Authors: Jie Li, Jing Mao, Jing Zhou, Qiaoyuan, Yan, Tieying Zeng and Xiaopan Li
Purpose: The shortage of nurse is a formidable problem in China. Professional identity of students may significantly influence the career choice. This study explicated the perceptions of professional identity in Taiwanese students and Chinese students, and explored the underlying reasons of different perceptions of professional identity. Methods: We conducted the study in university of china and Taiwan respectively from October, 2013 to February, 2014. 24 nursing students from two different socioeconomic backgrounds participated in the study. Participants received interview with open-ended questions. The authors tape-recorded and transcribed the interviews, and then adopted thematic analysis to search for themes.
Results: participants in Taiwan seemed to show higher level of professional identity than participants in china. The authors identified six themes: (1) be interested in nursing; (2) economic situation of students; (3) occupational characteristics of nursing; (4) ambiguous development prospects of career; (5) male nursing students’ myth, (6) negative vs positive attitude towards nursing development. Conclusions: Chinese teachers in school and clinical setting should cultivate a positive attitude towards nursing and guide the professional values, which in turn may improve students’ professionalism. Students will be interested in providing health care service, only if nursing developed independently and professionally.
Keywords: Nursing; professional identity; Qualitative study; Undergraduate students