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Perception of Undergraduate Nursing Students About Nursing Profession: A Study of University of Jos, Nigeria

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The perception of nursing by the public plays an important role in determining the choice of nursing as a profession by young people. Understanding the perception of nursing students about their profession will help in identifying misconceptions and information that could be helpful in planning public enlightenment about the profession. A descriptive study design was adopted and information was retrieved from 162 respondents. Students participated voluntarily and were assured of confidentiality and anonymity. Findings indicated that all respondents believe that nursing is a noble profession and admired by many people in the society. They also believe that nursing is stressful. Most respondents choose nursing as a profession because of job security, good pay, self-actualization, and love for the profession. Fewer students were influenced by contact with practicing nurses, friends, parents and family. It was concluded that undergraduate nursing students in university of Jos have a positive perception about nursing. There is need for nurses and other stakeholder to project the image of nursing profession in the society.
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International Journal of Nursing and Health Science
2015; 2(5): 60-63
Published online August 30, 2015 (http://www.openscienceonline.com/journal/ijnhs)
Perception of Undergraduate Nursing Students
About Nursing Profession: A Study of University of
Jos, Nigeria
Oyedele Emmanuel A.
1
, Emmanuel Andy
1, *
, Gaji Luka D.
2
, Goshit Jidauna D.
1
, Louis Okonkwo I.
1
1
Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Medical Sciences University of Jos. Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
2
College of Nursing and Midwifery, Jos, Plateau state, Nigeria
Email address
andyemma62@yahoo.com (E. Andy)
To cite this article
Oyedele Emmanuel A., Emmanuel Andy, Gaji Luka D., Goshit Jidauna D., Louis Okonkwo I.. Perception of Undergraduate Nursing
Students About Nursing Profession: A Study of University of Jos, Nigeria. International Journal of Nursing and Health Science.
Vol. 2, No. 5, 2015, pp. 60-63.
Abstract
The perception of nursing by the public plays an important role in determining the choice of nursing as a profession by young
people. Understanding the perception of nursing students about their profession will help in identifying misconceptions and
information that could be helpful in planning public enlightenment about the profession. A descriptive study design was
adopted and information was retrieved from 162 respondents. Students participated voluntarily and were assured of
confidentiality and anonymity. Findings indicated that all respondents believe that nursing is a noble profession and admired
by many people in the society. They also believe that nursing is stressful. Most respondents choose nursing as a profession
because of job security, good pay, self-actualization, and love for the profession. Fewer students were influenced by contact
with practicing nurses, friends, parents and family. It was concluded that undergraduate nursing students in university of Jos
have a positive perception about nursing. There is need for nurses and other stakeholder to project the image of nursing
profession in the society.
Keywords
Perception, Nursing Profession, Undergraduate Students, University of Jos
1. Introduction
Nursing is known to be a profession responsible for the
protection, promotion and optimization of health and
abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of
suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human
response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families,
communities, and populations (Royal college of Nursing
2003). The image of nursing has changed and developed
throughout history, and the outward image of nursing has
improved remarkably within the past 50 years (El-Halen,
Hawashy, El-Dein 2010).
Some countries in the Middle East, such as Bahrain and
Jordan, were satisfied with the image of nursing but still
lacked appeal and prestige. Jordan has had a unique
experience in improving its nursing image and has
significantly increased the number of highly educated nurses
who participated actively in organizing the profession by
setting the Jordanian code of ethics (Raghda 2005).
Students have a wide range of pre-existing perceptions
about nursing. A study of 1000 American nursing students
reported that students believed nursing to be physically
challenging and that there is inadequate respect and
recognition of nursing (Buerhaus, Donelan, Norman, and
Dittus, 2005). Other studies reported that nursing students
recognize as a caring profession and as an opportunity to help
people gain a better health. Nursing students also viewed
nursing as a noble and well-regarded career path and one
which requires strength, patience and compassion (Beck
2012). Apart from the traditional perception of nursing as
caring, a longitudinal study that examined nursing student’s
perception of nursing as a profession based on scientific
knowledge and required expertise in nursing and
responsibility (Buerhaus et al 2005).
