Perceptions of nursing as a career amongst health-studies students and university-based nursing students

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Perceptions of nursing as a career amongst health-studies students and university-based nursing students

 

Author: Lau, Yuen Ching
Title: Perceptions of nursing as a career amongst health-studies students and university-based nursing students
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2013
Subject: Nursing.
Career Choice.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Nursing
Pages: xvi, 165 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2643487
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7129
Abstract: Background: Many students in health-related pre-nursing programmes desire to work in the nursing profession, whereas university nursing students may leave after graduation for other career opportunities. A better understanding of these students’ perceptions of nursing as a career may support effective career counseling and recruitment of suitable candidates to join the nursing profession. Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate the perceptions of nursing as a career amongst health-studies students and university-based general nursing students in Hong Kong. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with a convenience sampling of 562 students; including 279 health-studies students (49.6%) and 283 university-based general nursing students (50.4%) aged between 18 and 32 years using a self-developed Nursing Career Perception Questionnaire (NCPQ). The content validity index (CVI) was 0.92 and the Cronbach's alpha coefficients were 0.88 for the Variables Influencing Perceptions of Nursing as a Career Scale (VIPNC Scale) (with subscales of 0.73 to 0.81) and 0.78 for the Perceptions of Nursing as a Career Scale (PNC Scale) (with subscales of 0.51 to 0.73). The test-retest reliability, repeated two weeks apart, ranged from 0.80 to 0.91 (p < 0.001).
Result: The three most positive perceptions of nursing as a career involved saving lives and helping people, the professionalism and importance of nursing, and unbiased gender roles. The three most negative perceptions were related to shift duty, the dangers of possible contact with highly infectious patients, and how costly the nursing programme might be. Positive correlations were found between the PNC and VIPNC scales for health-studies students (r = 0.29, p < 0.001) and for university-based general nursing students (r = 0.24, p < 0.001). Positive correlations were found between the PNC scale and the goal of choosing nursing as a career for health-studies students (r = 0.31, p < 0.001), for university-based general nursing students (r = 0.34, p < 0.001) and for overall (r = 0.37, p < 0.001) indicating that the students with more positive perceptions of nursing as a career had a stronger intention of choosing nursing as a career. University-based general nursing students had more health-related work experiences than health-studies students; they also had more positive perceptions of nursing as a career than the health-studies students (t = -3.84, p < 0.001). However, only about half of them (n = 139, 49.1%) indicated that they would definitely choose general nursing as their career. The loyalty to nursing is not well established during the course of study. Exploratory factor analyses were performed for the VIPNC and PNC scales. Four factors in the VIPNC scale ("Experience", "Contact with Professional", "Personal" "Significant Other") were established with loadings of ≥ 0.40 for 25 items and five factors in the PNC scale ("Professional", "Social" "Economic", "Occupational", "Educational") were also established with loadings of ≥ 0.40 for 29 of the 30 statements. The psychometric properties of the newly developed scales, Variables Influencing Perceptions of Nursing as a Career Scale (VIPNC scale) and Perceptions of Nursing as a Career Scale (PNC scale), demonstrate that they are potentially valuable tools for assessing perception of nursing as a career and investigation of its influencing variables. Conclusion: Both the health-studies students and the nursing students recruited for this study have potential to join the nursing profession. Students who have more positive perceptions of nursing have a stronger intention to choose nursing as a career. However, the loyalty to nursing is not well established among these students. Their responses give a general idea about both positive and negative perceptions of nursing as a career that nurse educators and administrators may find useful in career counseling and recruitment of suitable candidates to prevent wastage during and after the study of nursing.

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