Curricular Innovations for Teaching Undergraduate Nursing Students Care of Older Adults

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BackgroundBy 2030, 1 in 5 persons will be 65 years or older. To address the health care needs of the burgeoning elderly population, nursing faculty need to use curricular models that are poised to deliver age-appropriate nursing care to the specialized needs of the older adult population.ProblemThe lack of geriatric clinical experiences and clinical faculty who do not have expertise in geriatric nursing assessment create barriers to guide students in learning about care of older adults.ApproachA new curricular approach to educate prelicensure nursing students about caring for older adults was created, which used 6 types of learning assignments during a 7-week clinical practicum. Students were exposed to interactive learning assignments based on competencies involving interviewing, performance-based assessment, clinical decision making, and problem-based learning.OutcomePrelicensure nursing students (n = 124) rated the interactive, performance-based functional evaluation assignment highest for perceived understanding and as the best type of learning experience.

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