Factors Affecting Students’ Preference for Nursing Education and their Intent to Leave: A Cross-sectional Study

The Open Nursing Journal 16 Feb 2021 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874434602115010001



Insufficient research has been conducted into the factors that prompt young students to select nursing education as a profession in Saudi Arabia.


The aim of the study is to identify factors affecting students' preference for nursing education and their intent to leave.


This study follows a descriptive cross-sectional research design, with data collected by adapting the Tan-Kuick questionnaire to measure second-year nursing students’ (n=162) preference for nursing education and intent to leave one academic institution in Saudi Arabia.


Nursing image is identified as the major factor influencing the nursing students’ preference for nursing education in Saudi Arabia (69.89 ± 16.49), and parents' image of nursing is identified as the factor with the least amount of influence (34.52 ± 22.04). Additionally, more than half of the nursing students surveyed report intending to leave the nursing profession. Regarding the reasons for their intent to leave, a total of 70% of the surveyed nursing students report having no interest in the nursing profession. Family disagreement and societal image are also identified as common prompts to leave nursing.


The study recommends the use of media to enhance the image of the nursing profession through the presentation of role models that talk to the students and encourage and motivate them to engage in the working life of a nurse. In addition, the study suggests replicating the longitudinal study for the same group in their third and fourth year of study to see if they leave the nursing profession.

Keywords: Students’ preference, Intent to leave, Nursing image, Nursing education, Saudi Arabia, Healthcare organizations.
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