Case Study of the Attitudes and Values of Nursing Students Toward Caring for Older Adults
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Given the aging population and the complex needs of older adults, there is considerable need for additional gerontological nurses. This pilot study explored fourth-year nursing students' attitudes and values toward caring for older adults and the influence of their experiences with older adults on these attitudes and values. Using Yin's exploratory case study design, 51 fourth-year nursing students constituted the single case. An initial quantitative survey placed students in three embedded units of analysis: neutral, pro-aged, and anti-aged bias toward older adults. Using purposeful sampling from each of the embedded units, 9 students were interviewed. Four main values (respect, caring, independence, and wisdom and experience) and five attitudes (enjoy older adults, see older adults as normal, feel sorry for older adults, are frustrated by older adults, and dislike gerontological nursing) were identified. The authors' findings have important implications for education and practice.