J.M.P.CHEE1, K.D.RUSLI2, S.T.LAU2, S.Y.LIAW2
Tan Tock Seng Hospital1, National University of Singapore2
Singapore healthcare system has implemented several new community care infrastructures to meet the healthcare needs of aging population. As a result, there is a demand on community nurses. The study aimed to explore the perceptions of community nursing among undergraduate nursing students in Singapore.
This is an exploratory descriptive quantitative study using a cross-sectional survey. Convenience sampling was done to recruit nursing students across all years of study pursuing a Bachelor of Science (Nursing) degress at the National University of Singapore and the newly graduated nurses. The Scale on COmmunity care PErceptions (SCOPE) was administered.
The study received a response rate fo 55.7%, with a sample size of 501. Students perceived the societal need and importance of community nursing, yet 68.7%of student still prefer the acute care hospital, leaving only 31.3% choosing community care. Having enjoyable relationships, opportunities for job advancement are essential considerations taken by student when selecting a placement choice. Student associated community care profession as a low status career along with mostly elderly patients and low opportunity for advancement. The student’s year of study and past community related clinical exposure were found to be factors affecting their perceptions.
Community nursing remains an underrated career due to several misconceptions. Strategies to promote community nursing recruitment could focus on offering more community clinical placements for students in various community care setting. There is also a need to provide better career prospects and greater career mobility to foster community nursing recruitment.