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Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing

College of Health Sciences

Nursing Careers:
Gerontology & Long-Term Care


Arika Jean Oberholtzer
RN, BSN

  • BSN '08

  • Working on MSN; scheduled to graduate in 2016

What drew you to this career?

I have always respected and enjoyed spending time with older people. Working in long term care is a rewarding way to spend time and contribute with my skill set.

How did you prepare for it?

While I was in nursing school I not only focused on the clinical skills but also my relationship with patients. How you relate to patients and families goes a long way in this field. They can tell when you really care.

What do you like the most about this career?

It is rewarding to get to know people over a long period of time (as you do in long-term care). It is different from the acute care setting, where people come and go fairly quickly. You really get to know residents and their families.

What are the biggest challenges?

The biggest challenge is time management. It is very difficult to give quality care and complete all the necessary tasks to keep residents safe.

What advice would you have for a student interested in this field?

When confronted with a difficult situation, try to put yourself in the resident or their family's place. Try to see it from their perspective, and then you will be more compassionate and understanding.

Extra info about Arika Oberholtzer:

I am currently working on my masters degree through UW and would like to teach on the college level eventually. I have worked on a Med/Surg floor and as the Director of Nursing at an assisted living facility. I have 3 girls, ages 5 to 9 months.

Oberholtzer staffed the Long-term Care booth at the 3/24/15 online Alumni Mentoring event. Click here for more info.

Arika Oberholtzer

"It is rewarding to get to know people over a long period of time (as you do in long-term care). It is different from the acute care setting, where people come and go fairly quickly. You really get to know residents and their families."

Oberholtzer staffs Long-term Care booth at online mentoring event


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