What predicts the selection of nursing as a career choice in 5th and 6th year school students?

Gavin R. Neilson, Martyn C. Jones

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Demand for nursing care, and nurses, is growing in the United Kingdom given an increasingly ageing patient population with long-term co-morbidities. An ageing nursing workforce and fewer school leavers entering nursing are key barriers to student nurse recruitment. This paper aims to identify the socio-demographic and correlates nursing as a career choice in 5th and 6th year school students. This cross-sectional descriptive study gathered self-administered questionnaires from a total cohort of 5th and 6th year school students (n = 1059) in one educational authority in Scotland. A response rate of 100% was achieved, with 702 students expressing a career choice. Some 71.7% (n = 503) of students providing a full data set would never consider nursing, even if they obtained poor grades. Only 28.3% (n = 199) would ever consider nursing. Students cited nursing as a career choice if they were female, of average to below average academic ability/achievement, expressed a positive attitude to nursing as a degree subject which was shared by their career guidance teacher. Each additional higher reduced the likelihood of nursing as a career choice by 22%. Nursing is an unpopular career choice amongst school students. Strategies are required to improve the occupational image of nursing in secondary education.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalNurse Education Today
    Early online date18 Aug 2011
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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