Background: The sociocultural structure of society, changes in attitude and behaviors, and individual and social perspectives on aging all affect the nature of services that are offered to elderly people. "Ageism" is one of the problems that has an impact on the level and quality of service that is provided to the older adults.
Purpose: This study was undertaken to examine the attitudes of Turkish undergraduate nursing students toward aging.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was given to 495 nursing students in four universities in Turkey. A questionnaire developed from the related literature and the Ageism Attitude Scale were used to collect data, which was analyzed using standard descriptive statistical methods.
Results: The variables of school year, age, cohabitation with an elderly person (yes/no), prior experience with the older adults (yes/no), and willingness to work with the older adults after graduation all significantly influenced the attitudes of participants toward aging (p < .05).
Conclusions/implications for practice: The results from the Ageism Attitude Scale revealed that the participants held a generally positive attitude toward aging. It is of great importance to include more lessons on the older adults and the aging process and to increase activities to develop awareness of ageism, to help students develop positive attitudes and perspectives toward the care of the older adults. Because experience caring for the older adults is important in developing a positive attitude toward the older adults, arranging relevant clinical practice, especially at institutions with an elderly population, may be an effective approach to strengthening the communication and experiences of nursing students.