Describing gerontological nursing: an academic exercise or prerequisite for progress?
Article first published online: 14 MAR 2005
Journal of Clinical Nursing
Volume 14, Issue Supplement s1, pages 13–23, March 2005
How to Cite
Kelly, T. B., Tolson, D., Schofield, I. and Booth, J. (2005), Describing gerontological nursing: an academic exercise or prerequisite for progress?. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 14: 13–23. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2005.01147.x
- Issue published online: 14 MAR 2005
- Article first published online: 14 MAR 2005
- Submitted for publication: 2 July 2004 Accepted for publication: 8 December 2004
- best practice statement development;
- evidence-based practice;
- gerontological nursing;
- principles of gerontological practice
Aims and objectives. To develop a practitioner-led description of gerontological nursing and articulate the principles which underpin its practice.
Background. As the population ages expertise in gerontological nursing will become increasingly important. However, a complete and widely accepted delineation of the rationale, philosophy, knowledge base and special skills for gerontological nursing is yet to be developed.
Methods. As one cycle of a larger action research project informed by realistic evaluation, a representative sample of 30 Scottish nurses worked together as a Community of Practice to develop a description of gerontological nursing that would have utility in their practice and in the development of best practice care guidance. Data collection involved group interviews and records of on-line discussions. Data were analysed using content analysis. The emerging description was verified through external consultation with other nursing colleagues and older people.
Results. Nursing older people within Scotland was perceived as low status and participants reported that a positive reframing of gerontological nursing was needed. A description and underlying principles were developed by nurses and used as a lens to shape best practice statements. The description embraces a person-centred and enabling approach to evidenced-based gerontological nursing.
Conclusions. Gerontological practice requires an accessible consensus view and description to support its development. Practising nurses developed such a view and its utility has been seen in the development of best practice statements.
Relevance to clinical practice. The description and principles of gerontological nursing can be used to guide nursing practice, practice development and research.