Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career and Higher Education

Major Professor

Waynne B. James, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tony Tan, E.D.

Committee Member

Liliana Rodriguez-Campos, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Darlene DeMarie, Ph.D.


Ageism, Gerontology, Nursing, Theory of Planned Behavior


There had been a lack of research on the relationship between a new graduate Registered Nurses’ knowledge, experiences, attitudes, and age bias toward older adults. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether there was a relationship between new graduate Registered Nurses’ knowledge, experiences, attitudes, and age bias toward older adults.

The researcher used correlational, non-experimental, quantitative design for this study. The instruments used in this study were the Facts on Aging Quiz, the Kogan Attitude Toward Old People scale, and a demographic questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the demographic data and correlation coefficients were used to answer the research questions. The participants were new graduate Registered Nurses entering the healthcare workforce for the first time at an 800+ bed, not-for-profit hospital. The study took place during the height of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study found although attitudes toward older adults were positive, new graduate Registered Nurses did not prefer to work with older adult patients. There was a relationship between the Facts on Aging Quiz knowledge/bias scores and attitudes towards older adults. Attitudes were slightly more positive among new graduate Registered Nurses who had more frequent personal experience with an older adult family member. No relationship was found between degree and attitudes, and between frequency of clinical experience with older adults and attitudes.

This study contributes to the body of research on nurses’ attitudes toward older adults and the desire to care for them. The majority of patients are over 65 years and the number is expected to continue to increase over the next few years. The need for competent nurses willing to care for them will also increase. Educators and hospital administrations can develop a better understanding of factors that influence nurse attitudes so they can help increase nurse satisfaction and willingness to care for the older adult population. Recommendations for future research include surveying other healthcare professionals’ knowledge and attitudes, evaluation of attitudes toward older adults before and after intervention, and increasing the number of facilities and participants in the study.