In the coming years an increasing share of the Norwegian population will be elderly. In 2050 it is assumed to be between 1,1 and 1, 4 million Norwegians over 67 years of age. This is approximately twice as many as today.
The growth in the number of elderly leads to increased responsibilities on the Public Health Services. This requires more healthcare workers in all parts of the Public Health Services, especially in the municipalities.
This study is about how nursing students experience that their nursing studies affect their attitude towards the elderly, and toward care for the elderly as a potential place of work. The study is based on how the elderly are given attention and status during the nursing studies, and how this affects the students’ attitude towards care for the elderly as an arena for work after graduation. The study also discusses interests regarding care for the elderly in light of the post modern society where the young, well functioning, independent and impeccable body seem to be an ideal and equivalent with high status.
The rationale of this study has been to explore the experiences and perceptions nursing students present as to how the nursing study affects their attitudes to choose care for the elderly as an area of interest as a future work place.
The study is based on qualitative research interviews with four 3rd year nursing students. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed by qualitative content analysis. From the analysis and interpretation of the interview materials four themes emerged. These are: “The nursing students’ thoughts and associations regarding old people”, “The nursing students’ experiences of ideas and perspectives regarding care for the elderly presented in the nursing programme”, “The nursing students’ perceptions on how their attitudes toward working with care for the elderly have been influenced during the education” and “The nursing students’ wishes for future workplace”.
Keywords: attitude, nurse student, older patients, the elderly, future work and education.||en