Reasons for entering and leaving nursing: an Australian regional study

Eley, Diann and Eley, Robert and Rogers-Clark, Cath (2010) Reasons for entering and leaving nursing: an Australian regional study. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 28 (1). pp. 6-13. ISSN 0813-0531

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Objective. To compare and contrast the reasons that nurses and nursing students provide for entering and leaving nursing.

Design. A quantitative cross-sectional cohort design with online survey.

Setting. Regional public health service district and regional university nursing school.

Subjects. Nurses (n= 272) and nursing students (n=259).

Main outcome measures. Demographics of nurses and nursing students including age, sex and length of time as a nurse, and reasons for entering and leaving the profession.

Results. Among the nurses 88.4% were female and 37% 50 years of age or older. Almost half (45.3%) of the nursing students were 30 years of age or older and 44.1% of all students were working as nursing assistants or enrolled nurses whilst studying. Of these working students 32.5% had been nursing in excess of five years. Self interest, vocation and altruism were identified by both students and nurses as the main reasons for entering nursing. Respondents above and below 30 years of age gave the same reasons for entering nursing. Choice of factors for considering leaving nursing differed between groups and ages. Compared to students, nurses were most likely to cite disillusionment with nursing. Students under 30 years of age indicated pursuit of another career and starting a family to be the major factors while older students offered disillusionment with nursing and health concerns.

Conclusions. Retention strategies may need to differ for age of nurse. However recruitment needs to be informed by the altruistic and vocational reasons why nurses and nursing students are drawn to nursing rather than focussing on perceived generational differences.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2010 05:29
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2015 06:16
Uncontrolled Keywords: nursing; nurses; retention; recruitment; career choice; questionnaire; survey
Fields of Research (2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160801 Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920210 Nursing

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