Date of Conferral







David Stein


Three generations of registered nurses make up the current nursing workforce: Baby boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y. Each generation brings its own values, behaviors, and beliefs to the workplace. The generational diversity among nurses needs to be assessed along with other factors, such as social values of the elderly, anxiety toward aging, and practice settings, to examine how each factor impacts registered nurses' attitudes toward caring for the elderly. An exploration of these factors is significant to nurse leaders, since nurses have been known to display negative attitudes toward the elderly. The theoretical foundation for this study was based upon Rosenberg's three-component view of attitudes. The bias scores from Palmore's Facts on Aging Quiz (FAQ I) was used to indirectly measure the dependent variable, registered nurses' attitudes toward caring for the elderly. The independent variables were anxiety toward aging, social values of the elderly, generations, and practice settings. Kafer's Aging Opinion Survey was used to measure anxiety toward aging, and social values of the elderly. Practice settings and generations were identified by a demographic profile. The survey data were collected from 265 registered nurses. An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to compare mean attitude scores between each generation and practice setting. Pearson's correlation coefficient examined the relationship between nurses' attitudes toward caring for the elderly, social value of the age, and anxiety toward aging. A multiple linear regression analyzed each independent variables prediction of nurses' attitude scores. Findings indicated a statistically significant association between the dependent and independent variables. Findings suggest the need to evaluate these variables prior to job placement to ensure quality healthcare provision to the elderly. Such action positively impact social change because nursing practices may be inspired to develop programs that encourage more favorable attitudes toward the elderly.