Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Julie M. McCann, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Roblena Walker, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Karen Faison, Ph.D.


The progressive growth of geriatric facilities as valuable element of the health system signified for increased services from health care workers particularly Registered Nurses (RNs). A major health care concern could be perceived due to the inadequate number of RNs providing care to elderly patients. Most studies centered on insufficiency of RNs in hospital settings while only few focused on geriatric facilities. In response to this gap, my study concentrated on perceptions of Registered Nurses on the demand for more RNs working with elderly patients in geriatric facilities with specialization in geriatric nursing. My study was a qualitative, descriptive, case study research design utilizing semi-structured open-ended interview as instrument of data collection. The samples of pilot and study participants were RNs from different geriatric facilities from one of the counties in Central Virginia. There were two RNs who participated in the pilot study while seven RNs participated in the main study. Five themes that emerged in the interview included the experiences and perceptions of RNs on their practice; factors that influenced RNs' choice of geriatric nursing specialty; rewards and benefits, struggles and barriers, and professional development programs and trainings. This study found there is high demand for more RNs in geriatric facilities. These RNs need to be familiar with the health problems of older adults to be able to provide suitable nursing interventions. Hence, advance trainings and academic preparations are needed.