Assessing students' learning needs and attitudes: Considerations for gerontology curriculum planning

Mary Elaine Koren, Judith Hertz, Donna Munroe, Jeanette Rossetti, Julie Robertson, Donna Plonczynski, Georgine Berent, Linda Ehrlich-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The growing number of older adults with multiple healthcare needs underscores the importance of teaching gerontological content to students in healthcare fields. To effectively accomplish this educational goal, it is essential to consider students' attitudes and learning needs related to caring for elderly persons. The purpose of this study was to identify prelicensure undergraduate nursing students' (N = 200) perceived learning needs and attitudes toward older adults. Current knowledge of gerontology and attitudes were correlated with multiple variables including comfort and confidence in caring for older persons. Students identified their desire for more information on selected topics such as supportive resources for elders and their caregivers. Students who intended to learn more about gerontological nursing chose more topics; the two most commonly chosen topics were end-of-life issues and specific disorders. The data from this study can be used to design courses and curricula related to the care of elderly persons. Similar approaches to obtain student input can be adopted in designing other gerontology curricula.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-56
Number of pages18
JournalGerontology and Geriatrics Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2008


  • Attitudes toward elderly persons
  • Gerontology education
  • Healthcare students
  • Learning needs assessment
  • Nursing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing students' learning needs and attitudes: Considerations for gerontology curriculum planning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this