One third of undergraduate nursing students in Australia are studying nursing concurrently with another undergraduate degree. This study examined the career preferences of double degree (DD) nursing students and the career destinations of graduates to gain an understanding of the reasons why nursing is chosen or not chosen. The design was a sequential mixed methods explanatory study. Questionnaires and interviews collected information during the final year of the DD, on commencement of work, and after 2 years in the workforce. Results revealed less than half of final year students indicated a preference for nursing, but 60-73% were employed in nursing after graduation. Career decisions were influenced by intrinsic and extrinsic rewards unique to nursing but also the other discipline. Practicum experiences and location of work were also important factors. Strategies are needed to avoid losing potential nursing graduates to other disciplines at a time of nursing staff shortages.
- career destination
- double degrees