 or later
  • MS Internet Explorer 8 or later
  • Cookies and Javascript must be enabled in all browsers.
  • All browsers must have flash plugin installed.
    Other
  • Adobe PDF Viewer
  • MS Word 2003 or later
  • PowerPoint 2003 or later

My schedule is packed with work and family responsibilities. How do I fit this course in?

Gero Prep was designed expressly for busy RNs with congested schedules. The plan of study is friendly, flexible and convenient. The course:

  • will NOT overwhelm you - it's presented in easily digestible portions.
  • lets you proceed at your own pace - start, stop and resume as desired.
  • is available whenever you have time - 24/7.
  • moves step-by-step through 10 learning modules.
  • features self-test checkpoints to gauge your existing knowledge and your learning progress.
  • let you move back and forth as needed for review.
  • remembers where you left off - so you can resume study in the module where you studied alst point.

How long will it take me to complete this course?

Each nurse learns differently, at her/his own pace. Here's general guidance:

  • We award 30 continuing education contact hours for course completion because we believe it will take most nurses about 30 hours to complete it.
  • We encourage RNs to maintain a pace of one module per week.

Completing a module per week fits into a busy work/family schedule, keeps the new knowledge fresh and creates positive momentum. RNs who maintain this pace will need about 3 months to complete the program. The most important action for success is to move through at a steady pace. That way, the material will stay fresh in your mind.

That said, the most important ingredient for success is a schedule that works for you, not other nurses.

RNs who enroll in the course have vastly different educational degrees, amounts of knowledge about nursing management of older adults, length of service in long-term care and learning styles. They can vary widely in amount of time needed to cover all content comfortably. RNs knowledgeable in certain areas will complete some learning activities quickly, while other areas may require more time.

The actual amount of time a RN takes to complete the course will vary widely, depending on education and clinical knowledge, experience and comfort level. In addition, nurses may choose to complete of the required learning activities or they may engage in many of the optional resources and activities. All these factors will affect the actual time a RN spends on the course.

Move at your own pace. You have access to the modules for a full year so you can review the material as often as desired before taking the certification exam.


I love being a nurse. But I never liked being a student. How do I adjust to being 'back in school.'

This is not school as you remember it. You will not be sitting in a classroom, listening to a lecture, taking notes, at a pace that's either too fast or too slow. Gero Prep:

  • is focused on you - you alone - and how you learn.
  • presents material in digestible portions - adapted to how busy adults learn.
  • lets you move at your own pace - fast, slow or medium.
  • allows you to learn when you have the time and energy - whenever, 24/7.
  • includes a wide array of learning activities - with interactive feedback, review and self-test checkpoints.
  • lets you focus on those activities that fit the way you learn.
  • lets you jump back and forth freely to grasp and review the content.
  • lets you start, stop and resume when you decide - at the point you left off.
  • Has faculty instructors available phone, or one click away via email to help you.

If I take this training, will it really help me pass the certification exam?

So far, RNs who complete Gero Prep training have an exam pass rate of 96% on their first try.

We developed Gero Prep with one objective in mind: to help you pass the test. The course is designed to assure that you master all content that will be covered on the certification exam. If you master each of the 10 modules, you will be well prepared.

The course includes:

  • tips to improve your test-taking confidence and skills.
  • practice exams that mimic the actual certification exam.

In our experience, the small percentage who do not pass the exam hurried through the course and did not fully grasp the content the test covers. Nurses who do not pass on their first try have access to our prep course for an additional 12 months - to review the learning activities, build confidence and assure success the next time they take the certification exam.


My state requires me to earn continuing education credits to renew my nursing license. Does this course meet those requirements?

Yes. Upon successful completion of this course, you will earn 30 ANCC-accredited contact hours that:

  • are accepted by state boards of nursing in all 50 states.
  • meet, or nearly meet, the contact hour requirement (30-32 hours every two/three years) for re-licensure in every state

In addition, to be eligible for the Gerontological Certification Exam, you must complete 30 contact hours over the past 3 years. This course completely fulfills that requirement.