Undergraduate nurse education needs to prepare student nurses to meet the demands and to have the necessary communication skills for caring for an increasing older population. The challenges involve how best to support and empower student nurses to learn the communication skills needed to care for older people.
The aim of this study was to investigate student nurses' views on the care of and communication with older people.
A descriptive study with a mixed-method approach was conducted.
Quantitative and qualitative data were collected from a questionnaire completed by third-year Swedish student nurses in 2015.
The student nurses reported positive attitudes to the care of and communication with older people. The findings focus on the central aspects related to relationship building, techniques for communication and external prerequisites.
Despite positive attitudes, student nurses had a limited view of communication with older people. Educators need to increase student nurses' capacity to communicate effectively with older people. Educational interventions to improve and evaluate the communication competency of nurses and student nurses are needed.