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Undergraduate Nursing Students: Attitudes Towards Mental Health Nursing

Tien-Hui Luo, Chih-Hsu Hsu, Taiwan

Mental health does not appear to be viewed positively by nursing students and it is clearly located in the least popular career choice of nursing specialties. Negative attitudes towards mental health have historically created recruitment problems in mental health nursing. Therefore, this study sought to examine undergraduate student nurse attitudes towards mental health nursing. A quantitative survey research approach with a standardized instrument (Attitude towards Psychiatry questionnaire) which was administered to measure undergraduate students' attitudes towards mental health practice, mental health education, and theoretical aspects of mental health nursing before they undertake mental health placements. Results suggest that undergraduate students generally have more positive attitudes towards mental health nursing compared with previous research. Female students also display more favorite attitudes towards the role of mental health nurses. Surprisingly, no significant difference in attitudes prior in students who had mental health nursing working experience was found. The overall findings suggest that undergraduate nurse education, recruitment policies, career guidance and university marketing within schools on entering mental health nursing are needed to address in the future. Although several limitations have identified by the researcher, this study provides a number of implications and recommendations for future work.

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