Nursing student attitudes to psychiatric nursing and psychiatric disorders in New Zealand

Authors

  • Lois J. Surgenor,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychological Medicine, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Christchurch
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    • Lois J. Surgenor, PhD, MA (Hons), DipClinPsych, MNZCCPsych.

  • Janet Dunn,

    1. Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch, New Zealand
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    • Janet Dunn, BA, DipHealSc.

  • Jacqueline Horn

    1. Department of Psychological Medicine, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Christchurch
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    • Jacqueline Horn, PhD, BSc (Hons), DipClinPsych, MNZPS.


Lois J. Surgenor, Department of Psychological Medicine, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand. Email: lois.surgenor@chmeds.ac.nz

Abstract

ABSTRACT:  Attitudes towards mental illness and psychiatric nursing can have far-reaching consequences for patients and the perceived desirability of this as a future career choice. Attitudes can be both brought into training and affected by training experiences, although the direction of these associations is unclear. Using a cross-section design, this study investigates the associations between attitudes, demographic variables, mental illness exposure, and career aspirations in 164 nursing students. Year of training and area of intended practice independently predicted attitudes. These findings have important implications for nursing training. They demonstrate the need for specifically focusing training to target the students with the most negative attitudes.

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