Gerontology and Palliative Care Certification

By 2030, one in five U.S. residents will be over the age of 65.1 Nearly 57 million people around the world need palliative care each year, and only about 14% of them receive it.2 People are living longer, having fewer children and experiencing more chronic health problems.1,2

Clearly, there is a rapidly expanding need for compassionate professionals to care for our aging, vulnerable communities. That’s where you come in.

Earn the Gerontology and Palliative Care Certification as Part of Your MSW

Earn Wurzweiler’s gerontology and palliative care certification (GPC) by completing three targeted electives and focused fieldwork placements.

  • If you choose to pursue a GPC certification before taking electives or beginning specialized fieldwork, you won’t have to take any additional courses
  • Students in the Advanced Standing program who choose GPC certification must take an extra three-credit elective to complete the specialization
smiling older woman with face resting on hand

Committed to Supporting Your Success

The Wurzweiler online MSW program delivers a robust combination of theoretical and practical education, with personalized guidance from the faculty experts who lead our highly ranked, CSWE-accredited on-campus program. With focused courses for gerontology and palliative care certification, you’ll be empowered to connect your passion for service with your professional purpose.

Explore the Program

Is a Gerontology and Palliative Care Certification Right for You?

The elderly and those with life-limiting diseases face a host of social, physical and mental challenges. The complexity of issues can enrich the rewards of working with these clients.

Gerontology and palliative care certification is right for you if you’re committed to helping elderly or ill clients live life to the fullest, while respecting their experiences and advocating for their rights. The Wurzweiler online MSW program with a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology and Palliative Care will develop your expertise in supporting late-life clients, from diverse backgrounds, with sensitivity and cultural competence.

Support Clients Through Life’s Closing Challenges

Social workers specializing in palliative and geriatric care provide much-needed support to people facing significant late-in-life and end-of-life challenges. The Wurzweiler online MSW program stresses tolerance and profound respect for individual beliefs. It prepares you to offer compassionate, life-affirming support.

You might work in hospitals, long- or short-term care facilities or hospices. You may pursue employment at a community services agency, assisting the elderly or those facing advanced serious illnesses and their families.

The gerontology and palliative care certification program will prepare you to help clients navigate:

  • Serious illnesses
  • Difficult decisions about treatment options
  • Securing healthcare or other social assistance benefits
  • Advanced care planning and coordination
  • Depression, stress and other mental health concerns
  • Abusive situations
  • Conflict resolution between family members
  • Crisis management and intervention
  • Communicating and coordinating with doctors and medical staff
  • Securing affordable housing and nutrition

Requirements for Gerontology and Palliative Care Credentialing and Licensing

As with most social work specializations, a degree from a CSWE-accredited institution is an essential qualification for voluntary credentials and state-mandated licensing.

There are several professional associations for social workers, and many focus on individual specializations. With more than 120,000 members, the largest is the National Association of Social Workers. NASW offers voluntary credentials in several specializations, including gerontology, hospice and palliative care.

In each specialization, the clinical level certifications require a CSWE-accredited master’s degree in social work, a current social work license and supervised post-degree social work in the area of specialization.3, 4

Individual states have different requirements for licensing, but most require an MSW and varying amounts of supervised fieldwork. Once licensed, social workers must earn continuing education credits to maintain their professional knowledge.

To learn more about the social work profession and the need for qualified gerontology and palliative care specialists, connect with one of our Admissions Outreach Advisors today.

Contact an Admissions Outreach Advisor

Learn More About the Wurzweiler School of Social Work

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Immediately Apply Your Training

Supervised fieldwork requirements throughout your online MSW at Wurzweiler will help you better understand all facets of the client relationship.

Learn More About Fieldwork
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The Wurzweiler Experience

When you choose the geriatric and palliative care certification path for your online MSW, the Wurzweiler School of Social Work gives you end-to-end support.

Explore Student Support

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