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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 1, 2019

Student Nurses’ Perceptions About Older People

  • Sherry Dahlke EMAIL logo , Sandra Davidson , Uira Duarte Wisnesky , Maya R. Kalogirou , Vince Salyers , Cheryl Pollard , Mary T. Fox , Kathleen F. Hunter and Jennifer Baumbusch


Educating nursing students about the ageing population is situated within negative societal, heath care and nursing perceptions. A cross-sectional design using Burbank’s perceptions towards older people scale was used to survey students in a pre-licensure nursing program in western Canada. Findings revealed that students’ perceptions about older people were lower in the third year of the nursing program and after four clinical experiences. We suggest that students’ first experiences in long-term care settings, in which they learn to provide basic care to older people, be balanced with experiences of older people in a variety of settings. Such experiences would allow students to develop the knowledge and skill needed to work with an ageing population with complex healthcare needs. More research is needed to better understand students’ experiences and perceptions about where in the program more learning strategies about how to best work with older people would be helpful.

Award Identifier / Grant number: 430-2018-00014

Funding statement: This work was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Funder Id:, Grant Number: 430-2018-00014).


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Received: 2019-04-29
Revised: 2019-08-23
Accepted: 2019-08-26
Published Online: 2019-10-01

© 2019 Dahlke et al., published by De Gruyter

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