Nurses' attitudes toward older adults: A comparison between freshmen nursing students and young nurses

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Negative attitudes and lack of knowledge about old age among healthcare personnel, especially nurses, are major indicators of ageism in healthcare. Negative attitudes toward older adults may prevent nursing students from pursuing a future career in geriatric settings and may reduce the quality of healthcare provided for elderly patients. To date, there is no agreement about the effect of different factors on these attitudes. A survey assessing attitudes toward and knowledge about older adults was conducted among 68 freshmen nursing students and 74 young nurses. Results indicate nurses' attitudes toward aging (3.28/5) were significantly more positive and their knowledge of aging (12.7/25 or 51% correct answers) was significantly higher than those of nursing students (3.2/5 and 10.9/25 or 44% correct answers, respectively). In the multivariate regression model, knowledge of aging was found to be the only significant predictor (b=.30, p=.009) of attitudes toward aging. The odds of preferring to work with older adults were 6.7 times higher among students with positive attitudes than among those with low attitudes toward aging. In order to improve attitudes toward aging among nurses and nursing students, their knowledge of aging must be improved from the early stages of professional identity development. Moreover, in light of the ethnic differences reported in this study, additional efforts should be made to tailor culturally appropriate educational programs to nurses from different cultural backgrounds.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudent Attitudes
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781614704744
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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