Exploring the Motivations of Nursing Students in New York State
Keywords: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.
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