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To Improve NH Staffing, Nursing Curriculums Should Focus More on Older Adults

March 24, 2021

Nursing curriculums that better promote the care of older adults would help ease nursing student ambivalence toward clinical placements in nursing homes, suggests a study published online in Nurse Education Today. 

“Evidence indicates that nursing students do not view nursing home placements as favorably as acute hospital placements,” researchers wrote. “Therefore, nurse educators are challenged to facilitate a change in students’ perceptions towards working in the nursing home environment.” 

The study was an integrative literature review of 21 papers published between 2008 and April 2020. Researchers analyzed and synthesized data on nursing student perceptions of, and experiences with, nursing home clinical placements to develop recommendations for nurse educators. 

Major themes revealed, in part, the importance of solid supervision in nursing home clinical placements, understanding care staff roles, and curriculum preparation, researchers reported.  

Increasing the visibility of older adult care in nursing curriculums is urgent to correct student misperceptions about nursing home clinical placements, they advised. Researchers recommended the development of pathways focusing on older adult care “delivered by experienced and knowledgeable faculty.” They also called for compulsory clinical placements in settings that specialize in older adult care, with registered nurses providing the supervision. 

“Failing to resolve this immediate problem,” researchers wrote, “will result in a further shortage of nurses who are adequately prepared to meet future nursing needs.” 

Jolynn Tumolo


Cooke J, Greenway K, Schutz S. Learning from nursing students' experiences and perceptions of their clinical placements in nursing homes: An integrative literature review [published online ahead of print, 2021 Mar 6]. Nurse Educ Today. 2021;100:104857. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2021.104857

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