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Who wants to be a psychiatric nurse? Novice student nurses’ interest in psychiatric nursing


  • B. Happell RN, RPN, BA (Hons), DIP, BEd, NEd, PhD

    1. Senior Lecturer, School of Postgraduate Nursing, University of Melbourne, Grattan Street, Parkville 3052, Victoria, Australia
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Correspondence: BrendaHappell Senior Lecturer School of Postgraduate Nursing University of Melbourne Grattan Street Parkville 3052 Victoria Australia


Available research findings suggest that nursing students do not regard psychiatric nursing as a desirable future career option. This paper addresses the results of a research project conducted by the author. This research addresses the relative popularity of psychiatric nursing in comparison to other nursing specialties, within Victoria, Australia. The research was conducted by use of a questionnaire in which commencing undergraduate nursing students were asked to rank nine areas of nursing specialty in order of preference and provide some explanation for their choices. The results indicate that psychiatric nursing emerges as the second least popular career choice for student nurses at this stage of their education.