Does ageism still exist in nurse education?
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Does ageism still exist in nurse education?

Deborah Coleman Lecturer, Nurse education, Queen’s University Belfast School of Nursing & Midwifery

The nurse curriculum could do more to prepare students for the challenge of global ageing and attract a greater number into the specialty, says Deborah Coleman

Worldwide demographic changes mean that older people represent a significant group of patients for nurses everywhere. Ageism is increasingly recognised as an issue among healthcare professionals and evidence suggests that problems with quality of care remain. Nursing curricula have to address the needs of an ageing population in a variety of settings, reflect the importance of therapeutic care and explore nursing students’ attitudes, in order to provide them with the appropriate skills to meet the needs of older people. This article debates the main factors influencing gerontological content in nursing curricula and suggests that ageism is still evident in nurse education. A variety of strategies are identified to assist in developing appropriate curriculum content.

Nursing Older People. 27, 5, 16-21. doi: 10.7748/nop.27.5.16.e693


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 19 February 2015

Accepted: 29 April 2015