As a group, women are the major users of the health care system, both directly, in terms of their own health, and indirectly, as the custodians of their family's health. In the past 10 years, there has been a growing awareness of the particular health concerns of women. One of the results of this increased awareness has been the development of courses that address these concerns. Most have been offered through Women's Studies programs. Recently, a growing awareness of these issues has developed among nurses and nurse educators. However, as Saunders and Taylor (1985) point out, "Nurse educators have been slow to develop courses that address women's health issues" (p. 25). My purpose in conducting this study was to survey university schools of nursing in Canada to discover if topics relating to women's health are incorporated into the nursing education curricula. I found that nursing education curricula tend to present women's health issues in a traditional, medically defined manner, focusing on childbearing and reproductive issues. The important problems of women and poverty, the social construction of diseases, and the social context of women's health were addressed much less frequently.
Over the next several decades the number of older Canadians will rise dramatically. This shift will have implications for the demand for health-care professionals, particularly nurses, educated to work with an aging population. The purpose of this study was to assess the status of gerontological content in Canadian undergraduate nursing curricula. Earthy's Survey of Gerontological Curricula in Canadian Baccalaureate Nursing Programs was used to collect data from a convenience sample of Canadian nursing schools and faculties with baccalaureate programs. Data were analyzed using descriptive and frequency statistics. Gerontological content was found to be integrated into the majority of programs, but only 8% of clinical hours had a focus on the nursing care of older adults and only 5.5% of students chose geriatrics for their final clinical practical prior to graduation. Implications include the need to develop faculty expertise, the potential for interdisciplinary gerontology education in the health sciences, and the need to address ageism in the nursing profession.