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Nurse teachers' working lives: a questionnaire survey of nursing schools in Mainland China


  • Funding: The study was supported by the Shanghai Leading Academic Discipline Project (Grant No. B903) and a scholarship from the State Scholarship Fund of China Scholarship Council (CSC).

Alison E. While, James Clerk Maxwell Building, 57 Waterloo Road, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King's College London, London SE1 8WA, UK; Tel: 44-020-78483022; Fax: 44-020-78483022; E-mail: Guoliang Chen, 2nd Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China; Tel: 86-21-81871404; Fax: 86-21-81871404; E-mail:


GUI L., WHILE A.E., CHEN G., BARRIBALL K.L. & GU S. (2011) Nurse teachers' working lives: a questionnaire survey of nursing schools in Mainland China. International Nursing Review58, 505–511

Aim:  The study aimed to explore Chinese nurse teachers' views and experience regarding different components of their working lives.

Methods:  A cross-sectional survey of 18 schools of nursing offering nationally accredited baccalaureate nursing programmes across Mainland China was conducted. A total of 227 nurse teachers completed questionnaires yielding a response rate of 72%.

Findings:  The sample comprised mainly female, married lecturers younger than 44 years with an average teaching experience of about 10 years. The respondents were satisfied with their overall job, work, supervision and co-workers, but dissatisfied with their pay and promotion opportunities. There were statistically significant differences in several facets of job satisfaction across the respondents of different age groups, education levels, job titles and those working in the schools of different sizes. The respondents perceived their work environment to be only somewhat empowering. Their average level of professional identification was relatively high, but their overall role conflict, role ambiguity and sense of coherence were relatively low.

Conclusion:  Chinese nurse teachers had a positive feeling towards their working lives, but strategies should be developed to enhance their sense of coherence and professional commitment. It is worth noting that there is still much adjustment to be made towards the new higher education roles, but the findings may only be generalizable to similar settings.