Educational Interventions for Middle School Students to Improve the Perception of Nursing as a Future Career Choice
Matutina, Robin Dianna Evans
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Session presented on Friday, September 26, 2014: Abstract: Purpose: The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) (2008) predicts that by the year 2025, there will be a nursing shortage of 500,000 RNs. At the same time, there will be increased demands on the nursing population based on aging baby boomers who will require geriatric care. Another area of concern is that there will be fewer nurses due to the aging workforce. We need to prevent this from happening and begin the process of recruitment to nursing programs now. One solution to the future nursing shortage may be to enact effective recruitment strategies for potential nursing students. The current practice of waiting until high school to begin recruitment efforts is ineffective in increasing the critical mass of students who choose nursing as a career as evidenced by the nursing shortage. However, the middle school years have been identified as prime recruitment years by the South Carolina Education and Economic Development Act. In South Carolina, the Education and Economic Development Act has mandated that Career Paths be established for middle school students; therefore, recruitment efforts could become part of this educational intervention. This study seeks to demonstrate that recruitment interventions geared toward educating middle school students about nursing and nursing specialties would significantly improve the perception of nursing as a future career choice, thereby increasing the number of students who choose nursing as a career. If educating middle school students about nursing significantly increases nursing school enrollment and graduation rates, the nursing shortage may be positively impacted, thus positively impacting health care for society. Subject Population: The sample population was taken from Hanahan Middle School in Berkeley County, South Carolina. The target population was middle school students of African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, Pacific Islander, and white races. Participants were middle school students 9 to 15 years of age in Grades 7 and 8. Research Design: A pre-test/post-test design tested the effects of the intervention on a group of middle school students compared to a control group. The intervention consisted of an interactive computer program describing nursing careers developed by Microburst Learning. Instrument: The instrument used to collect data was the Indiana survey which is divided into two parts: (1) a career section, and (2) a nursing section. The survey is a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The instrument was used to measure two outcomes, perception and ideal career choice. Procedure: The pre-survey assessed students perceptions of nursing as an ideal career choice. The intervention group was given the Microburst Learning computer program describing nursing. After the intervention, the students completed a post survey. The survey responses were compared to determine the effectiveness of the interventions.