Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Nurse Education in Practice






School of Nursing and Midwifery




Anyango, E., Adama, E., Brown, J., & Ngune, I. (2024). The impact of final-year clinical placements on nursing students' career planning for the graduate year and beyond. Nurse Education in Practice, 76, article 103944.


Aims: This study had three objectives: 1) to determine final-year nursing students' career preferences and long-term career plans; 2) to investigate factors influencing nursing students' specialty choices following their final-year clinical placement(s); and 3) to understand how final-year clinical placements can be used to develop the career interests of nursing students to different nursing specialties. Background: Clinical placement provides an insightful experience that may influence students to feel inclined to work in certain specialties. Therefore, each clinical placement should promote students' learning and enhance positive experiences that could develop their career interests and encourage them to seek employment in the specialty on graduation. Design: A cross-sectional online survey. Methods: The survey was structured using the Career Decision Self-Efficacy Scale – Short Form. The questionnaire was distributed to final-year nursing students (N = 222) at two public universities in Western Australia. This study specifically reports on the Goal selection and Planning domains of the Career Decision Self-Efficacy Scale – Short Form, which were explored through additional questions prompting participants to explain their career preferences and reasons for their nursing specialty choices. Results: Most participants, fifty-three percent, had low confidence in making career decisions. The Goal Selection and Planning questions measured the students' confidence in choosing a suitable practice destination and preparing for their professional careers. Overall, participants prefer employment in hospital settings both in the short- and long-term aspects of their nursing career. The factors influencing the students' career decisions were classified into three main categories: the clinical environment, educational factors and individual factors. Conclusions: The nursing curriculum may encourage nursing students to work in some specialties over others. This study provides insight into factors that may promote or inhibit students' career choices and how students may be motivated to pursue the less preferred nursing specialties.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.