Exploring the Motivations of Nursing Students in New York State


  • Ileana Carillo
  • Phoebe Massimino
  • Anthony Santella




Student Nurses, Nurse Motivation, Health Care Workforce, Nurse Recruiting


A strong nursing workforce is integral to quality healthcare. Nursing is an important aspect of healthcare outcomes and plays a critical role in patient safety. Nursing students are key to ensuring an adequate pipeline of nursing professionals. An exploratory cross-sectional online survey was conducted with a convenience sample of 158 students in nurse education programs leading to a Bachelor’s Degree in New York State. The current study sought to identify the motivation to pursue a career in nursing, including a career as a Registered Nurse (RN). Personal motivators (primarily the desire to help others) ranked as the main reason for choosing the profession (60.1%). Employment motivators (including job, benefits and monetary reasons) ranked second (26.8%), and Lifestyle motivators (including hours and schedules) ranked third (13.1%). Statistical analysis revealed consistent priorities regarding primary motivators across subgroups of nursing students. Results also indicated that students who have their RN license while pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree are a unique subset of students in nursing programs. Each of the following findings were significant at p < 0.001: Nursing students enrolled in a Bachelor’s Degree program who already hold an RN license are more likely to; be over 30 years of age, attend school part-time, attend fully online classes (pre-pandemic mode), already have an Associate’s Degree in Nursing and attend a public university. Understanding the motivations of students in nursing programs can inform both academia and employers to recruit and retain future nursing professionals.




How to Cite

Carillo, I. ., Massimino, P. ., & Santella, A. . (2022). Exploring the Motivations of Nursing Students in New York State. American Journal of Health Studies, 37(1). https://doi.org/10.47779/ajhs.2022.716