Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Education

Copyright Statement

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of Nova Southeastern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.


College of Nursing

First Advisor

Cynthia Fletcher

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Background: Nurses entering the workforce may have limited education in gerontological nursing. Therefore, many nurses are unprepared to provide quality care to older adults. An unprepared nursing workforce could negatively influence older adults’ health outcomes and care experience. Purpose: To determine differences in senior nursing students’ knowledge, attitudes, and perceived competency about older adults based on enrollment in a bachelor of science in nursing degree (BSN), associate’s degree nursing (ADN), and practical nursing (PN) program that offers geriatric content in curricula. Theoretical Framework: Bandura’s social cognitive theory, triadic reciprocal determinism model provided the theoretical framework. Methods: A non-experimental, descriptive survey design with a convenience sample of students enrolled in a BSN, ADN and PN program. A total of 178 students participated in this dissertation study. Palmore Facts on Aging Quiz 2, Kogan’s Attitudes Toward Old People Scale, and the Hartford Geriatric Nurse Competency tool was used to collect data. Results: Students enrolled in BSN, ADN, and PN programs demonstrated limited knowledge about facts on aging. Students’ attitudes toward older adults were positive, and a correlation was found between knowledge and attitudes. Students perceived competency about older adults were high, but purely subjective. Students’ preference to work with older adults post graduation in the PN group were higher compared with students in both the BSN and ADN group. Conclusions: This study underscore the need to systematically design an evidence-based curriculum inclusive of geriatric content across (BSN, ADN, and PN) programs to prepare the future nursing workforce to care for older adults.




Social sciences, Health and environmental sciences, Education, Attitudes, Knowledge, Nursing programs, Nursing students, Older adults, Perceived competency



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