Background: Rising health care burden has increased demand for general practice nurses. Exploring final-year nursing students’ perceived levels of confidence, interest and intention to work in this area can inform preparation and recruitment of new graduates into this workforce.
Aim: To explore final-year nursing students’ confidence, interest and intention to work in general practice.
Methods: Final-year nursing students from five universities situated in New South Wales, Australia were surveyed between March and June 2019. The survey comprised investigator-developed questions and validated tools adapted for use in general practice.
Findings: Of the 355 included responses, 34.1% respondents had a clinical placement in general practice. Work experience was a significant predictor of confidence in working as a Registered or General Practice Nurse. Being enrolled as an international student, general practice placement experience and high confidence to work in general practice were significant predictors of interest and intention to work in this setting. Analysis showed a strong positive relationship between interest and intention to work in general practice, and a small but positive relationship between confidence and intention to work in general practice.
Discussion: Despite generally positive views around their confidence, interest and intention to work in general practice, some respondents indicated uncertainties around these, and the usefulness of their undergraduate preparation towards PHC employment. This may be attributable to the inconsistent exposure to general practice nursing within Australian undergraduate nursing programs.
Conclusion: Increasing students’ theoretical and clinical exposure to general practice enhances confidence and interest to pursue a career in this setting.
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