Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


School of Psychology and Social Sciences


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Lynne Cohen


Career choice is an important decision an individual has to make during their lifetime. Personal, environmental and organisational factors all assist this decision process as individuals strive for a work-life balance within careers that meet their needs and realise their potential. This research study investigated which factors contributed to the decision process of Registered Nurses (RNs) who have left the profession for a career change. There is currently a global shortage of RNs, which is of major concern to healthcare policy makers in most countries, including Australia. This qualitative study examined the narrative interviews often females over the age of25 years who qualified as RNs but no longer work in nursing. Previously the majority of studies have focused on RNs still employed in the profession and their leaving intentions, rather than decisions made by nurses who have already left nursing. The results suggested that there were several influential factors which related to the work environment, managerial function, and nursing challenges. However, financial remuneration identified in several previous studies as a significant factor, was not supported in this research. Understanding the issues faced by RNs may further assist health organisations, universities and managers to develop strategies to recruit and retain health care professionals.

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