The study investigated the knowledge produced by the Brazilian masters degree programs in Nursing about the elderly’s thematic, between 1979 and 2004. The bibliographical research consulted the summaries of dissertations and theses on elderly classified by the Center of Studies and Researches in Nursing. Of 118 found studies, 81% were dissertations and 19% were theses. Between 2000 and 2004 there was the largest presentations/defenses number (59) and the University of S o Paulo revealed the largest number of researches (43.6%). More than 70% of the authors used qualitative approach and about 58% approached the elderly individually, emphasizing him under the optics of some disease or disturbance (28%), and hospitalized elderly. Researches involving ethics or promoting your development social or intellectual was not evidenced. It’s ended that gaps exist in the Brazilian nurse’s scientific production, that should seek better contribution in the search of solutions for the problems of the elderly population.