A study done in Riode Janeiro by Spindola Seibert,
Francisco, and Clos (2005), of 62 high school students
indicated that the students associated the nurse figure to the
61 Oyedele Emmanuel A. et al.: Perception of Undergraduate Nursing Students About Nursing Profession:
A Study of University of Jos, Nigeria
assisting function and they visualize nurse as an auxiliary of
the physician and that they were not aware of the different
categories of the nursing profession and the education level
of the profession. Another perception about nursing is that it
is regarded as a career more suitable for females than males.
This was discovered in a study carried out at the university of
Ontario Canada (Bartfay, Clow and Wu 2010).
The reasons students choose to study nursing are firstly,
the education and career aspirations which include the
students’ belief that nursing is their choice of career and that
there is advancement in the nursing career or nursing
education (Tan-kuick & Ng 2010). The Second reason is the
personal ability which is the stress management, motivation,
perseverance and self-confidence, Third reason is the socio-
economic state of the nursing profession. Its interaction with
the social and economic set up cannot be over emphasized.
Young people come into the nursing profession because of
the great job security and opportunity for continuing
education; availability of variety of roles, flexibility of job
and unconditional and selfless service to humanity
(International Council For Nursing,2010; Vanhanen &
Janhonen 2000; Glacken & O’brien 200)
A study by Neilson and Lauder (2008) reported that the
main factor that entices young college and University leavers
into career in Nursing is inner motivation to care and help the
sick. In a descriptive study done by Tan-Kuick and Nig.
(2011), it was reported that many students conceive a view
that nursing is a low status profession that does not generally
command respect leading to the notion that Nursing is not
good choice for higher studies.
It was posited in a study that nursing students were
generally perceived by the society as stereotypes, that male
nurses are for example gay, effeminate, less compassionate
and less caring, hence it is frequently perceived as a woman’s
job (Bartfay, Bartfay, and Clow 2010).
The influence of parents plays a substantial part on the
perception of undergraduate nursing students about the
nursing profession. It has been discovered that the perception
of these students were significantly influenced by parental
drive (Bartfay, Bartfay, and Clow 2010). Another significant
factor is the influence of peers who also inform their
understanding, orientation and awareness of the nursing
profession. These undergraduate nursing students are also
influenced by their school counselors in their choice of
nursing as a career (Neilson and Lauder 2008).
The perception of nursing students in University of Jos
about nursing profession is not known. Therefore, the
purpose of this study is to determine the perception of
undergraduate nursing students about the nursing profession
with a view to establishing baseline information that will be
helpful in designing intervention that will promote the image
of nursing and motivate the students.
2. Research Design
A cross sectional design was adopted for this study. The
study was conducted among undergraduates in the
Department of Nursing science, University of Jos, Plateau
State, Nigeria.
A validated instrument was distributed to 162 students who
participated voluntarily. Permission was obtained from the
student affairs division and the Department of nursing before
commencing the study. Participants were assured of
confidentiality of all information supplied and anonymity
was maintained. The data collected was analyzed using
frequency tables, and percentages.
3. Results
Table 1. Socio demographic variables.
Varaibles Frequency (N-162) Percentages
Gender
Male 85 52.5
Female 77 47.5
Level of study
200 39 24.1
300 37 22.8
400 40 24.7
500 46 28.4
Age
16-20 31 19.1
21-25 56 34.6
26-30 40 24.7
More than 30 35 21.6
The table above shows that out of 162 respondents, 85
(52.5%) are male while 77 (47.5%) are female, which means
that the number of male respondents was slightly greater than
their female counterpart.
The result in table above shows that 39 (24.1%) of the
respondents were in 200L, 37(22.8%) were in 300L,
40(24.7%) were in 400L and 46(28.4%) were in 500L
Table above shows that 31 (19.1%) of the respondents,
were between the ages of 16-20, 56 (34.6%) were between
ages 21-25, 40 (24.7%) were between 26-30yrs and 35
(21.6%) were 30 years and above.
Table 2. Distribution of respondents based on perception of undergraduate Nursing students about the nursing profession.
