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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a four-session (8-hour) gerontological nursing continuing education (CE) programme on nurses' knowlege of and attitudes towards the elderly. The study also sought to ascertain the effects of the CE programme on patient satisfaction with and perceptions of nursing care. Seventy-six nurses completed the Miller-Dodder Revision of the Palmore Facts on Ageing Quiz and the Kogan Attitudes Towards Old People Scale before and after participating in the CE programme. Post-test scores on both measures were slightly but significantly higher than pretest scores. Thirty hospitalized elderly patients were interviewed before and 33 were interviewed after the CE programme was offered to the nurses on their hospital units, using the LaMonica-Oberst Patient Satisfaction Scale and the Harrison-Novak Patient Perception Scale. Post-test measures of patient satisfaction and perception were not significantly different from pretest scores. Patients were generally satisfied with their nursing care, but perceived that nurses did not focus on health promotion activities. In addition, 59% of the patients indicated that they were unable to distinguish nurses from other health care providers. The article identifies implications of the study for nursing education, practice and research.