Title

Gerontology Found Me: Gaining Understanding of Advanced Practice Nurses in Geriatrics

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-2013

Abstract

Examining the meanings of the experiences of advanced practice nurses (APNs) who chose to work with older adults and why they continue to work with this population was the focus of this hermeneutic qualitative research study. Twelve geriatric APNs currently practicing in two South Central states were interviewed using an open-ended interview guide. Using Gadamerian hermeneutics, the researchers identified Gerontology Found Me as the significant expression that reflected the fundamental meaning of the experience as a whole. Four themes emerged that further described the meanings of the participants’ personal, educational, and professional experiences: Becoming a Gerontology Nurse, Being a Gerontology Nurse, Belonging to Gerontology, and Bringing Others to Gerontology. This study concluded that APNs’ personal and professional experiences were more influential than educational experiences to become geriatric nurses, and having these personal and professional experiences of being in relationship with older individuals further contributed to their choice of gerontology.