Understanding nursing students' perceptions of the general practice environment and their priorities for employment settings
Aim: To explore final year nursing students' perceptions of the general practice environment and their priorities when choosing a workplace. Design: Online survey, reported following the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) guidelines. Methods: The validated Profession Scale from the Scale on Community Care Perceptions (SCOPE) tool was used to identify characteristics within the general practice environment and the importance of these in choosing a workplace. To explore the factor structure, exploratory factor analysis was undertaken which was used to revise the survey language and flow before widespread dissemination. Results: Three hundred and fifty-five responses were received. Factor analysis revealed three factors: Provision of care, Employment conditions and Nature of work. Respondents exposed to general practice in the Bachelor of Nursing program or who had a general practice clinical placement had significantly different perceptions across all factors. Although wages, advancement opportunities, work pressures and the physical nature of work were perceived as important in choosing a workplace, they were seen as only moderately present in general practice.