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Contemp Nurse. 2005 Jul-Aug;19(1-2):105-14.

Looking to the future: nursing as a career goal.

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  • 1School of Nursing & Midwifery, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia.


Career paths selected by completing nursing students are of significant interest to educators and professional agencies. This paper presents part of a larger study which investigated students' influences and motivations for selecting nursing as a career path. The aim of this study was to identify career goals of completing nursing students, what factors influence these goals, preferred areas in which to work and if aged care is considered a career option. The study employed a cross sectional approach utilizing Ford's (1986) taxonomy of human goals as a theoretical framework. A questionnaire was administered to 25 students in the final semester of their nursing degree. Preliminary findings showed goals for future practice were limited to midwifery and paediatrics whilst elder care was not perceived as a viable career option. Negative images of nurses continue to prevail and implications for nursing are considered. Despite the small sample, the study provides evidence that to provide suitable care for all members of the community it is essential that all career options within the profession are positively promoted.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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