Gerontology Degrees

Why gerontology?

Graph showing number of persons 65 and older in the US
The population of persons 65+ in the U.S. is expected to nearly double over the next 40 years.
The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise from 16 percent to 23 percent. Some older adults have complex health care needs, however the majority of clinicians are not trained specifically to care for an aging population. Increased numbers of advanced practice nurses who are able to provide leadership and high-quality care to this growing, and potentially vulnerable population, are urgently needed. 

The Administration on Aging is the principal agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services designated to carry out the provisions of the Older Americans Act of 1965 and published "A Profile of Aging American: 2016"

Programs in gerontological nursing

The School of Nursing is nationally known for its strength in practice-relevant gerontological nursing education and research in a number of areas, including healthy aging, dementia care, family care giving, and end-of-life care. During the past two decades, gerontological nursing faculty at OHSU have developed pioneering education, practice, and research projects that benefit older adults and those who care for them. The OHSU School of Nursing and Hartford Center of Gerontological Excellence (HCGE) are pleased to offer the following innovative educational programs that enhance capacity to serve older adults.

MS/MN in nursing education with an emphasis in gerontological nursing

Smiling nurse with a patient
Advanced nursing practice and caring for older adults

The OHSU Master of Nursing Education program with specialization in gerontological nursing began accepting students in 2007. This program is designed for the bachelor’s prepared nurse who is interested in pursuing a career in teaching nursing, either as a faculty member in a school of nursing or in staff development positions. All coursework taken during the MNE program will apply to the PhD in nursing degree.

PhD in gerontological nursing

As part of the mission to grow the population of PhD prepared gerontological nursing faculty, OHSU offers two distinct pathways to a doctoral degree, the traditional post-master’s pathway and a post-baccalaureate to PhD. The gerontological expertise of OHSU faculty makes it possible for strong specialty courses and mentorship for PhD students committed to improving care to older persons through advanced practice, education, and research.

Learn more about our PhD program and see if you can be a part of changing the course of nursing science. 

Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP)

Acuity in hospitals has been rising rapidly due to the declining average length of hospital stays and to new technology that allows rapid assessment, treatment, and discharge. The skills gained from the AGACNP program will allow graduates to provide a spectrum of care ranging from disease prevention to acute and critical care management. This includes: stabilizing critically ill patients, preventing complications, restoring maximum health, providing palliation, and end-of-life care.