Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 30, 2018

Voices from the Field: Regional Nurses Speak About Motivations, Careers and How to Entice Others to Pursue Mental Health Nursing

Joy Penman, Lee Martinez, Debra Papoulis and Kathryn Cronin

Abstract

The aims of this study are three-fold: determine the factors that motivate nurses to pursue mental health nursing; identify the strategies that might attract nursing students and practising nurses to pursue mental health nursing as a professional career; and identify the difficulties of nurses in achieving their preferred clinical specialty.

A descriptive qualitative study design with semi-structured interviews was used. Fifteen mental health nurses from rural and regional South Australia were interviewed. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, and thematic analysis was undertaken.

Of the fifteen participants, thirteen were females and two were males; their average age was 50 years. The factors that motivated the participants to pursue mental health nursing were categorized as intrinsic and extrinsic. There were many strategies that might attract nursing students and nurses to the field, but the most popular suggestion was the provision of high quality meaningful clinical placements. Other strategies were to convey the personal satisfaction derived from being a mental health nurse, promote mental health nursing aggressively, and provide employment incentives. The study also highlighted the importance of addressing stigma, and greater education and support for nurses to pursue a mental health career.

Acknowledgement:

Department of Rural Health and Country Health SA Local Health Network.

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Received: 2017-07-20
Revised: 2018-01-10
Accepted: 2018-01-10
Published Online: 2018-01-30

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