Motives for entering nursing in Iran: A qualitative study

Zahra Tayebi, Nahid Dehghan‑Nayeri, Reza Negarandeh, Shirin Shahbazi


Context: Choosing a career is an important decision for each individual, which is affected by many different factors. The process of entering nursing, as one of the pivotal healthcare discipline, certainly affects quality of care, and retention of nurses in the profession.

Aims: Exploring factors affecting the students’ decision to enter nursing.

Setting and Design: This qualitative content analysis was carried at the school of Nursing and Midwifery of Tehran University of medical sciences.

Materials and Methods: The semi structured interview method was used to conduct this qualitative study on 11 nursing freshmen in 2010. We transcribed the interviews verbatim and analyzed them using the conventional content analysis approach.

Results: Four main categories, reflecting the factors affecting the participants’ decision to enter nursing emerged in this study: Capabilities of the profession, coercion, having an interest in the medical and allied health fields, and receiving positive feedbacks. The participants had tried to gather information about nursing through different sources, including nurses and other health care professionals, counselors and Internet, which almost all the time, yielded to no useful information and sometimes with negative feedback.

Conclusions: Findings revealed that, unlike other countries, although few participants had entered nursing with a real interest in helping and caring for others, other factors such as having an interest in the medical and allied health fields, coercion, and good employment opportunities were the most important motives. Students’ lack of knowledge about the profession deserves special attention. Nursing managers’ should try to introduce the reality of nursing to the public and as a result, attract more competent students to the profession.

Key words: Career choice, Iran, Nursing, and Qualitative research

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