Acute Care of the Elderly (ACE)

Welcome to the Acute Care of the Elderly Unit!

We’re a little different from other units in the adult hospital as our focus is on a very specific age group. We only treat patients who are age 65 and older. Our patients may be admitted with more than one chronic condition, and many of them are also experiencing cognitive impairment and loss of mobility or other functions. Because geriatric patients can often require a different approach to care, our nurses must be able to adapt their clinical skills to meet each patient’s needs. For example, we may have a patient with dementia who needs us to keep his room dark and quiet at night and active during the day, and certain medications may work well for one patient and may have the opposite effect on the next patient. Nurses must have quite a bit of patience to work with the geriatric population because many of our patients have hearing impairments, and you’ll need to repeat instructions. They also move slower than other adult patients and are much more fragile, so we’re constantly working at fall prevention. We assist patients with most of their ADLs — activities of daily living — so strong time management skills are essential. We are members of and follow the educational guidelines provided by NICHE, Nursing Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders. Our unit requires a lot of teamwork and focus, which is why our team also includes geriatric-trained pharmacists, dieticians, social workers and therapists. This is a rewarding job; many of our nurses express the joy of being able to care for people who have spent their lives caring for others, and we get lots of life advice from our patients. If you’d like to make a difference in the lives of our elderly patients, apply now and join us!  


Location Location
Seventh floor Round Wing of Medical Center North
Nurse to Patient Ration Nurse to Patient Ratio
1:4 or 1:5
Number of Beds
Focus of Care Patient Profile
Adult patients aged 65 and older.
Unit Team Staff Mix
•    Registered Nurses
•    Care Partners
•    Medical Receptionist
•    Geriatric Nurse Practitioner
•    Geriatric Pharmacist
•    Social Workers
•    Nurse Educator
•    Physical Therapists
•    Occupational Therapists
•    Geriatric Dieticians
Certifications Required Certifications
•    RN with at least 6 months of med/surg nursing practice
•    BLS
•    Basic Arrhythmia
Shift Rotations Rotation/Shifts
•    12 hour shifts, 36 hour week
•    Modified self-scheduling 
Nurse Residency Program Our unit is part of VUMC's Nurse Residency Program
Nursing Careers at Vanderbilt


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“Being able to give back to such a deserving patient population is a privilege. Our patients spend their entire lives giving to others and have lived these astounding, accomplished lives, and now they're in the hospital — often times feeling very low — so it feels good to be the one to take care of them and bring them back to the person they were.”

Kari M., BSN, RN
Acute Care of the Elderly