Male students’ motivations to choose nursing as a career
Background. Men comprise approximately 11% of the nursing population globally, and 9.1% of the South African (SA) nursing workforce. Nursing workforce shortages require strategies for recruiting new nurses, including more males. A university in the Western Cape Province, SA, reported an increased enrolment of males to the nursing programme, and wished to understand the factors motivating this, in order to improve the recruitment of males.
Objective. To determine factors that motivated male students to choose nursing as a career, and to determine any association with demographic characteristics.
Methods. Data were collected from a stratified sample of 218 male undergraduate nursing students at a residential university in the Western Cape, using a structured questionnaire to determine their demographic profile and extrinsic and intrinsic motivating factors behind their choice of field of study.
Results. Most respondents were single black males aged 18 - 25 years, with no dependents, who originated from the Eastern Cape Province of SA. The majority started their nursing studies when aged 20 - 24 years, and had no prior healthcare or nursing experience. The highest scoring intrinsic motivating factors were wanting to make a difference in society and a desire to help people. The highest scoring extrinsic motivating factor was wanting a stable career, while the lowest scoring extrinsic motivating factor was flexible work hours in nursing. When considering extrinsic motivations, having dependents/children was significantly associated with potential salary and other monetary benefits as well as career mobility.
Conclusion. Men choose nursing as a career for both altruistic motivations as well as monetary benefits. These motivations should be used to attract more men into the nursing profession.
I Noordien, School of Nursing, Faculty of Community and Health Science, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
J Hoffman, School of Nursing, Faculty of Community and Health Science, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
H Julie, School of Nursing, Faculty of Community and Health Science, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
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Date published: 2020-12-01
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