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ANN Research Opportunities

ANN is pleased to support efforts to enhance nursing knowledge and its application to practice by making ANN members aware of opportunities to participate in institutional review board (IRB) approved research studies. If you are an ANN member seeking to distribute a survey please review the request form and information provided here. Surveys are vetted by our education committee and IRB approval is reviewed and kept on file. 

Call for Survey Participants

Why Become a Nurse: Factors that Influence the Career Choice

Adequate number of nurses in hospitals may lower hospital related mortality and improve patient outcomes (AHRQ, 2007). This report also discusses nurse shortage and nurse burnout that impacts the quality of care. Internationally, it is found that career choice is influenced by intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Why people choose nursing varies with the geographic and cultural context and is considered a female dominated profession (Hollup, 2011). Current students in nursing programs tend to be of all age groups and some older, likely due to a career change (Halperin & Mashiach-Eizenberg, 2014; Haron, Richer & Riba, 2015; Hollup, 2011). Halperin and Mashiach-Eizenberg identified 10 factors for choosing nursing as a career (professional interest, convenient working hours, good salary, satisfying physical work conditions, high social status, opportunity to help others, economic security, possibility to influence, professional variety and promotion possibilities) and found that professional interest was the main influencing factor, which reflect their values. Salary and social status had less influence in this study involving Israeli Arab and Jewish students. More pragmatic materialistic utilitarian approach was found in Mauritian nursing students (Hollup, 2011). Job and financial security, public sector employment, social status, professional status, increased standard of living, and scope of international migration influenced Mauritian students to enter nursing more than altruism, idealism or humanitarian caring (Hollup, 2011).

In the United States (U.S.), Beck (2000) reported themes such as genuine love to help others, prior caring work experience, observing nurses in practice, influence of family and friends, fascination with science, and rewarding experience emerged as factors that influence career choice. The same phenomenological study described factors that influenced medical students to choose nursing as second choice career path. These included financial burden, time commitment and grades. Emotional feeling of emptiness in other careers was also noted as an additional factor in choosing nursing as a second career path. All these studies were primarily qualitative and no ideal valid tool to measure the influencing factors was found in literature except for the one developed in Iran (Shahhosseini, Abedian, Jannati, & Khaki, 2013). Research in U.S. schools identified similar influencing factors for choosing nursing as a career (Larsen, McGill & Palmer, 2003). However, no research during the past decade could be located.

The purpose of this study is to recognize and better understand the fundamental mindset of a nurse, as well as determine how this mindset leads to accomplishment on an academic, professional, and personal plane. The study essentially inquires about the factors that influence a person to choose nursing as a career. A cross sectional, exploratory, descriptive design will be used. A survey will be used to gather data.

Subjects: Any nurse or nursing student who is willing to participate voluntarily. A link to the survey is provided below for participation. No incentive will be offered for participation. No formal consent will be obtained. Completion of the survey indicates willingness to participate. The survey is anonymous. No unique personal identifying information will be collected. The survey is anonymous; data will be collected using Qualitrics, secure software that WCU uses. The data may be downloaded for analysis to a password protected computer. No paper trail will be developed. Michaela Killian and Rachel Joseph are the only persons who have access to this data.

There are no risks for participation in this study except time spent to complete it. Anyone with concerns of the risk of a breach in confidentiality due to a small subsection can leave those unique characteristics incomplete.

The findings and knowledge gained from this survey may shed light into the factors that influence the choice of nursing as a present-day career because a similar American study has not been conducted in the past decade. The pilot study was informational, however this will be a national/global study where anybody with access to internet or the professional organization’s website can participate.

If you are willing to participate please click on the link here to complete the survey.

Rachel Joseph PhD, CCRN & Michaela Killian (Student)
Assistant Professor,
West Chester University of PA


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