Student's intention to work in mental health: analysing their motivations
BACKGROUND: The current number of nurses entering into mental health remains consistently low, while the number of Australians requiring mental health services increases. This paper explores how an innovative clinical placement affects Bachelor of Nursing (BN) student's motivation toward mental health nursing. AIM: The research aimed to gain insight into how an innovative clinical placement based on personal recovery can influence the self-determined responses of future registered nurses. DESCRIPTION OF THE WORK: This research was grounded in self-determination theory; chosen due to its extensive application in professional development settings to gain insight into human behaviour. Selfdetermination theory enabled identification of BN student's key psychological needs and individual motivation toward working with people living with a mental illness. Using a quantitative, quasi-experimental design, two questionnaires (Basic Need Satisfaction and Motivation Scale) were administered pre and post clinical placement to twenty BN students. OUTCOMES: This research has provided insight into how clinical placements can influence the desire and motivation toward the future career intentions of undergraduate nursing students. IMPLICATIONS FOR MENTAL HEALTH NURSING: Providing conducive clinical placement environments where BN students can learn through participation in a safe and supportive atmosphere, can significantly reduce the stigma, break down the communication barriers, and promote an understanding of mental health recovery.