Career choices and destinations of rural nursing students undertaking single and double degrees in nursing

Noelene Hickey, Linda Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To identify and compare the location and career preferences of students enrolled in single and transdisciplinary double degrees in a Bachelor of Nursing program at a rural university. To understand what influences and motivates students to enrol in a double degree program that includes nursing. Design: A cross-sectional cohort study using a semi structured survey. Setting: Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. Subjects: 209 undergraduate students in all years of the Bachelor of Nursing (BN), Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Clinical Practice (Paramedic) (BN/BCP), and Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Early Childhood Teaching (BN/BECT). programs. Main outcome measures: Demographics of participants; reasons double degree students enrolled in a nursing program; career location and career discipline preferences. Results: In 2008 the majority (70%) of students in all three groups were from rural areas, but double degree students came from a higher socio-economic background, were younger and were more likely to be male than single degree nursing students. They also had different motivating factors for enrolling and many did not prefer nursing as a career. 40% of BN, 45% of BN/BECT students and 28% of BN/BCP students preferred to work in a rural location for their graduate year. Conclusions: Students undertaking this rural based double degree nursing program are different to single degree nursing students in a number of important areas. The lack of interest in a nursing career and a rural location by over half of these students is concerning. Targeted strategies are needed to reverse this loss of potential nursing graduates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • nursing education
  • double degrees
  • rural career preferences


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