Introduction: Job selection is one of the most important decisions in peoples’ lives. According to recent studies there is not much interest in pursuing the nursing profession, despite the fact that there is a shortage of nurses not only in Greece, but also in other countries worldwide.
Objective: Aim of this study is to investigate the motives of students who study nursing, towards their decision to choose nursing as a main profession. In this research are investigated a series of items regarding social, personal and employment aspects related to nursing.
Methods: The study was conducted in the faculty of Nursing, University of Athens. The data was used included 348 questionnaires, completed by under graduate nursing students. Data collection took place between January and March 2011, using a pilot questionnaire. Questions investigated potential motives including willingness to take care of people, suitability with one’s own personality, excitement for the nursing profession, influence by family, existence of health problems in one’s own family, easy employment upon graduation, recognition of the importance of nursing, and finally expectations for a potentially good salary.
Results: 16.9% and 46.5% of the students selected nursing and medicine as their first choice, respectively. For most students (90.3%) the main reason they choose to study nursing is the provision of care. At a rate of 84.8%, students selected to study nursing, based on their belief that they would be easily employed. Once graduated, a rate of 43.4% would be willing to further continue their studies taking an MSc course. The 29.5% would further continue their studies in another department. A percentage of 23.4% answered that they were willing to find a nursing job upon completion of their studies, while 3.8% would find a job in another sector.
Conclusions: Most nursing students are willing to work as nurses upon graduation, but there has been recognised the need for further professional development, since many participants would be willing to continue their studies, taking a masters’ degree.
Keywords: nursing profession, students choice, criteria