An exploration of gerontological nursing in nursing curricula




Samra, Maneet

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The speciality of gerontological nursing is caught among health care directives, the position of older adults in society, practice setting challenges (i.e., staffing, workload, blend of various skilled staff), and various interests in curricular revisions and career development. The field of gerontology developed relatively recently, and as such often lacks the structural and institutional support needed. The significant increase in the older adult population has led to this field of practice becoming one of the most rapidly growing fields in nursing. This project is an inquiry of the undergraduate nursing curricula, specifically in British Columbia, and how health and wellness of the older adult is addressed as student nurses make their way through a generalist approach in basic nursing education. I describe the status of the older adult population in the context of the social and health care systems. A brief overview is provided of political, cultural, and economic influences on nursing care of this particular population, including ideologies and discourses. I present some background information on gerontology nursing, its competencies, and as a nursing specialty career path. I also describe the other population groups such as faculty, students, and health care employers that I address through my literature search and the methodology. The methodology includes an analysis of how the respective curricula of each of the four schools of nursing of interest in British Columbia address the recommendations for nursing education stated by the Canadian Gerontological Nursing Association and the National Gerontological Nursing Association. The analysis includes curriculum blueprints, required and elective courses, integrated curriculum, and specific learning activities. Overall the intent of the project is to influence nursing curricula and program implementation. Upon concluding the project I present recommendations that highlight gerontology nursing as a specialty that warrants recognition by schools of nursing, in order to further incorporate gerontology nursing into the curriculum.



exploration, gerontology, nursing, curricula, gerontological nursing, nursing curriculum, older adults