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Collegian. 2002 Jan;9(1):12-8.

The impact of rural clinical placement on student nurses' employment intentions.

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  • 1Centre for Nursing Research, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove. m.courtney@qut.edu.au


Commonwealth Government health policy and professional organisations have indicated that successful recruitment and retention strategies are crucial to address the shortage of health professionals in rural and remote areas. This research study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a Clinical Placement Support Scheme for nursing students as a recruitment strategy for rural and remote health care services, and to develop an increased awareness of the employment opportunities available in these areas. The population consisted of final year Bachelor of Nursing students enrolled in either a rural or metropolitan clinical placement in 2000. A pre-post test survey design was used. Analysis of pre- and post-test data found a 12% increase (to 89%) in the number of students intending to seek employment in a rural setting, compared to a 5% increase (to 46%) in students who undertook a metropolitan placement. One-third of the students who chose a rural placement had no previous experience of a rural lifestyle and over half of these students indicated their intention to work in a rural setting following their clinical placement. These results support the theory that undergraduate rural clinical experience can have a positive influence on the recruitment of health professionals to rural areas.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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