Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist Job Description, Duties, and Responsibilities

By | October 5, 2023
Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist Job Description
Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialists strive to achieve healthy aging and quality of life of the elderly.

This post presents detailed information on the geriatric clinical nurse specialist job description, including the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities they commonly perform.

It also highlights the major requirements that you may be expected to meet to be hired for the geriatric clinical nurse specialist role.

What Does a Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist Do?

Geriatric clinical nurse specialists are professionals who are skilled in patient care, mental health, treatment planning, and rehabilitative care for older adults to promote healthy aging and maximum functioning, and quality of life. Their focus is on health, wellness, and illness that affect the old.

They work in acute care hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, retirement homes, assisted living facilities, etc.

The geriatric clinical nurse specialist job description entails providing specialized patient care functions as a clinician, educator, and/or a consultant for geriatric patient population.

They work alongside other nursing staff to identify patient care problems, to implement workable procedures to the problems, and to evaluate how successful the procedures are.

They perform clinical evaluations and make clinical judgments based on a synthesis of concepts, principles, models, and theories to solve complex problems.

Their role also involves serving as a consultant in a nursing specialty area for patients, nurses and other health team members.

Geriatric clinical nurse specialists participate in departmental and hospital committees and meetings to facilitate improvement of patient care and development of goals, philosophies, and objectives for a specialized patient population.

They organize the development and execution of an educational program designed to promote specialized knowledge and skills to nursing personnel.

Their work description also entails coordinating plans for the professional development of the nursing staff assigned to a specialty unit area and serving as a practitioner of specialized patient care.

To work as a geriatric clinical nurse specialist, you require a combination of education, experience, and certifications. You must be a Registered Nurse with an MSN degree, and be certified clinical nurse specialist.

They also require excellent communication, coaching, planning, and collaborative skills to be successful in performing the duties, objectives, purpose, and responsibilities of the job.

Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist Job Description Example/Sample/Template

The geriatric specialist performs various functions in providing specialized patient care services and promoting wellness for geriatric patient population.

The major tasks, duties, obligations, and responsibilities commonly performed by the geriatric clinical nurse specialist are listed in the job description example below:

  • Provides detailed clinical expertise in a specific area of nursing practice such as oncology, mental health, and adult medicine
  • Develops and ensures quality standards of nursing practice for the geriatric patient population is adhered to
  • Provides education for advanced clinical practice, consultation, research, and administration
  • Institutes and monitors care standards and makes recommendations for changes in area of clinical practice where necessary
  • Work with nursing staff in performing assessment of patient and family age-specific nursing needs, as well as develops plan of care for complex high-risk patients
  • Evaluates the effectiveness of the patient-care provided
  • Designs teaching programs for patients/families and provides assistance to nursing staff in the program implementation of programs
  • Work with members of the healthcare team to assess staff knowledge and identify competency-based education needs of staff and members
  • Design and implement educational programs to ensure the quality of staff knowledge and skills
  • Introduces new techniques/innovation based on advanced practice trends to improve patient care delivery
  • Functions as a preceptor to graduate healthcare students
  • Delivers consultation to physicians, nurses, and other health care providers in delivering care needs of individual or groups of patients in both outpatient and inpatient situations
  • Makes recommendations to improve patient-care standards or nursing practice standards on the basis of research findings
  • Defines and promulgates best nursing practices
  • Assists in conducting staff interviews and provides input into evaluations regarding clinical competence and provides coaching and counseling
  • Contributes and provides consultations in setting the direction for QA&I monitoring, instituting standards, and evaluating outcomes
  • Collects and analyzes data concerning patient care outcomes, morbidity, mortality, and trends
  • Oversees clinical operations, and evaluates the quality of care provided
  • Monitors quality, appropriateness, and accuracy of patient-care documentation.

Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist Requirements – Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge to Succeed in the Career

To be effective in performing the work description of a geriatric clinical nurse specialist and succeed in your career, you need to possess certain qualities, including skills, knowledge, and abilities.

Shown below are major qualities needed for success on the job, which also make most employers’ requirements for the position of geriatric clinical nurse specialist:

  • Education: A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree – Master’s degree in a clinical field of nursing or a clinical field related to nursing, including but not limited to psychology, public health, behavioral sciences, health sciences, social work, education, nutrition, and bioethics from a nationally accredited Master’s/post Master’s nursing academic program
  • Experience: A minimum of 3 years nursing experience in an area of clinical specialty is required
  • License: Registered Nurse (RN) license and Clinical Nurse Specialist license is required
  • Certification: CPR, ACLS, and/or BLS certification is required. However, certification as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CCNS) is strongly preferred
  • Communication Skills: It is important for the geriatric clinical specialist to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing because they serve as an educator and consultant providing specialized care to a geriatric patient population
  • Coaching skills: They require effective teaching skills to provide education and counseling for patients/families as well as nursing staff to enhance the quality of staff knowledge and skills
  • Planning Skills: Their job requires that they are skilled in treatment planning to provide appropriate patient care, as well plan educational programs, hence it is important that they develop planning skills
  • Sound judgment: They require this skill to be able to effectively assess and evaluate patient-care delivery provided
  • Computer skills: They should possess a working knowledge of computers, especially in using MS Office applications.


To hire for the geriatric clinical nurse specialist position in their organizations, recruiters are expected to publish a description of the job to guide interested people in their application.

Therefore, if you are an employer, you can quickly make a good description for the available geriatric clinical nurse specialist position at your facility by applying the sample job description provided in this article.

Also, this post will be useful to you if you are interested in the geriatric nurse career and are looking for information about the duties, objectives, and responsibilities of the role.

Did this post help increase your knowledge about what geriatric clinical nurse specialists do? Please, make a comment in the box below. You can also discuss your job description if you work as a geriatric clinical nurse specialist at a healthcare facility.