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Factors Influencing School Students in Choosing Nursing as a Career

S0003 [Source: Law & Arthur (2003). International Journal of Nursing Studies 40:23-32.]

In 1998, 1246 students studying Form 6 at secondary schools in the Kwun Tong district of Hong Kong were surveyed. The perception of nursing as a career (PNC) questionnaire (11-item) was administered to determine how students perceived nursing as a career. A total PNC score (lowest possible= 11; highest possible = 44) was calculated for the assessment. The higher is the score, the more positive attitude toward nursing as a career is. The mean PNC score of the surveyed students was 28.3, and the standard deviation (SD) was 3.2.

A factor of interest for the PNC score was whether a student had a close relative who was a nurse. The mean PNC score of students who had a close nurse relative was 28.80 (SD = 3.25), while that of students who did not have any close nurse relative was 28.15 (SD = 3.21). The p-value for testing their mean difference was 0.005.



Q1. Do you think the students had, on average, a PNC level higher than the middle level (i.e. (44+11)/2 = 27.5)? Justify your conclusion and state the assumptions made, if any.

Q2. Was there a difference in the PNC score between students who had a close relative in nursing and students who did not? Please justify and state how likely at most your conclusion can be wrong.

Q3. What statistical test could have possibly been performed to examine if the PNC score was associated with whether the students had a close relative who is a nurse?

Q4. Could you describe one limitation of the current study? If you are going to conduct this study again to see if there is now a change in attitude, how would you overcome this limitation?


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