• nursing homes;
  • older people;
  • autonomy;
  • education;
  • quality of care

The educational preparation of staff in nursing homes: relationship with resident autonomy¶The following paper reports on a survey of nursing homes in three health regions in England which formed part of a wider study to evaluate educational preparation for the nursing care of older people. The aims of the survey were to describe the educational preparation of staff employed within nursing homes and to explore relationships between educational preparation and one indicator of quality of care. A self-completion questionnaire was addressed to the senior nurse within a random sample of nursing homes. The instrument included a previously validated scale to measure resident autonomy. A total of 976 questionnaires were posted and 676 were returned, a response rate of 69%. The survey revealed wide variation in the educational preparation of staff in nursing homes and in the degree of contact with local centres providing nurse education. Statistically significant associations were found between resident autonomy and a composite measure of educational preparation, the proportion of qualified staff undertaking continuing professional education and the degree of contact with educational centres. The findings have implications for both purchasers and providers of education in this field.