Questions Responses
Strongly agreed Agreed Neutral Disagree Strongly disagree Total
Nursing is a noble profession 105 (64.8%) 57(35.2%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 162 (100)
Nursing is admired by many people in the
society 52 (32.1%) 55 (33.9%) 29 (17.9%) 26 (16.1%) 0 162 (100)
Nursing is frequently viewed as a vocation 31 (19.1%) 42 (25.9%) 33 (20.4%) 30 (18.5%) 26 (16.1%) 162 (100)
Nursing is the single most important
frontline health work. 39 (24.1%) 38 (23.4%) 33 (20.4%) 31 (19.1%) 21 (13%) 162 (100)
International Journal of Nursing and Health Science 2015; 2(5): 60-63 62
Questions Responses
Strongly agreed Agreed Neutral Disagree Strongly disagree Total
The view of people about nursing does not
affect reality about nursing 41 (25.3%) 47 (29%) 27 (16.7%) 23 (14.2%) 24 (14.8%) 162 (100)
Good job security offers positive view about
the choice of nursing. 39 (24.1%) 49 (30.2%) 30 (18.5%) 22 (13.6%) 22 (13.6%) 162 (100)
Good pay in nursing offers positive view
about the choice of nursing. 39 (24.1%) 46 (28.4%) 31 (19.5%) 23 (14.2%) 23 (14.2%) 162 (100)
Self-actualization is one of the most
important reasons for your choice of nursing.
36 (22.2%) 45 (27.7%) 33 (20.4%) 27 (16.7%) 21 (13%) 162 (100)
Contact with a practising nurse influences
your choice of nursing 30 (18.5%) 43 (26.6%) 34 (21%) 30 (18.5%) 25 (15.4%) 162 (100)
Friends , parents and family members
influence your choice of nursing 24 (14.8%) 34 (21%) 30 (18.5%) 41 (25.3%) 33 (20.4%) 162 (100)
I choose nursing beacause I love it. 38 (23.4%) 42 (25.9%) 29 (17.9%) 30 (18.5%) 23 (14.2%) 162 (100)
The nursing profession is very stressful. 47 (29%) 44 (27.2%) 25 (15.4%) 24 (14.8%) 22 (13.6%) 162 (100)
Higher academic attainment is feasible with
this profession 58 (35.8%) 48 (29.6%) 30 (18.5%) 26 (16.1%) 0 (0%) 162 (100)
From the result in table 2, 105 (64.8%) of the respondents
strongly agreed and 57 (35.2%) agreed that nursing is a noble
profession. With respect to whether nursing is admired by
many people in the society, 107 (66%) of the respondents
either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, 26
(16.1%) disagreed while 29 (17.9%) of the respondents were
neutral. 73(45%) either agreed or strongly agreed that
nursing is frequently viewed as a vocation, 56 (34.6%) either
disagreed or strongly disagreed while 33 (20.4%) were
neutral about it.
Seventy-seven (47.5%) students either agreed or strongly
agreed that nursing is the single most important front line
health work, 52 (32.1%) either disagreed or strongly
disagreed while 33 (20.4%) of the respondents were neutral.
Eighty-eight (54.3%) were either in agreement or strong
agreement that the view of people about nursing does not
reflect reality about nursing, 47 (29%) either disagreed or
strongly disagreed while 27 (16.7%) were neutral. Most (88,
54.3%) either agreed or strongly agreed that good job
security offers positive view about the choice of nursing, 44
(27.2%) either disagreed or strongly disagreed while 30
(18.5%) were neutral. Eighty five (52.5%) either agreed or
strongly agreed that good pay in nursing offers positive view
about their choice of nursing, 46 (28.4%) either disagreed or
strongly disagreed while 31 (19.1%) were neutral.
Eighty-one (49.9%) of the respondents either agreed or
strongly agreed that self-actualization is one of the most
important reasons for their choice of nursing, 48 (29.7%) either
disagreed or strongly disagreed while 33(20.4%) were neutral.
Seventy-three (45.1%) of the respondents either agreed or
strongly agreed that contact with a practicing nurse influenced
their choice of nursing, 55 (33.9%) either disagreed or strongly
disagreed while 34 (21%) were neutral. Fifty-eighty (35.8%)
of the respondentseither agreed or strongly agreed that friends,
parents and family members influenced their choice of
nursing, 74 (45.7%) either disagreed or strongly disagreed
while 30 (18.5%) were neutral.
Eighty (49.3%) of the respondents either agreed or
strongly agreed that they chose nursing because they love it,
53 (32.7%) either disagreed or strongly disagreed while 29
(17.9%) were neutral. Concerning the nursing profession
being very stressful, 91 (56.2%) either agreed or strongly
agreed, 46 (28.4%) either disagreed or strongly disagreed
while 25 (15.4%) were neutral.
