Non-English speaking background high school students’ attitudes towards the nursing profession

Authors

  • Joh Chin Rossiter PhD BSc ADNE RN CM,

    1. Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong,
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  • John Bidewell BSc(Psych)(Hons) MPsychol(Applied) MAPS,

    1. Applied Psychologist, Faculty of Nursing & Health Studies, University of Western Sydney, Nepean, Kingswood, Australia,
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  • Po Tai Chan MN GDip(Midwifery) BN RN

    1. Nurse Instructor, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong
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Dr Joh Chin Rossiter Department of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong.

Abstract

Australia is a multicultural nation with its population coming from over 120 different cultural backgrounds. With the arrival of new immigrants from South-east Asia, China, Korea and Lebanon over the last 20 years, issues such as the recruitment of bilingual and cross-cultural knowledgeable nurses have become a high priority within the health care system. However, recruiting these skilled professionals has been difficult. This study aimed to examine (1) non-English speaking background (NESB) high school students’ career preferences in relation to nursing; and (2) whether nursing is perceived differently by the Korean, Lebanese, Vietnamese and mainland Chinese high school students. A convenience sample of 162 NESB high school students with parents from Korea, Lebanon, Vietnam and China was recruited from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Data were collected by a questionnaire to measure students’ knowledge about, attitudes towards and intention to study nursing and their demographic details. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to describe students’ demographic background, their career preference and to compare knowledge, attitudes and intention scales among the NESB groups. Results indicated that less than 10% of students included nursing among their preferred career options. Korean students scored lower than the other NESB groups on attitude and intention towards nursing. The findings provide clues as to how nursing can be better promoted to NESB school leavers. Limitations of the study were discussed and recommendations were suggested for future research.

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