Why do Nurse Graduates Choose to Work in the Area of Mental Health?
The low numbers of nurses attracted to work in mental health is a concern particularly with the increased demand for mental health services. Strategies are required to increase recruitment to this less popular area of nursing to ensure that a high quality of care is provided for people suffering from mental illness. The World Health Organisation (2004) is aware that this area of health has been neglected and that it is time to promote mental health. This study aimed to examine the influences involved in nurses choosing to work in this area.
A descriptive survey using a questionnaire was given to seven groups of new graduates enrolled in the New Graduate Mental Health Nursing programme through five educational institutes within New Zealand. At the time of writing there were no published studies around this topic in New Zealand. This study will attempt to inform nurses, the Nursing Council of New Zealand, tertiary institutions and the government of New Zealand that there is evidence that we need to develop and change practices to address the predicted workforce decline.