Efforts must be made to improve the image of nursing as a career choice in secondary schools, Scottish nurse researchers have warned.
They found around 70% of older schoolchildren would “never consider nursing” as a career, regardless of their grades.
The study led by Martyn Jones, professor of healthcare research at Dundee University’s school of nursing and midwifery, surveyed over 1,000 schoolchildren from one educational authority in Scotland on their future career choices.
The researchers found only 19.1% of respondents “would ever consider nursing”.
Among those most likely to choose nursing were female students, those of average to below average academic ability and those who thought their career guidance teacher had a positive view of nursing.
The authors said: “Nursing is an unpopular career choice amongst school students.
“Strategies are required to improve the occupational image of nursing in secondary education particularly among the more academically able students and their career guidance teachers.”
The findings were presented on Wednesday at the Royal College of Nursing’s international research conference in London.