Knowledge, attitudes and intention of high school students towards the nursing profession in Riyadh city, Saudi Arabia.

Department of Public Administration, College of Administrative Sciences, King Saud University, PO Box 2459, Riyadh 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi medical journal (Impact Factor: 0.55). 03/2004; 25(2):150-5.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To determine the knowledge, attitudes, and intention among the Saudi high school students towards the nursing profession. In addition, the study aims to identify students' perception of causes preventing them to become nurses. It also aims to determine the factors influencing the Saudi high school students' choice of nursing profession.
We used the descriptive analytical research design. Stratified random sampling procedures were employed to represent the Saudi high school students, 3 male and 3 female schools scattered in all areas of Riyadh city were selected. A total of 600 questionnaires were distributed and 503 questionnaires were returned, of which, 479 questionnaires were valid for analysis (79.8% response rate). The data collection started from November 2002 to January 2003. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the collected data.
High school students scored a reasonable level on the knowledge dimension, but did not achieve high scores on the attitude dimension, however, they achieved very low scores on the intention of being a nurse in the future (5.2% of them indicated nursing as their preferred future job). Inferential data analysis showed that attitude, having or not having a nurse friend and knowledge was found to have significant positive influence on high school students' intention, while long working hours and high work load compared to other jobs were found to have a significant negative influence.
Results indicated that the more knowledge and positive attitude on nursing, the more likely the student would be attracted to the nursing profession. Accordingly, it could be concluded that Saudi health decision-makers need to increase the positive attitude on the nature and encouraging characteristics of modern nursing and its increasing respect as a skillful career for high school students. Reconsideration of salaries and benefits were recommended in order to attract more students to the nursing profession.

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