Veronique M. Boscart, Lynn McCleary, Paul Stolee, Linda Sheiban Taucar, Jessica Wilhelm, Keia Johnson, Josie d’Avernas, Paul Brown & Marlene Raasok, Educational Gerontology, 46:8, 461-472
Nursing Assistants (NAs) are the largest workforce in nursing homes, but often lack adequate preparation for their role. The Living Classroom (LC) is an integrated learning approach, whereby a NA program is delivered in a nursing home (NH) in collaboration with a community college. This paper describes the implementation and evaluation of the LC. Mixed methods were used to gather data from 48 NA students, 5 faculty, and 42 NH staff over 30 weeks. Students, faculty, and nursing home staff described the LC as a positive learning experience. Students’ gerontological knowledge increased over time (p = .0012). Students reported very positive relationships with program mentors and NH residents. The LC provides a unique approach to prepare NAs to work in nursing homes. This model could expand to other educational programs with a gerontology focus.