What do high academic achieving school pupils really think about a career in nursing: analysis of the narrative from paradigmatic case interviews

Gavin R Neilson, William Lauder

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    26 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    As many Departments of Nursing within universities consider raising their academic entry requirements in an attempt to attract a more high academic achieving entrant and also endeavour to attract more school leavers one of the fundamental questions that needs to be answered is – are high academic achieving school pupils really interested in pursuing a career in nursing? The aim of this paper is to report on the findings from paradigmatic case interviews of high academic achieving school pupils who at one stage in their career choice process had considered nursing as a possible career choice but had ultimately disregarded nursing and had decided to pursue medicine or another health care profession. The study reports interview data from a sub-sample of (n = 20) high academic achieving 5th and 6th year school pupils who participated in a larger survey of 5th and 6th year school pupils (n = 1062). These were paradigmatic cases – high academic achieving school pupils who had considered nursing as a possible career choice within their career preference cluster but had ultimately disregarded nursing and decided to pursue medicine or another health care profession as a career choice. Participants reported that nursing was eventually not viewed as using their examination grades to the maximum benefit. Also the participants reported a belief that the work of the doctor is more important and academic as they cure patients whereas the work of the nurse is practical and routine as they only care for patients. The pupils in addition asserted a negative image of nursing and a low status level of nursing as a career. They also articulated the unremarkable typical school pupils they perceived would pursue nursing as a career choice and the type of school pupil that they had witnessed being encouraged toward nursing within their schools, both of which conflicted with their own typology. Ultimately the high academic achieving school pupils were doubtful and suspicious as to the credibility of a degree in nursing and nursing as a university programme. Nursing is a very contentious career choice consideration for high academic achieving school pupils. There is strong evidence from the interview data to suggest that attracting high academic achieving school pupils into nursing could be hugely problematic.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)680-690
    Number of pages11
    JournalNurse Education Today
    Volume28
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Fingerprint

    Pupil
    pupil
    Nursing
    nursing
    career
    Interviews
    narrative
    Career Choice
    interview
    school
    health care profession
    Health Occupations
    Medicine
    medicine
    Delivery of Health Care
    university
    credibility
    typology
    Patient Care
    nurse

    Keywords

    • Nursing
    • Secondary school pupils
    • Careers

    Cite this

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    abstract = "As many Departments of Nursing within universities consider raising their academic entry requirements in an attempt to attract a more high academic achieving entrant and also endeavour to attract more school leavers one of the fundamental questions that needs to be answered is – are high academic achieving school pupils really interested in pursuing a career in nursing? The aim of this paper is to report on the findings from paradigmatic case interviews of high academic achieving school pupils who at one stage in their career choice process had considered nursing as a possible career choice but had ultimately disregarded nursing and had decided to pursue medicine or another health care profession. The study reports interview data from a sub-sample of (n = 20) high academic achieving 5th and 6th year school pupils who participated in a larger survey of 5th and 6th year school pupils (n = 1062). These were paradigmatic cases – high academic achieving school pupils who had considered nursing as a possible career choice within their career preference cluster but had ultimately disregarded nursing and decided to pursue medicine or another health care profession as a career choice. Participants reported that nursing was eventually not viewed as using their examination grades to the maximum benefit. Also the participants reported a belief that the work of the doctor is more important and academic as they cure patients whereas the work of the nurse is practical and routine as they only care for patients. The pupils in addition asserted a negative image of nursing and a low status level of nursing as a career. They also articulated the unremarkable typical school pupils they perceived would pursue nursing as a career choice and the type of school pupil that they had witnessed being encouraged toward nursing within their schools, both of which conflicted with their own typology. Ultimately the high academic achieving school pupils were doubtful and suspicious as to the credibility of a degree in nursing and nursing as a university programme. Nursing is a very contentious career choice consideration for high academic achieving school pupils. There is strong evidence from the interview data to suggest that attracting high academic achieving school pupils into nursing could be hugely problematic.",
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    What do high academic achieving school pupils really think about a career in nursing: analysis of the narrative from paradigmatic case interviews. / Neilson, Gavin R; Lauder, William.

    In: Nurse Education Today, Vol. 28, No. 6, 2008, p. 680-690.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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