Finally, 106 (65.4%) of the respondents either agreed or
strongly agreed that higher academic attainment is feasible
with this profession, 26 (16.1%) disagreed, while 30 (18.5%)
were neutral.
4. Discussion of Findings
The number of male respondents (52.5%) which is more
than the female respondents (47.5%) is an indication of the
fact that more males are coming into nursing profession.
More males are required to join the profession in order to
change the current stereotype.
All participants posited that nursing is a noble profession
and consistent with Beck (2012) who reported that nursing is
a noble and well-regarded career. The 100% percent response
in support of nobility of nursing could be attributed to the
population. The findings may differ if the study was among
students from other departments or from the society.
A significant proportion (47.5%) of students agreed that
nursing is the single most important frontline health work.
This is contrary to the result obtained by Spindola et al 2005,
in there study in Rio de Janeiro, they reported that the
students associated the nurse figure to the assisting function
and auxillary of the physician. Most of the respondents
agreed that there is good job security, good pay and self-
actualization in nursing. The general perception upon these
indices, by the undergraduate nursing students, is consistent
with Tan-Kuick and Ng (2011).
More than half of the respondents perceived the profession
as being stressful. This discovery from the undergraduate
nursing students is in support of the study done by Buerhaus
et al. (2005). Assisting nursing students in stress management
could reduce stress and change students’ perception about
nursing being a stressful profession. Finally, regarding the
feasibility of higher academic attainment in Nursing, most of
the respondents agree that there is opportunity for continuing
63 Oyedele Emmanuel A. et al.: Perception of Undergraduate Nursing Students About Nursing Profession:
A Study of University of Jos, Nigeria
education in nursing. This could be a strong motivation to
many students.
5. Conclusion
From this study, it is concluded that student’s perception
about the nursing profession has been more to the positive
side than the negative side. This may be strongly attributed to
the of type setting. Further study is warranted among youths
who are not yet enrolled into nursing program.
Recommendation
1. Nursing associations should and ministry of health
should create awareness about nursing among learners
from secondary schools using mass/electronic media.
2. Promotion of nursing career through media in order to
reach out to all community members.
3. Practicing nurses should help in influencing young
school leavers in choosing nursing as a career.
4. There should be a mechanism in place to encourage
learners who would like to choose nursing as a career.
The mechanism should include marketing the
profession to all schools in collaboration between
ministry of health and the associations of nurse in the
country.
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Title Influences on Students' Choice of Nursing Education in Singapore -An Exploratory Study
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Factors associated with students’ orientations to nursing This paper presents the results of a study focusing on the factors associated with orientations to nursing. Students’ orientations to nursing have not as yet been a focus of nursing research. In some other professions, however, professional orientation has been associated with learning motivation and study performance, and has been seen as a predictor of work satisfaction. In this study, students’ orientations to nursing were defined in terms of caring, nursing expertise and life orientation. The hypothesis of whether students’ pre-educational experiences of nursing, gender, choice of nursing specialty, problems with nursing studies and intention to stay in nursing were associated with different orientations was tested. The extent to which students were orientated to caring, nursing expertise and their own life was also examined. The orientation to nursing measurement tool, which has been developed on the basis of a qualitative study, was used to collect the data. Nurse teachers collected the data from nursing students (n=184) who were studying in three different nursing programmes in Finland. Non-parametric assessments (Mann–Whitney U-test and Kruskal–Wallis test) of the differences between the students’ orientations were carried out. A majority of the students were highly life-orientated, and two-thirds had average nursing expertise or caring orientation scores. The results supported the study hypothesis of an association between students’ orientations and their gender, choice of nursing speciality, problems with nursing studies and intention to stay in nursing. However, the hypothesis of an association between students’ pre-educational nursing experiences and orientation to nursing was not supported. The contradictions between students’ orientation to nursing and the philosophy of nursing underlying the study programme may be a source of motivational problems and dissatisfaction with nursing education. Therefore, nurse educators are challenged to discuss curriculum matters and student supervision in order to promote flexibility in planning personal study programmes.
