The social context of career choice among millennial nurses: implications for interprofessional practice

By | 18th October 2013
Health human resource and workforce planning is a global priority. Given the critical nursing shortage, and the fact that nurses are the largest group of healthcare providers, health workforce planning must focus on strategies to enhance both recruitment and retention of nurses. Understanding early socialization to career choice can provide insight into professional perceptions and expectations that have implications for recruitment, retention and interprofessional collaboration. 
In a newly published paper by Sheri Price and colleagues, these authors used Polkinghorne’s theory of narrative emplotment to understand the career choice experiences of 12 millennial nurses (born between 1980 and 2000) in Eastern Canada. 
Participants were interviewed twice, face-to-face, 4 to 6 weeks apart prior to commencing their nursing program. The narratives present career choice as a complex consideration of social positioning. The findings provide insight into how nursing is perceived to be positioned in relation to medicine and how the participants struggled to locate themselves within this social hierarchy. 
The authors state that the implications of this research highlight the need to ensure that recruitment messaging and organizational policies promote interprofessional collaboration from the onset of choosing a career in the health professions. Early professional socialization strategies during recruitment and education can enhance future collaboration between the health professions.

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