“Reluctant” best describes health professionals' attitudes toward caring for the elderly. This article examines work plans of student nurses and work practices of registered nurses to ascertain who actually cares for the aged. Investigation of geriatric nurses reveals that few plan to or do work with the elderly. Salaries are low, and opportunities for career advancement are limited, especially for those working in nursing homes. Older and minority nurses are most likely to provide geriatric care. Based on these findings, manpower and educational policy changes are recommended.

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