Freshmen in nursing: job motives and work values of a new generation


Rein De Cooman
Faculty for Psychology and Educational Science
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels


Aim  To identify the features young nurses look for in their job (job motives) and the features they look for in work in general (work values).

Background  In view of the shortage of appropriately educated and motivated nurses, a study of the motivational profile of the new generation nurses may provide additional insights.

Method  In a survey, 344 newly graduate Belgian nurses were questioned.

Results and conclusions   Results indicate that many of the traditional attractions are still important, with the recurrent issue of altruism. Furthermore, men are found to be more attracted by career opportunities, executive powers and autonomy, while women tend to attach more importance to interpersonal characteristics.

Implications for nursing management  When considering the new generation nurses, budget cuts and restructuring must be handled with prudence, due to the risk of crowding out the altruistic and interpersonal work features, which determine the specificity of the nursing job.