Knowledge, attitude and intentions towards nursing profession among Chinese high school graduates in central China

Shuzhen Zhu, Jie Hu, Kenneth J. Gruber, Guangwu Li, Li Li, Yuye Ke


Background and objective: Current nursing shortages and low willingness of young people to choose nursing as a career are of major concern in many countries. This study examined the knowledge, attitude and intention towards the nursing profession among high school graduates in China and factors associated with graduate’ intention to enroll in nursing program.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a random sampling. A total of 3,764 high school graduates of selected schools in Central China participated in the study. Data were collected with online survey including demographics, knowledge of and attitude towards nursing and intention to choose nursing. Pearson’s correlations and Hierarchical regression analyses were performed.

Results: Less than 10% of the participants expressed interest in a future career in nursing. Knowledge and attitude about nursing were positively associated with intention to study nursing. Both participants’ education, family income and attitude significantly predicted intention to study nursing in the hierarchy regression model (p < .001).

Conclusions: Recruitment and retention strategies need to focus on addressing improving knowledge about the roles of nurse among high school students. Nursing administrators and educators should provide information about nursing profession on Websites and social media or programs for high school students with early clinical exposure to nursing to increase their knowledge and change their attitudes toward nursing.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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