Newly Graduated Registered Nurses' Perception of Psychiatric Nursing

Saturday, 7 November 2015: 3:35 PM

Avni Cirpili, DNP, MSN, BSN, AD, RN, NEA-BC1
Jennifer K. Barut, MSN, BSN, AD, RN-BC2
Jana M. Briggs, BSN, RN1
Nichole M. Taylor, BSN, RN3
(1)Nursing, Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital, Nashville, TN, USA
(2)Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA
(3)Nursing, Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital, Nashville TN, TN, USA

In 2009, Hanrahan raised the concern of a potential shortage of psychiatric nurses since fewer new graduates are choosing this subspecialty of nursing as a career choice.  Nurse leaders and educators need to understand why newly graduated registered nurses (GRNs) are not choosing psychiatric nursing as a career path.  There is little evidence examining nurses’ perceptions of psychiatric nursing within the United States.  In order to develop a strategy to increase RN entry into this subspecialty nurse leaders must understand how perceptions are influenced by nursing education. 

A survey was conducted with newly GRNs who were admitted to a nurse residency program in a large academic medical center to examine perceptions of GRNs towards mental illness, psychiatric nursing and their psychiatric nursing education programs.  Participants were asked to rate the value of psychiatric nursing as a subspecialty and rate statements in the following subject groups: Perception of Psychiatric Nursing (PPN), Perception of Undergraduate Psychiatric Experience (PUPE), and Perception of Mental Illness (PMI).  The project also examined relationships between the GRN’s rating of the subspecialty of psychiatric nursing and their perception of psychiatric nursing, undergraduate psychiatric nursing educational experience and mental illness. 

Based on the research hypotheses, a multiple regression was conducted to determine factors influencing PPN. Seven potential covariates were included in a multiple regression and accounted for 36% of the variance in PPN (adjusted r2 = .323). Participants perception of their undergraduate psychiatry clinical experience per the PUPE (p=.004), and their perception of mental illness per the PMI (p=.023), and their overall ranking of psychiatric nursing was statistically significantly correlated to their PPN at an alpha significance level of .05.

This presentation will highlight the above and additional findings, the creation of three subscales about perceptions of psychiatric nursing and proposed actions to combat negative perceptions of psychiatric nursing.