Motivations to nurse: An exploration of what motivates students in Pacific Island countries to enter nursing

Authors

  • Kim Usher RN, DNE, DHS, BA, MNSt, PhD, RPN, RMRN,

    Professor and Director of WHO Collaborating Centre, Corresponding author
    • School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
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  • Caryn West RN, GDip Res Methods, GCertEd, PhD,

    Lecturer and Deputy Director of WHO Collaborating Centre
    1. School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
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  • Mary MacManus MA(Educ) Hons,

    Principal Lecturer
    1. School of Health Care Practice, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
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  • Silina Waqa PGDipHthSc,

    Director of Nursing and Health System Standards
    1. Ministry of Health, Suva, Fiji
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  • Lee Stewart DipTch(Nsg), BHthSC(Nsg), PGCertEd, M Dispute Resolution, PhD, RN, RM,

    Associate Professor and Head of School
    1. School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
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  • Renee Henry PhD,

    Project Manager
    1. School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
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  • David Lindsay DipAppSc, BN, MEd, GCertEd, ICU Cert, PhD, RN,

    Associate Professor
    1. School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
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  • Jo Conaglen MPH,

    Senior Lecturer
    1. School of Health Care Practice, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
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  • Julianne Hall MHthSc,

    Senior Lecturer
    1. School of Health Care Practice, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
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  • Marie McAuliffe M. Midwifery,

    PhD Candidate
    1. School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
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  • Michelle Redman-MacLaren B. Social Work, M. Social Work

    Project Officer
    1. School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
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Correspondence: Kim Usher, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, James Cook University, PO Box 6811, Cairns, Qld 4870, Australia. Email: kim.usher@jcu.edu.au

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore the motivations of student nurses enrolled in nursing courses across a variety of Pacific Island countries. The image of nursing, the desire to help others, family and friends in the profession, personal experience, security, travel opportunities and flexibility have all been identified as motivators for people to enter nursing. To date, what motivates students in Pacific Island countries to enrol in a nursing course has not been investigated. An exploratory qualitative approach using focus group interviews with 152 nursing students was undertaken. Data were analysed using thematic content analysis, revealing four themes: (i) helping others; (ii) ‘making a difference for my people’; (iii) following in the footsteps of others; and (iv) financial and professional gain. In a time of health and nursing workforce shortages, developing a deeper understanding of what drives people can be used to improve recruitment strategies in the future.

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