SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • attitudes;
  • nurses;
  • older patient;
  • older people;
  • working with nurse

Aim

To establish an explanatory model of registered nurses’ attitudes towards older people and working with older patients.

Background

Increasing demands for health-care from an ageing population will require a higher proportion of nurses who have positive attitudes towards older people and like working with older patients.

Method

A convenience sample of registered nurses (n = 579; 79.3% response rate) attending continuing professional education courses within a large university in London was surveyed from October to December 2011.

Results

Registered nurses expressed positive attitudes towards older people and 89.7% reported positive attitudes towards working with older patients. The variables of self-ageing anxiety, attitudes towards health-care resource allocation, knowledge of ageing, ethnic group, job title, attitudes towards older patients and interaction between ethnic group and attitudes towards working with older patients explained 42.6% of the variance in attitudes towards older people. Factors, including attitudes towards older people, self-ageing anxiety, commitment to nursing, attitudes towards health-care resources allocation among older people and clinical specialty explained 16.7–34.3% of the variance in attitudes towards older patients.

Conclusion

The models identified several related factors that may help in the selection and management of nurses for caring older people.

Implications for Nursing Management

Our findings highlight the importance of investing in continuing education related to gerontological nursing and the ageing process so that there is a growing pool of registered nurses who wish to care for older patients.