Recruitment Decision Making for Military Nursing Careers


Name: Mary Candice Ross

Rank: Col, USAFR

Organization: University of South Alabama College of Nursing

Performance Site: The University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama

Year Published: 2003

Abstract Status: Final


The nursing shortage that plagues civilian health care has also become a serious issue for the Air Force Nurse Corps. This qualitative/quantitative mixed-method study examined the impact of accurate information; family, faculty, and peer influence; and values in the career decisions of young nurses by surveying 460 senior BSN students (8% male) at 10 U.S. universities.A 105-item survey was developed through an open-ended questionnaire, refinement, and pilot testing, with a test-retest reliability of .05. Data analysis was by SPSS. Students' top five career values were "happiness," "enjoying work," "choice of work area," "plenty of time for family," and "good benefits." They believed a military career involves "commitment to a contract," "good employee benefits," "job security," "helping those in need," and "continuing education opportunities." The top five perceptions were "educational advancement," "could have children," "would not be able to leave at their discretion for many years," "constant moves," and "being ordered to do something they might not want to do." Primary positive military career influences were friends, recruiters, fathers, TV, and nursing faculty. Negative influences were friends, TV, no one, newspapers, and movies. Top sources of information were recruiters, TV, friends, brochures, and fathers.Publications designed to recruit nurses into the military seldom feature families or patient situations but prominently display machinery and equipment. The pervasive attitude toward military recruiters was negative. Although 15% of the students reported that they were somewhat likely, likely, or highly likely to choose a military career, 65% were highly unlikely and 22% somewhat unlikely to. Military nurses need to reach out and interact with nursing students. Nurses also need to be more involved in developing recruitment materials. A profile of knowledge, misconceptions, values, and influence factors was derived. This model of career decisions provides decisive information for strategic recruitment planning.


Final report is available on NTRL: