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Nurse Educ Today. 2015 Jan;35(1):251-5. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2014.08.011. Epub 2014 Sep 2.

Career interest, self-efficacy, and perception in undecided and nursing undergraduate students: a quantitative study.

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Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing, 511 NE Greenleaf, Peoria, IL 61603, United States. Electronic address:


Career choice variables of career interest, self-efficacy, and perception were chosen based upon Social Cognitive Career Theory concepts for study between nursing and undecided undergraduate student groups. Components of the Career Search Questionnaire and Perceptions of Professional Nursing instruments were combined and adapted to form the Career Choice Survey for use in this research. This web-based survey totaling 40 questions was sent to 577 undergraduate students with a 12% response rate (N=68). Due to the need to increase nursing recruitment and retention, hypotheses were developed that distinguish if any relationship existed between groups. Findings of this quantitative study resulted in statistically significant results on two of the three variable hypotheses (p=.006 for career interest, p=.002 for self-efficacy, p=.395 for perception), aligning with previous research and provide insight into the change in nursing perception. Overall, scores for each subscale were encouraging to current nurses and expected from undecided students. Implications for practice include increases in accurate nursing portrayal in the media and early career counseling to younger populations. Nurse educators can further research in career choice with focus on continuing education for current nurses and recruitment of young nursing hopefuls.


Career choice; Nursing; Recruitment; Students

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