Nursing Students' Professional Career Preferences; A Turkish Study

Tuesday, 13 July 2010: 1:45 PM

Memnun Seven, RN, MSc
Aygül Akyüz, RN, PhD
Gülden Güvenç, RN, PhD
Nese Sever, RN, MSc
Obstetrics and Gynecologic Nursing Department, Gülhane Military Medical Academy, School of Nursing, Ankara, Turkey

Learning Objective 1: What plans do nursing students make for their future career?

Learning Objective 2: Which department do nursing students prefer to work?

Purpose: This article presents findings from a study of 146 Turkish nursing students’ opinions of their future career. The aim of this descriptive study is to identify Turkish undergraduate nursing students’ career preferences together with their reasons for these preferences.
Methods: The sample consisted of 146 students representing 85 % of the total number of fourth and third-year students at the college in 2008. Twenty sixteen students did not return the questionnaires and did not give any reasons for their refusal. Data was collected using a questionnaire with 10 open-ended questions, that is a researcher-designed, and self-administered. The instrument’s content validity was investigated by expert elucidation of general appropriateness and applicability before the study was conducted.
Results: Seventy four percent of the students want to continue further nursing education. These students’ career preferences are  often surgical, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry nursing and not care for chronically ill, elderly patients or healthy community; areas where there is a shortage of nurses. The nursing students in the study have different motives for choosing further nursing education and the nursing profession. Motives like ‘‘the desire to choice of hospital or city which they want to work (95, 2%)’’, ‘‘the desire to become a specialist nurse (67, 1%)’’ and ‘‘to enhance occupational status and prestige (53.4%)’’ are the most important. However, nursing students are less interested in giving care and help to others. Furthermore, 11,6 % of the students report that they would not choose nursing as a career after graduation.
Conclusion: To educate nurses to meet the needs of society, we need to know their career preferences and the reasons for them. These results suggest that educators need to reconsider the educational way of nursing students, and indicate that strategies must be developed to enhance students’ motivation to select nursing as a career.