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Perspectives of Australian nursing educators on the preparation of nursing students for the care of older people's oral health

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 13:11 authored by Vandana BhagatVandana Bhagat, Thi HoangThi Hoang, Crocombe, LA, Lynette GoldbergLynette Goldberg

Objective: investigate the perspectives of Australian nursing educators on the preparation of Bachelor of Nursing students for the care of older people's oral health.

Background: Australian population is ageing. Older people with poor oral health are at increased risk of worsening health and chronic disease conditions. Nurses can and need to take a leadership role in improving and maintaining older Australians' oral health in community, hospital, and residential care settings. Thus, it is important to investigate the perspectives of nursing educators on the preparation of nursing students for the care of older people's oral health.

Study design and methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 participants, including course coordinators, lecturers, directors, and researchers at 10 universities delivering accredited Bachelor of Nursing programs across seven different states in Australia. Data were analysed thematically. Results: Four themes were identified in nursing educators' perspectives: (1) the education of nursing students in providing oral healthcare is important, (2) there are notable gaps in nursing students' oral health education, (3) there are both internal and external barriers to strengthening oral health education across nursing programs, and (4) there is a need to develop and promote a shared oral health curriculum that includes interprofessional education and collaborative practice. Inherent in these themes was the need for a clear definition of the role of nurses in oral healthcare.

Discussion and conclusion: It is recommended that administrators and policymakers develop nursing accreditation standards that specify the role of nurses in oral health education, and the scope of this education including interprofessional and collaborative practice, for the oral healthcare of older people. Infusing such standards in nursing curricula will better educate and prepare nursing students for effective practice and leadership in gerontological care


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Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing








School of Health Sciences


Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation

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© 2022 Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation. All rights reserved.

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