Article
The study assessed perceptions about a career in nursing, the nursing shortage, decision to enroll in a nursing education program, and awareness and effect of the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future. Data were obtained from a survey administered to a national sample of 496 nursing students. Although most students believe nursing is physically challenging and there is inadequate respect and recognition of nurses, most agree nursing is a good career for men and for people who have academic ability and want a secure job. Although the majority believes the nursing shortage will increase stress on nurses, lower the quality of care, and fail to improve working conditions, most students also expect the shortage will lead to higher pay and more job choices. Information and advice from practicing nurses was the most influential factor in deciding to become a nurse, and friends, parents, and other family members also had a positive influence. Two thirds are aware of the campaign, almost all said it made them feel good about becoming a nurse, and students who are White and enrolled in baccalaureate programs were more likely to be aware of the campaign. Future recruitment initiatives should strengthen the focus on men and minorities, parents and friends, and practicing nurses and nursing educators.
Article
This study uncovers reasons students report for wanting to become nurses, to quantify those who feel that they are called to nursing, and to learn what "being called" means to them. A descriptive, cross-sectional survey was conducted with all students enrolled in nursing courses at one program in a private, faith-based university. Most students decided to go to nursing school while in high school or college and chose nursing because they had a desire to help others. The most common personal characteristics they identified that will be helpful in nursing were being caring or compassionate. Almost two thirds of the students indicated they were "called" by God to become nurses. Findings can help nursing educators and leaders determine how to better recruit and retain individuals into the nursing profession and how to support and encourage caring and compassionate qualities in all nurses.
Article
It is widely accepted that nursing as a career is viewed favourably by society in that it offers job security, mobility and career variety. The main reason for choosing nursing in the 21st century remains the desire to help and care for others, as this paper demonstrates. The findings presented here are part of an on-going longitudinal study which is exploring whether mode of selection into nursing has an impact on a number of variables, of which, career choice is one. The aim of this paper is to identify why non-mature under-graduate students choose nursing as a career and to determine what factors influence this decision. An exploratory-descriptive design, employing a qualitative approach was used. Following receipt of ethical approval, data were collected using focus group interviews and content analysis was employed. Participants were students on a general nursing programme delivered in a large Irish Higher Education Institute. Interviews took place within the first 3 months of the programme, prior to the first clinical placement. It emerged that although nursing was not everybody's first career choice, all participants had sought a career which involved caring. Family or friends in the profession played a role in influencing participants' career selection.
Article
As many Departments of Nursing within universities consider raising their academic entry requirements in an attempt to attract a more high academic achieving entrant and also endeavour to attract more school leavers one of the fundamental questions that needs to be answered is--are high academic achieving school pupils really interested in pursuing a career in nursing? The aim of this paper is to report on the findings from paradigmatic case interviews of high academic achieving school pupils who at one stage in their career choice process had considered nursing as a possible career choice but had ultimately disregarded nursing and had decided to pursue medicine or another health care profession. The study reports interview data from a sub-sample of (n=20) high academic achieving 5th and 6th year school pupils who participated in a larger survey of 5th and 6th year school pupils (n=1062). These were paradigmatic cases--high academic achieving school pupils who had considered nursing as a possible career choice within their career preference cluster but had ultimately disregarded nursing and decided to pursue medicine or another health care profession as a career choice. Participants reported that nursing was eventually not viewed as using their examination grades to the maximum benefit. Also the participants reported a belief that the work of the doctor is more important and academic as they cure patients whereas the work of the nurse is practical and routine as they only care for patients. The pupils in addition asserted a negative image of nursing and a low status level of nursing as a career. They also articulated the unremarkable typical school pupils they perceived would pursue nursing as a career choice and the type of school pupil that they had witnessed being encouraged toward nursing within their schools, both of which conflicted with their own typology. Ultimately the high academic achieving school pupils were doubtful and suspicious as to the credibility of a degree in nursing and nursing as a university programme. Nursing is a very contentious career choice consideration for high academic achieving school pupils. There is strong evidence from the interview data to suggest that attracting high academic achieving school pupils into nursing could be hugely problematic.
Choosing Nursing as a career. A qualitative study of Nurse Education
  • M Glacken
  • F Brien
Glacken, M. and O'Brien, F. (2008). Choosing Nursing as a career. A qualitative study of Nurse Education 50(28) 385392.