Authors: Wu Ling Ting
Worsening ageing population led to a greater healthcare challenge and an ever-growing demand on healthcare workforce. With the expansion of healthcare education pipeline, nursing was found to be on the losing end in attracting school leavers into the course. This review hence aims to identify factors that deter students from joining the nursing profession. Studies were included in this review if (1) the study participants were middle school and/or high school and/or undergraduate non-nursing students; (2) the study discussed on students’ perception of nursing or discuss on why students do not want to consider nursing as a career choice; (3) papers were published in English; and (4) papers were published between 1996 to 2016. Using ten electronic databases, a thorough search of relevant studies were conducted. A total of twenty-one papers were included in this review. Among these papers, it was found that students generally have no interest in nursing due to poor perception of the nursing career. These include their believe that nurses 'do not require a university degree, have 'poor social status' such as having no autonomy at work, involve 'dirty' physical work, and are lowly paid. On top of that, they believe that 'nurses cannot be leaders', and is mainly a 'female occupation'. These perceptions were largely due to media and family influence. Students seem to have inaccurate understanding of the nursing profession, mainly based on how the media portrayed nurses. In order to reduce such misconceptions and attract more school leavers in nursing, accurate information on the nursing profession has to be made easily available to both school leavers and parents.
Keywords: perception; nurse; nursing; career choice; career decisions; students