Nursing students' perceptions of a career in nursing and impact of a national campaign designed to attract people into the nursing profession

J Prof Nurs. Mar-Apr 2005;21(2):75-83. doi: 10.1016/j.profnurs.2005.02.001.


The study assessed perceptions about a career in nursing, the nursing shortage, decision to enroll in a nursing education program, and awareness and effect of the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future. Data were obtained from a survey administered to a national sample of 496 nursing students. Although most students believe nursing is physically challenging and there is inadequate respect and recognition of nurses, most agree nursing is a good career for men and for people who have academic ability and want a secure job. Although the majority believes the nursing shortage will increase stress on nurses, lower the quality of care, and fail to improve working conditions, most students also expect the shortage will lead to higher pay and more job choices. Information and advice from practicing nurses was the most influential factor in deciding to become a nurse, and friends, parents, and other family members also had a positive influence. Two thirds are aware of the campaign, almost all said it made them feel good about becoming a nurse, and students who are White and enrolled in baccalaureate programs were more likely to be aware of the campaign. Future recruitment initiatives should strengthen the focus on men and minorities, parents and friends, and practicing nurses and nursing educators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Advertising* / methods
  • Advertising* / standards
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Burnout, Professional / etiology
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology
  • Career Choice*
  • Employment / organization & administration
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Friends / psychology
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marketing of Health Services / organization & administration
  • Minority Groups / psychology
  • Minority Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling / organization & administration
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits
  • Social Perception
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Students, Nursing / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Whites / psychology
  • Whites / statistics & numerical data
  • Workplace / organization & administration
  • Workplace / psychology