School of Nursing


Doctor of Philosophy


Kara Schacke


Career intention, nursing specialty, geriatric, older people, attitude, mixed methods research design




The purpose of this explanatory sequential mixed methods study was to determine if and how the completion of a didactic geriatric course influenced nursing students’ attitudes toward older people, and nursing students’ intentions to work with older adults among bachelor’s degree nursing programs in the Midwest region of the United States of America. An explanatory sequential design allowed the researcher to utilize qualitative data to explain the quantitative results, especially surprising or contradictory findings. To collect data from a convenience sample of 17 nursing students, the researcher used two psychometrically validated self-report instruments (Kogan's Attitudes towards Older People Scale and Nolan's Intent to Work with Older People Questionnaire), a demographic survey, and two open-ended questions. The quantitative results illustrated the descriptive statistics for undergraduate nursing students who had and had not participated in a didactic geriatric course. Thematic analysis methods were used for qualitative analysis which identified eight themes; gained insight, gained knowledge, gained desire, no change, consideration of a geriatric nursing course, preference for another specialty area, gained interest, and reinforced intention. The explanatory sequential mixed methods data analysis indicated that pre-existing intentions and interests in other specialty areas affected undergraduate nursing students’ intentions to work with older people despite participation in a didactic geriatric course. This researcher concluded that participation in a didactic geriatric nursing course can influence nursing students’ attitudes and intentions to work with older people, however further research is needed to determine the extent in which education impacts attitudes and intentions.

Available for download on Tuesday, July 30, 2024

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