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Geriatric nurse

As a geriatric nurse you will care for and support elderly people who need help with their daily routines and in everyday life. In addition, you will ensure basic medical care.

Course contents

At a school for nursing care trainees acquire comprehensive knowledge in order to prepare them for their job of caring for the elderly. This includes knowledge about healthcare and living in old age, the ability to reliably assess a patient’s health status and first aid. At a later stage, trainees also learn the fundamentals of mental care and providing patients with their medication. In addition, they get to apply this knowledge in practice; this involves caring for elderly patients but also giving advice to relatives.

Does this description sound good to you? Then you might be interested in a vocational training course in nursing. Click here (German) to find out more about this profession.

Special requirements

As a geriatric nurse you will have to take care of quite a number of elderly people. Therefore, you should have a good memory and be flexible. Nursing requires empathy so that you can understand and respond to the needs and concerns of the people you look after. As you will be dealing with people most of the time, your German language skills need to be particularly good for this job.

Places of study

Geriatric nursing trainees attend theory classes at a school for nursing, while practical training takes place at a home for the elderly or a hospital, for example.

Duration: full-time programmes 3 years; 3.5 years when aiming for an additional qualification; up to 5 years part-time

Year of training and pay in Euros 

1st year     1.411

2nd year    1.202

3rd year     1.303

Pay: gross salary before tax and deductions for social contributions; pay corresponds to the collective bargaining agreement for trainees in public service (TVAöD) – special provisions for nursing care; source: Federal Employment Agency (BA); last update: march 2019.

Note: Private education institutions in particular may charge fees for vocational training courses. How high these costs are depends on the individual institution. Here (German) you can find institutions that offer your desired vocational training course in your region.

Sector of activities

  • Home care nursing
  • Nursing homes or hospitals

Your perspectives after completion

  • Employment in a hospital, home care nursing, or in nursing homes or hoes for the elderly
  • Specialisation as home care nurse, stoma nurse, geriatric care advisor, or nursing home manager
  • Acquiring additional qualifications such as IT or foreign language skills
  • University degree, e.g. in nursing

Further information on this profession:

Information on the internet


Multimedia presentation of occupations requiring vocational training and personal reports from trainees (German)

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